Cooling Your Home with Secondary Skin and Third Skin

Ridwan Kamil House
Ridwan Kamil's House at Bandung, Indonesia

A tropical house offers a lot of advantages for those who live in a tropical climate. By designing a home that fits the climate, you can reduce your energy costs and make your life more pleasant, and everyone would definitely love it. This kind of house is usually installed with many big windows.  A lot of sunlight entering the interior will help you reduce your energy costs.

However, sometimes a tropical house is just not as ideal as what had been expected, moreover when the house faces to the west. The afternoon sunlight which directly enters the interior will make your house feel so hot. Some people have no idea to cope with this situation except installing an air conditioner or adding curtains. Simple solutions. Installing more curtains does reduce the amount of the sunlight entering the room, yet the airflow would be sacrificed. If it happens, the hot air will be trapped in the house. It means that your house’s interior will still feel hot. Meanwhile, the installation of air conditioner is a short term solution which is not environmentally friendly. What should we do then? We need another smart solution for this wrong-designed tropical house. And thanks to the smart architects and home designers, there is another best solution; installing secondary skin.

Secondary skin is a second layer of a house’s walls. The function of secondary skin is simply to retain the sunlight to enter the house directly; it is not to block the sunlight. By installing it, we still can preserve the airflow. The following picture shows the main functions of secondary skin. The air still can enter the house freely, yet the sunlight cannot enter it directly.

Secondary Skin House for Tropic Country
Secondary Skin House for Tropic Country (

Secondary skin should become a part of the facade design. It means that secondary skin is designed to beautify the house just like in the white building below. This building look unique and different with white steel secondary skin.

White Steel Secondary Skin
The facade comes up with white steel secondary skin which creates a distinctive and unique appearance. (

We can see the beauty of secondary skin with a combination of natural stones and wood in the following picture.

Home Protection with Secondary Skin Made From Wood and Cement
Home Protection with Secondary Skin Made From Wood and Cement (ezahafiza)

The problem is, sometimes the house is already finished, and changing the facade will cost a lot. Still, there is a way out. To deal with this problem, you can modify your fences with bamboo and add plants. The function of this modified fence is the same with secondary skin’s. Yet, since it is installed on the fences, we can call it third skin.

There are still various ways you can do to make your house more artistic. For example, you can wood instead of bamboo. You definitely have your own creative imagination for this.

Eco Friendly Home Design 

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