How to improve your micro climate in Lagos

There is no doubt that Lagos is the economic, commercial and industrial nerve centre of not only Nigeria but West Africa. This in turn connotes rapid population growth, reduction of natural vegetation cover to make way for buildings, including pollution from waste generation, commercial activities, factories among other features that characterizes a mega city like Lagos.

In other words, the temperature in Lagos is warmer than that of neighboring Ogun state-on a large scale. While on a smaller scale, the temperature in Lagos Island, Apapa, Ikeja is warmer than that of Ikorodu, Epe, Badagry and Alimosho all due to noticeable differences in surface characteristics, human activities, industrial/commercial activities as well as vegetation cover.

Have you ever experienced such?

Then, if you live in Lagos and wish to modify your micro climate, the following 6 tips may be useful for you:

1) Plant “cover trees” in your compound: This is very necessary for those that have compounds. Trees are known for removing excess greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. They also help provide valuable shade and moderate heat gain in homes. Not forgetting that it releases the oxygen that we breath in.

2) Use colors with high intrinsic brightness for your paintings: When next you decide to paint your house, use bright colours. It is worth noting that bright colour easily reflect incoming solar radiation while darker colours absorbs – Same with the surface of your walls (rough surfaces absorbs heats than smooth surfaces). Same applies to your roofing sheets.

3) Reduce the height of your fence: I know many will disagree with this due security reasons but that doesn’t mean we should build our houses like a maximum prison facility which is originally known to have high fences with barbed electric wires. Let’s go back to the fence designs of the 1960s.

4) Replace concrete floors/interlocking stones with grasses or just leave as a bare surface: Compounds with grasses or bare surface are usually cooler than those laced with concrete and interlocking stones.

5) Change Your Building Orientation: Most architects and builders are aware of building climatology.  Hence, discuss with your architect or builder on this issue so that your building orientation does not obstruct wind direction.

6) Maximise climate resources around you: This refers to the use of rain water harvesting (for those without water source), solar energy, biogas for cooking and heating from your kitchen waste amongst many others.

Above all. it’s all about your thermal comfort/lifestyle and not about your social class.

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