A house that is cool in summer is just cold in winter. It is difficult to build a house that is comfortable in both seasons.
Most of the old houses were cold in winter. And although it wasn’t cool all day long in summer, when there was no air conditioner , a well-ventilated house was build and was living it in the coolness of nature from evening to night and morning.
Now it’s reversed. It’s warm in winter, but the wind doesn’t blow through in a room summer, and the house gets hot. It has become such a hot house.
A house where the wind does not blow through, this is also pursued as how to make the windows.
Up until now, I have pointed out the problem of floor plans, but it seems that the fact that the structural materials of wooden houses have become smaller cannot be ignored.
The thinner the structural material, the weaker the strength, which inevitably makes it difficult to create a large space, and the outer wall also has to have more walls and make the opening smaller.
The windows must be made smaller if it is a panel method that get strength by the wall. But the wooden pillars structure that can create a large opening ,it’s a shame that we make the windows smaller.
I have deviated to the story of windows as seen from the structure , but I would like you to be aware that windows have a great effect not only on ventilation but also on heat and cold.
By the way, I think that the reason why we wanted the warmth of winter was that we didn’t want to live in a shrunken way in the house, we wanted to live more openly, and that was the idea in the first place.
It has become a warm home, and we can live comfortably. However, ironically, summer has even resulted in a closed life.
Because, nowadays, an air conditioner are used in most homes to survive the heat of summer. The more you use an air conditioner the bigger the temperature difference in the house, and the less you want to get out of a cool room.
Isn’t it the opposite phenomenon of the scene where families gathered and lived in a warm place in an old house where heating did not work?
Moreover, if there are families who are not good at mechanical coolness, especially those with hypersensitivity, it will be difficult for them to stay in the same space.
The air conditioner in the bedroom, which is the current home where the coolness does not return even at night, becomes a a problem again. My husband can’t sleep until morning unless he has the air conditioner on, while his wife feels tired and can’t stand it if the air conditioner keeps on.
In that case, this also becomes a factor in the separate room for the couple. There is also a story that it was actually made into a separate room and became a habit as it was. A home that has to rely on an air conditioner likely to cause cracks in physical health and even the mind.
Insulation and airtightness, the relationship between the floor plan and windows that do not allow the wind to go through, and the changes in the materials used to build the house create a home that does not get cool even at night.
In an era when there was no air conditioner, the wind coming in from the window was just the outside temperature, but you might remember feeling cool when you lie sticking on the wall.
The former house-building that used to be plastered with clay walls, and this clay and plaster kept the coldness of the night even in the daytime and brought coolness even when the room temperature rose.
Nowadays, there are few houses that use materials such as clay walls that store such heat. You can understand that simply improving ventilation does not provide coolness in such a home.
When we put on a air conditioner, we close the window. The image of summer in Japan, where the front door is left open during the day and mosquito nets are hung on and the screen door close at night, and people have lived in nature, is becoming more and more distant.
In a dangerous modern society, even if you want to open the window and sleep, you can’t do it. However, no matter how hot the summer is, it doesn’t mean that you can’t sleep without a air conditioner all summer. At least I want to let the air through the screen door on a refreshing and cool night. If you remember the pleasantness and tenderness of the natural breeze, you might start to devise ways to spend time without a air conditioner even when it is a little hot.
In order to realize such a life, windows are required on the premise that thieves and robbers cannot invade even if they are left open, and that they do not blow in even if it rains.
If you arrange these windows well, you can sleep while enjoying the natural breeze. Of course, for that purpose, it is also necessary to devise a layout such as no inner corridor that blocks ventilation.
I would like to break the vicious cycle of closing windows for security and requiring a air conditioner for that purpose by devising windows and floor plans.
Reiko Wakabayashi (2008.9 deceased)
book “From the real house I finally met”