In addition to the need for food and clothing it is essential that man find or build a shelter to shield or protect himself from weather elements. This has always been a prime requirement for survival. Since climate and weather conditions vary from place to place, man has learned to design or build shelters that best suit local necessities. He also had to take into consideration the availability of nearby building materials and ways to protect himself from animals and enemies.
Generally in cold regions of the world, shelters had to be built to keep out snow, cold, and freezing winds. In hot, dry areas man was concerned with a burning sun and scorching winds. In the wet, hot lands the inhabitants of those climates had to construct shelters that would offer suitable refuge from heavy rains as well as the direct rays of a blazing sun. In more temperate climates man had to figure out ways to build shelters that could best adjust to the seasonal changes of both cold and hot temperatures, or dry and rainy months. Over the centuries improvements evolved in building dwellings; however, certain basic features and architectural designs tended to remain intact as efficient ways to contend with unique climates of a particular region.
In the tropics and other areas of hot temperatures at low latitudes, the nearly vertical sun makes its effect very intense and enervating for all humans. The air, which is hot and humid, increases body discomfort, necessitating shelters with wide roof overhangs to provide much-needed shade. Cone-shaped, thatched roof huts were and are common in equatorial areas. They gave protection from the sun and their pitched roof provided runoff from jungle rain. They are often assembled with parts of a matted wall that can be raised like curtains to allow the entry of outside air. Many are set on bamboo stilts or piles to allow air circulation beneath the floor in order to prevent interior dampness. This practice is prominent in Southeast Asia. Some huts are open-walled to get the