This presentation is based on the library study of equatorial climate. It includes the data regarding the construction techniques of vernacular Malay houses, that are adopted in equatorial climate regions of Malaysia.
EQUATORAn equator is the intersection of a spheres surface withthe plane perpendicular to the spheres axis of rotation and containing thespheres centre of mass.Equator is an imaginary line on the Earths surface equidistant from the NorthPole and South Pole that divides the Earth into a Northern Hemisphere anda Southern Hemisphere. EQUATOR
The zone of the Equator has a tropical rainforest climate, also known as an equatorialclimate. Usually, its average annual temperature is around 30 °C (86 °F) during the day and 23 °C(73 °F) at night.Rainfall is very high, usually from 2,500 to 3,500 mm per year.Average precipitation days are around 200 per year and average sunshine hours are around2000 per yeaAs the name specifies, the equatorial climate is found at or near the equator.The characteristic features of the temperature, humidity and rainfall are describedbelow:Temperature:The temperature, therefore is uniformly high through out the year.The average temperature of each month hovers around 80 F (27 C) .The difference between the hottest and coolest month is very small, normally less than5 F (3 C).
Rainfall is heavy and falls uniformly in each month of the year . Relative humidity is also excessive. The total annual rainfall for the equatorial regions is generally more than 80 inches (2000 mm) and the average relative humidity is around 80 %The Equatorial ClimateThis climate is found in areas located very close to the equator.The climate is hot and humid all the year round with excessive rainfall.There is no dry season and the rainfall is equally distributed in all months of the year. This type of climate is also called the climate of three eighties i.e., 80 F ( 27 C )temperature throughout the year, 80 in (2000 mm) or more total annual rainfall and80% relative humidity throughout the year.This type of climate is found in Indonesia and Malaysia
MALAYSIAMalaysia is a federal constitutional monarchy in Southeast Asia.Situated in the South East Asian region, the Federation of Malaysia comprisesPeninsula Malaysia and the states of Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo.It consists of thirteen states and three federal territories and has a totallandmass of 329,847 square kilometres (127,350 sq mi). Land borders are shared with Thailand, Indonesia, and Brunei, and maritimeborders exist with Singapore, Vietnam, and the Philippines.The capital city is Kuala Lumpur, while Putrajaya is the seat of the federalgovernment.Malaysia contains the southernmost point of continental Eurasia, Tanjung Piai,and is located near the equator and has a tropical climate.
It has a biodiverse range of flora and fauna, and is considered a megadiversecountry.The country is multi-ethnic and multi-cultural, factors that influence its cultureand play a large role in politics.Islam is the state religion, although freedom of religion is protected by a secularconstitution.
CLIMATE OF MALAYSIALocated near the equator, Malaysias climate is categorised as equatorial, beinghot and humid throughout the year.The average rainfall is 250 centimetres (98 in) a year.The average temperature is 27 °C (80.6 °F).Climate change is likely to have a significant effect on Malaysia, increasing sealevels and rainfall, increasing flooding risks and leading to large droughts.The coasts have a sunny climate, with temperatures ranging between 23°C (73.4 °F) and 32 °C (89.6 °F), and rainfall ranging from 10 centimetres (4 in) to30 centimetres (12 in) a month.The lowlands have a similar temperature, but follow a more distinctive rainfallpattern and show very high humidity levels.The highlands are cooler and wetter, and display a greater temperature variation.
MALAYSIAN (MALAY) ARCHITECTURETraditional Malay architecture employs sophisticated architectural processesideally suited to tropical conditions.Structures built on stilts, which allow cross-ventilating breeze beneath thedwelling to cool the house whilst mitigating the effects of the occasional flood.High-pitched roofs and large windows not only allow cross-ventilation but arealso carved with intricate organic designs.Traditional houses in Negeri Sembilan were built of hard wood and entirely freeof nails. They are built using beams, which are held together by wedges.A beautiful example of this type of architecture can be seen in the Old Palace ofSri Menanti in Negeri Sembilan, which was built around 1905.
The magnificent five-storey Sri Menanti old palace wasbuilt in 1902 to replace the original traditionalpalace, which was razed in 1875 by British soldiers duringthe Sungai Ujong war.Designed and built by two local craftsmen andcarpenters, Tukang Kahar and Tukang Taib, the woodenpalace or "Istana Lama" (old palace) was originally builtwithout the use of a single nail or screw, and the wholecomplex was completed in 1908.Built entirely of hardwood timber extracted from theforest, the building features 99 pillars.The front has a long breezy balcony and the main pillarsreach the top centre tower at about 21m high.This building is probably the tallest existing traditionalall-timber structure in the world.
The palace was the official residence of the Negeri Sembilan royal family until1931 when it was found to be inadequate for the growing functions of the state. Itnow houses the Royal Museum.The complex is often the venue and subject of study and research amongstudents and professionals in architecture and traditional Malay arts.99 pillars denote the 99 warriors of the various united clans of the state, withthe pillars carved in intricate Malay gold flower motifs.It is currently in the process of consideration as a UNESCO world heritage site.
