In Pohnpei, the nahs is the traditional house. It has a rectangular footprint with three partial walls that allow air circulation and one end wall that is completely open. The open wall is the primary and ceremonial entrance to the house, though some nahs do have other doorways to the outside. Inside the nahs, there is a raised platform that extends off the three existing walls forming a "U" configuration. This raised area is where most of the living and entertaining occurs; the family also sleeps together in this open area. I have seen this raised platform framed so as to allow air circulation and also built up with stone or even concrete. The location at the end of the nahs opposite the entrance is reserved as the place for the head of the family, a position of respect. The interior of the nahs, with the exception of the raised perimeter area, is open to the ground.
Outbuildings are used for food preparation and cooking, and often one outbuilding houses a bathhouse/restroom. In actuality, a traditional house in Pohnpei has a configuration more like a compound, distributing the activities of the home throughout, while maintaining the nahs as the ceremonial center of the home. Traditionally, the nahs maintained a comfortable temperature because of the shade allowed by the thatch roof; the roof overhang shaded the interior, further reducing the impact of the tropical sun.
With the introduction of the government-financed concrete houses, new nahs are seldom built today. The few new nahs I saw were of a poorly modified design; they were constructed of concrete, had corrugated galvanized steel roofs, and their proportions were dwarfed with the addition of attached rooms. The older nahs that I studied have not fared much better. With the introduction and adaptation of imported materials, specifically, corrugated roofing in place of the traditional thatching, the once cool interior is now more similar to a solar oven.
The best preserved traditional nahs I saw was in Nett. It was less than 25 years old and built for the Naniken of Nett in the traditional manner. The Naniken in Pohnpei is the chief of a municipality. Nett is one of five municipalities in Pohnpei.