Malaysia: Malay House

  • Doris Hooi Chyee Toe


This chapter discusses the environmental value, in particular the indoor and outdoor living environment for thermal comfort, of a fine example of the Malaysian vernacular architecture – Malay house. Malaysia is located close to the equator with hot and humid conditions year-round at lowland areas. The Malay house is known as a well-ventilated detached building of elevated timber structure usually seen in the rural villages with many trees in its surroundings. The work presented here is based on field measurement in two traditional Malay houses in Pontian, Malaysia. The results showed that the indoor air temperatures in the front living halls were higher than the outdoor air temperatures by 1 °C during daytime under open window conditions and 2 °C at night under closed window conditions on average. The outdoor air temperature at the Malay house sites was lower than that of typical modern urban housing site by 1.7 °C on average. The passive cooling techniques emphasize shading from direct and diffuse solar radiation, maintaining a cool outdoor microclimate, and reducing the temperature of the outdoor air before entering the lightweight house for bodily cooling by cross ventilation.


Vernacular architecture Hot-humid climate Thermal comfort Natural ventilation Malay house Malaysia 



The field measurement was funded by the Asahi Glass Foundation and the G.ecbo/GELS Winter 2010 Internship Program of Hiroshima University. Special thanks are extended to the editors of this book, Professor Dr. Mohd Hamdan Ahmad of the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, the Malay households and students who assisted in the fieldwork.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Doris Hooi Chyee Toe
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Built EnvironmentUniversiti Teknologi MalaysiaSkudaiMalaysia

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