Friday, February 19, 2010

The High Pergola is So Cool.

The shade-giving grape vines on the High Pergola are flourishing, and by this time next year should be providing dense coverage.   A canopy of  actively growing, moisture rich leaves like this can reduce the daytime summer temperature by a massive 30%.  This is the result not just of the shade, but also of the cooling effect of moisture evaporating from the leaves, in effect operating just the same way that an evaporative air-con system does.  The cooled air is then drawn into the house through the ground level doors whilst warmer rising air from inside the house is expelled through the windows set high up in the walls.

This design helps make it possible to keep  the house cool during the hottest of summers without the need for those horrible old energy-intensive, costly recyclers of stale air still being used in so many poorly designed Australian houses.  Simple domestic design features such as the High Pergola will become increasingly important as global warming continues.  

Professor Michael Oppenheimer of Princeton U, said today that "Action to reduce greenhouse emissions is lagging so far behind what the science tells us is necessary that some degree of warming is now inevitable.  We should take pragmatic measures to prepare for an inevitable degree of warming" .   We are following his advice here.

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