Swamp Coolers Out of the Question Here!
I finally looked up "swamp coolers" and found out what they were. No wonder they were never discussed in this area....
Those are evaporative coolers, and they are great where the climate is dry and the humidity is basically low. Definitely NOT here in south Alabama!
But I could see them being useful and cheap to operate in places like Arizona, if you had a source of water to evaporate. They say that sometimes it evaporates up to 15 gallons of water a day.
One way of cooling that I like in a hot and humid climate, would be what the structures in Asian jungles do. Sort of a peaked roof. The building on stilts. And around the outer and lower rim of the bottom floor are air vents, or maybe the sides of the walls roll up and allow a chimney effect of the hot air to rise to a central opening in the center of the roof. I onnce designed a house like this for a friend. I also designed a bed suspended on a platform in the center of the pyramid of walls, so that sleeping space was just under the roof opening. That is idea if you believe in the restorative powers of pyramids.
The spaces below this would be the utility core of the house. Maybe even the kitchen and the bathroom. Around the outer edges would be social areas, for sitting, doing your pleasurable tasks, an office, and totally open with movable walls made of screens.
Such a free flowing supply of air would work in a humid climate such as ours, and more so if it was in zone 9 where minimum temps were never below freezing. But changing the vents from sucking in fresh air to sucking in air from heating ducts would not be too hard to allow for.
Anyway, thinking about swamp coolers reminded me of this really pretty style of construction that works in some parts of the world.