ARCHITECTURE (MALAY HOUSES)These villages are called "kampongs" inBahasa Malaysia.Notice that they are built with stilts below and they have large windows.This is mainly to keep the building cool and the stilts elevate the building tokeep them away from floods.Kampong houses are detached houses and they usually have no fences aroundthemThe traditional Malaysian house serves the housing needs of the majority ofpeople living in rural areas of Malaysia.Malay houses can be described as raised on timber stilts and made of materialswhich were easily available from the tropical forests such astimber, bamboo, rattan, tree roots and leaves.
The traditional Malay house is primarily a timber structure, built off the ground usingthe post-and-beam method by local carpenters or by the owners themselves.Its walls are usually made of timber, although bamboo is still used in certain areas.Numerous full-length windows line the walls, providing both ventilation and a viewoutside.The high-pitched, gabled roof, which dominates the house, was traditionally coveredwith thatch but is now more often covered
Usually the houses have pitched roofs,verandas or porches in front, high ceilings andlots of big openings for ventilation purposes.Although these characteristics areparticularly common in all Malay housesthroughout the Peninsular Malaysia, theirshapes and sizes differ from state to state. The traditional Malay house is influenced by various factors like climate, lifestyle, the owners economic status, the surroundings, available building materials and various myths .
The Malay house was designed and built taking these points much intoaccount-LAYOUT- The traditional Malay house is a timber house raised on stilts. Basically, it has poststructure with wooden or bamboo walls and thatched roof.Wood post and beam construction rest on a stone foundation and the piles that raise from theground continue through the first floor to support the rest of the building.VENTILATION- There are numerous features in the traditional Malay housethat are geared towards providing effective ventilation.This is shown by the many voids of the building in its windows, ventilation grillesand panels; the open stilted bottom; and its open interiors with minimumpartitions.
CROSS VENTILATION- The house is raised on stilts to catch winds of a highervelocity.The elongated structure of the traditional Malay house with minimal partitions inthe interior, allows easy passage of air and cross-ventilation.The carved wooden panels and wooden grilles in the house are also effectiveventilation devices.VENTILATION AT BODY LEVEL- Windows are plentiful in the Malay houseand since the body level is the most vital area for ventilation, full-length fullyopenable windows are used.VENTILATION AT ROOF SPACES- The sail-like (gable end) of the roof is used totrap and direct air to ventilate the roof space.Ventilation joints in the roof called the patah are another creative ventilationdevice used to ventilate the roof space.Besides ensuring adequate ventilation in the interior of the house, winds from theexterior are also encouraged to flow through the house.The random arrangement of the houses and the careful planting and selection oftrees ensure that winds are not blocked for the houses in the latter path of thewind.
RAISED FLOOR- The raised floor being a key element of the local vernaculararchitecture, has its advantages.ADVANTAGES OF A RAISED FLOOR ARE :•Using stilts enables the building to work better with the natural terrain, when itcomes to creating a level floor.•In low lying, flood prone areas, raised dwellings will not be seriously affected byflash floods.•The raised floor also provides the occupants with an increased level of privacy asthere is no direct visual connection at eye level from the streets.•Levels of internal thermal comfort are increased as direct heat from the ground isdiffused and the raised level optimizes the opportunity for the interiors to benaturally ventilated with land breezes.
MATERIALS -The lightweight construction of the Malay house with minimum mass and muchvoids, using low-thermal-capacity and high-insulation materials, is mostappropriate for thermal comfort in climate.The wood, bamboo and attap used have good insulating properties and they retainor conduct little heat into the building.OVERHANGS AND EXPOSED VERTICAL AREAS -Solar radiation is effectively controlled by the large thatched Malay house roofwith large overhangs.The large overhangs which provide good shading also provide good protectionagainst driving rain.They also allow the windows to be left open most of the time for ventilation, evenduring the rain.The walls of the house are low, thus effectively reducing the vertical areas of thehouse exposed to solar radiation.The low walls also make the task of shading easier.
The Malay house is also designed to controldirect exposure to heat from direct sunlight.ORIENTATION -Traditionally, many Malay houses are orientedto face Mecca for religious reasons.This East-West orientation of the housereduces the exposure of the house to directsolar radiation.VEGETATION -The compound of the house is also often heavily shaded with trees and coveredwith vegetation.This sets the house in a cooler environment, by the trees and vegetation notabsorbingand storing heat from solar radiation and reradiating it into the environment.
Renewable and natural materials like timber and bamboo were used for theconstruction.They often constructed their dwellings without any use of metal including nails.The Malays used pre-cut holes and grooves to fit the timber building elementsinto one another,effectively making it a‘Prefabricated house’.Ropes were used to fasten bamboopieces together.In fact for short distances, the nail-freeflexibility and relatively lightweight timbereven allowed a house to be lifted onmany shoulders and carried to anotherspot.
The traditional Malay house is primarily a timberstructure, built off the ground using the post-and-beam method by local carpenters or by the ownersthemselves. Its walls are usually made of timber, althoughbamboo is still used in certain areas. Numerous full-length windows line the walls, providing both ventilation and a view outside. The high-pitched, gabled roof, which dominates the house, was traditionally covered with thatch but is now more often covered with galvanized iron.
