Rural Khmer house
Rural Khmer houses are a traditional house types of the Khmer people.Typically, rural Khmer houses are rectangular two-storey buildings, varying in size from 4 metres (13 ft) by 6 metres (20 ft) to about 6 by 10 metres (33 ft). The basic structure consists of a wooden frame, and the roof is erected before the walls on the upper floor are inserted. The roof frame defines the type of the house: a gabled roof (Phteah Rông Daol), a hipped roof (Phteah Pét), the Khmer house (Phteah Keung) with a roof shape sometimes called a bonnet roof or shikoro in Japanese. In Battambong province most houses have open spaces beneath the roof. They are called Phteah Rông Doeung, which may be derived from thbal kdoeung, meaning that a rice mill was stored at the back of the house under a second awning. A common feature in every type of house is a 5–10 cm gap, on all four sides, between the top of the wall of the upper floor and the roof.Dwellings are raised on stilts that sometimes extend as high as 3 metres (9.8 ft) off the ground. In this way, annual floods do not affect the main room in the houses of rice farmers, whereas rural farmers are able to use the ground level area beneath the house for working and to provide shelter for livestock. One or two wooden ladders, ramps or staircases provide access to the upper floor. The simplest houses consist of only one room on the upper floor, partitioned off to provide a storage place for rice, a bedroom for the parents, and a further space for unmarried daughters.The upper floor generally consists of one large room. The main part of this room, the area where visitors are received, is defined by four central pillars; in this space there will be a figure of Buddha, a television, and a battery-operated electric light in the centre attached to the pillars. The parents’ sleeping space is situated either to the left or the right of the central entrance; textiles are often hung to separate this area from the rest of the room. To the back of the upper floor, on the left, is a space for the girls, whilst the boys have a space reserved for them on the right. This arrangement may vary from one family to another, but children are always separated by gender and placed at the back of the house. Other variations in position relative to the main central area are possible, but this room, with a figure of Buddha, television and battery-operated light, always remains the most important area.Despite indoor and outdoor temperatures of 36 °C (97 °F) and up to 80% relative humidity the old rural Khmer houses are very comfortable, both at ground level and on the upper floor. In spite of the absence of electric or mechanical air conditioning, a draught-free environment appears to be attained simply by means of natural ventilation.