Skip to main content

Southern porches help reduce the cooling demand on houses in hot-humid climates through using passive strategies that work with natural surroundings.


In Portico Eastern Shore‘s article titled Creating the Perfect Fall Porch written by Frank Stickney, WATERSHED’s Rebecca Bryant gives practical advice on how to update existing outdoor living spaces to better complement their environment. When asked about what a warming climate means for our outdoor living spaces, Rebecca told Frank, “I think that porches are more important to have because of a warming climate. By buffering a house from the sun, they help reduce cooling demand. And I have new appreciation for how houses designed with good porches – shading and natural ventilation are much more resilient after a storm or in a power outage. We survived an extended HVAC outage last July by opening our windows and french doors to the screened porch. The “thermal chimney effect” is a great way to create air movement even if there is no wind – the hot air exhausts out the upper windows and draws cooler air in the lower ones. On the coast, we really need these passive strategies to keep people safe and buildings habitable after a storm event or during a power outage.”

Check out the whole article for more of Frank and Rebecca’s discussion connecting the dots between the porch as a symbol of the past, and the porch as part of a resilient future.


Creating the Perfect Fall Porch