Compared to a mabati house it’s easy to see how a house made of our panels could provide greater security, fire protection, and more dignified living. Something we hadn’t considered until after the construction was complete was just how much cooler it was inside the house during the day. In mabati house the metal surface heats up to a point where it is almost too hot to touch. The heat then conducts through the thin metal sheets to the air inside the home.
With the use of a temperature data logger, that takes up to 32,000 data points, we were able to monitor the temperature patterns within the Kwangu Kwako home and compare it to that of a mabati home. When we first did this test we had only one data logger so we were not able to take readings of the two homes simultaneously, this meant our readings were subject to weather differentiation and were not ideal for drawing accurate comparisons. However, we had a look anyway to see if there were any distinct differences.
The Original Prototype House - as used for the tests
After leaving the thermometer inside the Kwangu Kwako prototype house and a nearby mabati home, we found the highest temperature readings each day differed greatly. Inside the mabati home the highest temperature recorded was 41.1°C while the prototype’s was only 33.3°C, a 7.8°C difference! At these temperatures 7.8°C makes a huge difference in the health and wellbeing for the occupants of these homes. It’s this sort of difference that allows a child to do their homework or a sick person to have the energy to fight their illness. This unexpected advantage gave us the motivation to seek out proper readings to see how our house performed in other areas.
About a month later we were able to source two more thermometers. This meant that we were now able to take readings from three locations simultaneously, the prototype house, a nearby mabati house and the air temperature outside. I was excited about these new temperature data loggers and the amount of data they could store and made the mistake using all 32,000 data point for all three loggers. So 96,000 data points later I had 10 days’ worth of temperature readings on a 30 second interval … which was about 1000% more data than I needed and beyond what my computer could handle. So after cutting out 90% of the data I had something I could manage. Don’t worry! None of the data that was discarded held anything that would significantly change the results. From the data I was able to create this graph showing the temperature fluctuations over 8 days.
It’s easy to see how the temperature fluctuations are dampened by the Kwangu Kwako house. On average the maximum temperature was 5.1°C cooler than a traditional mabati house, at night it was 1.1°C warmer than mabati, and the temperature remained between a comfortable 20°C and 25°C for an extra 1.4 hours a day!
We now have concrete evidence that our home will truly provide a healthier environment for a family to live in! These results were good but since the volume to surface area ratio of the mabati house (i.e - it was a bigger house than the Kwangu Kwako one) was higher these results are likely skewed in favor of the mabati house.