Impacts of Changes to Traditional Buildings and Materials in a Tropical Rain Forest Area in Southwest China: a case study of Xishuangbanna

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This paper addresses the issues of how to achieve comfort in the moderate to extreme climate of southwest China in the area known as Xishuangbanna. This is an autonomous prefecture designated for the Dai ethnic group located in the south of Yunnan Province, which borders both Myanmar and Laos. It has extensive areas of lowland tropical rain forest. Dry and rainy seasons occur with significant rainfall occurring during the wet season between May and October. Traditional bamboo and timber buildings evolved to accommodate the wet and hot climate including being raised above the ground. Contemporary buildings are constructed using concrete and brick, together with traditional materials. The authors visited the Dai area and surveyed villagers’ houses, and gathered weather data for the Mengla area in Xishuangbanna for analysis using bioclimatic techniques. The results showed that natural ventilation cooling, internal heat gains and sun-shading of windows are most effective passive measures to control internal comfort. The authors suggest that there is an opportunity to improve comfort and reduce the requirements for cooling and heating systems in dwellings by adopting climate sensitive design
approach. This requires integration of traditional building techniques and materials with support from appropriate
craftsmen and professionals.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of Comfort At The Extremes Conference Proceedings
Subtitle of host publicationCATE 21
EditorsAliya Al-Hashim, Saleh Al-Saadi, Hannan Al-Khatri
PublisherSultan Qaboos University
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9789996949517
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jun 2022
EventComfort At The Extremes - Sultanate of Oman, Miscat, Oman
Duration: 24 Oct 202126 Oct 2021
Conference number: 21


ConferenceComfort At The Extremes
Abbreviated titleCATE'21
Internet address


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