Why thatch and sloped roof is common in Asia?

May 10, 2017 WorldMaster



If you visit any coastal city in Asia, and travel in and around the country, what you would find is an abundance of local architecture. Amidst the finery and color, one of the distinct features you would find is thatch and sloped roof. These beautiful houses of thatch are not only elegant but they add provide a tribal indigenous feel.




Whether you believe it or not, thatched roof have been with us from the beginning of time. They existed even before the pyramids of ancient Egypt. Roof Thatching has been traditionally passed down from generation to generation utilizing different available local materials. The main ingredient is usually palms and grass but the varieties of grass are as diverse as the countries where these roofs are built.


You might be wondering that if thatch has existed this long, why we don’t find them on the ancient history books? The reason is that this beautiful and striking architecture material is very easily decayed. Most of the remaining buildings have withered together with their wooden posts and floor. What remains are the base of stone. (if in case it used stone)


Thatch roof is common not just in Asia but also in the Pacific, South America and Africa. They also form an alternative roofing material in the Middle East and Southern and Northern Europe. In Asia, thatch roof is common in the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, KoreaIndiaPakistanSri LankaJapan and China. The roof is held together by wooden or bamboo posts and members.





There are many reasons why thatch and sloped roof is common to Asia. The first reason is the locations unavailability of earth and stone plus an overwhelming abundance of grass and palms. The second reason is that thatch like earth and stone are good insulators of heat. They also allow air to breathe through compared to stone or concrete. Third, abundant rainfall in these local areas such that mud-roof slabs would be washed out. Thatch roof have a great ability to channel water from dripping into the interior of the house. This leads us to the last feature: the sloped roof. Thatch roof are usually sloped to allow the movement of water from the higher levels of the roof pitch to the lower levels on the sides. The slope also increases the air volume and keeps the hot air on the top of the house interior.  Thatch roof are designed to have vents where these hot air can escape and be replenished by new breezes.


Now that we know why thatch roof is the choice of people in South, Central and East Asia. Thatch is low cost, available and has good insulation properties. Beyond cost, it is also organically appealing. Its exotic mysticism transports us to tribal cultures we might never find in our sanitized modern world.


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