In the Heat of Summer: passive cooling in Spain

It’s spring! Jackets are put away and terrace cafes are filling up. Soon the covers for the swimming pools will be removed and children are counting down to the school holidays as Spain prepares itself for the summer season.

Right now we all enjoy the temperature with doors and windows open and lots of lovely fresh air in the homes. However, soon the summer heat will make many of our homes uncomfortably hot. The immediate response from most people is to turn on the air conditioning. But while this provides temporary relieve from the heat, it also relieves us from a fair bit of cash, maybe even more so than it did for heating during winter, and it doesn’t do any favors to our health or the environment.

Article 4 of the EPBD (European Performance of Buildings Directive) mentions this issue when addressing the importance of indoor climate conditions:

“Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that minimum energy performance requirements for buildings are set … These requirements shall take account of general indoor climate conditions, in order to avoid possible negative effects…”.

This is also listed in the annex of the EPBD:

“The methodology of calculation of energy performances of buildings shall include…

(d) ventilation;…
(h) natural ventilation;…
(i) indoor climatic conditions, including the designed indoor climate.”

Most people know that much can be done to keep in the heat during winter, but fewer realize that the exact same changes can also help keep the heat out in summer. This is why an Eco Vida home is constructed with passive and holistic design principles to almost completely eliminate heat losses and gains. It maximizes comfort but reduces energy consumption by 70-90%.

Read more:
Air Powered Air-Con – How Cool is That?
House Orientation for Efficiency in Spain