住宅の寒さ対策

標準

北海道の冬はとてつもなく寒い。地域によっては気温が氷点下20℃に迫るところもあります。

そんな極寒の地で暮らす北海道民は、住まいにどのような工夫をしているのでしょうか?

 今回は北海道旅行から離れて、北海道の住宅における寒さ対策を調べてみました。そのなかでは、本州に住む私たちが気付かなかった視点での工夫がいろいろとありました。私たちも真似できる、冬を快適に過ごすヒントが見つかるかもしれません。

 北海道で暮らす上で、やっかいなのが雪です。ひと晩に何mと積もることがあり、屋根には相当の重量がかかります。そのため雪を滑りやすくするため、屋根の傾斜はきつく、トタン張りです。
 しかし最近は、雪の少ない都市部では融雪装置のついたフラット型の屋根も増えています。(ちなみに瓦屋根は、寒さで凍ったり雪下ろしの際に足で踏んで壊れたりするので、道内では少数派だとか)なお、雪の重みで壊れてしまうので、雨どいは付けません。

 落ちた雪についても考慮しており、積もった雪が日光を遮らないよう家の窓を高い位置につけたり、落雪事故にならないよう隣家との距離も決められたりしています。
 玄関口のところにサンルームのような小部屋を作っているのを良く見ますが、このミニスペースは風除室・玄関フードと呼ばれ、雨風の吹き込みや、室内の温かい空気が逃げるのを防ぎます。
 積もった雪で玄関ドアが開かなくなることへの対策にもなっており、ちょっとした物置として雪かきの道具を置いている家庭もあるといいます。

 家を建てる際の基礎も、地中は深く作り、地上部分は積雪量の分高くします。一例として北見地域では、地上40cm+地下120cmで計160cmの基礎を打つということです。地下が1.2mとかなり深いですが、そうしないと冬、地中の水分が凍って霜柱のように地面を持ち上げ、家が歪んでしまうからなのだそうです。
 この現象は「凍上」と言い、初めて聞く言葉ですが、北国の建築業者には基本の用語のようです。家が持ち上がるほどの霜柱とは…「寒い」の規模が想像以上ですね。深く掘った地下部分には、外では凍結してしまう配管を置きます。屋内では地下収納スペースに活用されています。

 家の中を見てみましょう。まず、壁の断熱材は2倍、3倍と厚く入れます。窓は二重窓で、さらにペアガラス。予算がある場合はトリプルガラスにする方もいます。サッシには冷えるアルミをなるべく使わずに、断熱効果の高い樹脂や木にします。
 もちろんドアも断熱効果の高い樹脂や木の断熱ドアです。トイレやお風呂場などの水まわりは、凍って開かなくなるので窓をつけないのが通例でしたが、さきほど挙げた断熱素材の普及で最近では増えてきました。

 暖房は、「セントラルヒーティング」が主流です。これは1カ所のボイラーから各部屋に熱を送る集中暖房システムで、各部屋には熱を放射するパネルヒーターが設置されており、家中を常時21℃~23℃に暖めてくれます。灯油ストーブなどとは違い空気もクリーンなままで、火事ややけどの心配もありません。
 床暖房もセットなので、室内はかなりぽっかぽか。北海道の冬は本州よりむしろ快適だったりします。「家では半袖半パンでアイスクリームを食べてるよ」なんて軽口がたたけるのはこのような構造だったからなのですね。その代わり、灯油の消費量は半端ではありません。北海道ではお給料に「寒冷地・暖房手当」という項目があるのもその為です。

いかがでしたか?私達も取り入れられそうな工夫が随所に見られますね。ただし、北海道で開発された高断熱・高気密住宅工法をそのまま持ってくるのは慎重にしましょう。北海道には梅雨という時期がありません。梅雨がある本州では、高い湿度のため結露などの問題が発生する懸念があります。そこは、住まいの気候をよく知る地元の大工さんとよく相談するのが最終的には安心のようです。

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