After reading this chapter you should be able to:

appreciate the main physical functions of buildings in tropical climates;

describe the factors that must be considered in creating an acceptable living and working environment;

discuss links between these factors and the design of buildings in tropical climates;

recognize the sources and nature of loadings applied to building elements in tropical climates and the ways in which they affect those elements; and

appreciate the influence of the choices of materials and the selection of design features on building performance.