Infrastructure

Southeast Asia’s air conditioning is burning up the Earth

by Kenneth Wee

Few things feel better than a gust of chilly air when walking into a mall on a hot day—especially now that the dry monsoon season is here. But most air conditioned buildings in our cities are too cold—and they’re burning up the planet.

Southeast Asia’s air conditioning is burning up the Earth
How does an air conditioning unit work?
Burning the planet to sweat less
But is air conditioning a necessary evil in the tropics?
So, how might we cool ourselves sustainably?
Building better in the tropics
Shading

Sun shading using an overhang, a common technique in the tropics.

Ventilation

Cross-ventilation and stack ventilation in a modern building. Adapted from Mogave Architects.

Vegetation

Illustrated example of rooftop plant cover. Adapted from MIT Climate CoLab.

Governments must lead the drive for sustainable cooling
Disclaimer: Our stories have been researched and fact-checked to the best of our abilities. Should you spot mistakes, inaccuracies, or have queries about our sources, please drop us an e-mail at hello@kontinentalist.com
Kenneth Wee / Editor and Content Strategist

Kenneth handles content strategy and editorial at Kontinentalist. In his free time, he makes coffee, cooks, skateboards, and chases curious ideas.

Credits
Illustration & infographics / Griselda Gabriele
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