Roofing System for Arid Environment

By Aditya A. Bahl

A roof canopy system was designed for a small residence (a “pocket lodge”) for the seasonal rangers at Joshua National Park, California. The lodge was developed to respond to the human comfort needs of the
rangers with the roof canopy helping the building respond to extreme climate of the park. The pocket lodge is made mainly of precast concrete with the design of the south and north walls as thermal batteries storing solar energy within as heat or cool night air. The concept can manage heating and cooling loads based on user requirements and reduce the dependence on HVAC systems. Apart from generating sufficient electricity through the photovoltaic panels on top of the module, the roofing system assists the four walls in achieving thermal comfort by providing adequate shading and preventing direct sunlight from entering the interiors. It consists of foldable panels on the west and east end and a horizontally extended canopy providing shade to the southern facing wall. Moreover, it also obtains the responsibility of dumping heat when required by following the methods of dynamic insulation and ventilation.