The traditional Malay house isprimarily a timber structure, builtoff the ground using the post-and-beam method by local carpenters orby the owners themselves. Its walls are usually made oftimber, although bamboo is stillused in certain areas. Numerous full-length windows linethe walls, providing bothventilation and a view outside.The high-pitched, gabledroof, which dominates thehouse, was traditionally coveredwith thatch but is now more oftencovered with galvanized iron.
A timber house with a post and lintel structure raised on stilts, with wooden, bamboo, or thatched walls and a thatched roof, the house is designed to suit the tropical climate. Houses were raised on stilts and piles to avoid wild animals, to be above floods, to deter thieves and for added ventilation. The elevation of the house and its windows, holed carvings and slatted panels around the walls and thatch or clay tile roofs all contribute to the cooling ambience.Malay palaces up to five or sixstoreys high built entirely in nail-free timber.Numerous full-length windowslinethe walls, provide both ventilationand a view outside
Roofs were classified in two broad categories-•Roof with gable ends•Roof with pyramidal variations Traditional house roofs also always have wide overhangs for Shading and protection from heavy tropical downpours. Roofshave beautifully carved timber eaves to decorate the ‘visual connection’ between roof and sky.
Various traditional houses can be identified in Peninsular Malaysia.They are classified mainly by their roof shapes.The basic houseforms are the bumbung panjang, bumbung lima, bumbung perak andbumbung limas.The most common houseform is the bumbung panjang, characterised by a long gable roof. The bumbung panjang houses are the oldest identified in Peninsular Malaysia, many ofthem being over a hundred years old and still in good condition.The bumbung panjang is the simplest of the four houseforms.It has a simple gable roof, supported by kingposts.The most common roofing material used for the bumbung panjang is the attap (a thatchmade from nipah and other palm trees found in the local natural vegetation).
The basic house forms are classified according to form of its bumbung(roof). 1. Bumbung panjang 2. Bumbung lima 3. Bumbung perak and 4. Bumbung limas.2. Bumbung lima•house has a hipped roof,3. Bumbung perak•House has a gambrel roof and4. Bumbung limas•House has the pyramidal roof.
1. The bumbung panjangis the simplest of the four houseformsIt has a simple gable roof, supported by kingposts.The most common roofing material used for the bumbungpanjang is the attap (athatch made from nipah and other palm trees found in the local natural vegetation).The simple bumbungpanjang roof-form is most efficient in its ventilation properties.Its simple funnel shape, the use of ventilation grilles at its gable ends (tebarlayar)andthe use of ventilation joints allow good ventilation of the roof, space which cools thehouse effectively.The roof is simple and easy to construct, and this partly explains the popularity of thishouse form among the poorer villagers and those who build houses themselves.The bumbungpanjang, due to its simplicity, is a very efficient roof-form for makingadditions to the house.
Basically, the traditional Malay house can be divided into the front and back portionswhich arecentred around the rumah ibu(the core house) andthe dapur (kitchen) respectively.At the entrances, stairs leadup to a covered porch called theanjung. The porch acts as a goodtransition spacebetween the public and theprivate domains.The anjung also acts as animportant focal point for theentrance. Unfamiliarvisitors and guests areentertained here.
these indigenous materials is efficient and harmonizes with nature whilstproviding effective protection against the elements.•While maintaining the authenticy of Malay image and culture, variousapproaches in blending the indigenous building materials are applied to, such asto ensure efficient heat transfer, to maintain effective ventilation and to protectfrom direct sunshine thus regulating indoor temperature.•Thermal comfort within the house is an important factors hence the choice ofbuilding materials with low thermal capacity.•The materials used tend to be lightweight and therefore do not retain heat forlong periods of time (low thermal mass).•All the materials depict an intellectual understanding of local materials whichare easily adapted and crafted towards emphasizing on a well balanced sustainabledevelopment.
FLOOR -•The floor is raised to about two metres from the ground and is usually made ofwood from the ficus plant species or wooden planks from the sawmil.•There are also those that are made from strips of palm trunk or from hollowbamboo about 5-6 cm wide.•These strips are arranged on top of joists called the rasuk , ruk and gelegar. •Between each piece of wood or strips , there are gaps of about 2cm so that the house does not float away in the event of a flood. •In addition , there is a wooden beam , called bendul encircling the outer regions of the floor of a house , forming a frame for the floor of the house , as well as within the house , serving to divide the house into its various rooms and sections.
PILLARS -•The house sits on 12 or 16 main pillars called tiang seri or tiang adat.•These are made of cengal , marbau or damar wood and come in different shapes :round , square or octagonal.•Some houses have straight pillars whereas some are cut so that the bottom of thepillar is bigger than the top , resulting in a more stable pillar. •The foot of the pillar is called kaki gajah (literallly elephant’s foot). •Pillars are not planted into the ground but just laid onto a base made of cut stone, bricks or concrete. •Pillars are not planted into the ground because due to regular unrest or outbreak of disease , there was sometimes a need to shift to safer areas