The Relevance of Siting & Orientation in Energy Efficient Design

(a) Orientation

House orientation is very important in an energy efficient home.
The angle of the sun changes between winter and summer so good house design can benefit substantially from considering this simple fact. Two identical houses facing different directions will behave very differently and the amounts of energy each house requires to maintain interior comfort will also be different.

Proper house orientation and design should enable winter sun to flood the house interior adding natural light and warmth. Proper house orientation and design should also prevent unwanted summer sun from entering your home and provide cool shaded outdoor areas.

Recommended basic design for a house is that it be elongated and facing north. Having living areas (eg. lounge and family rooms) on the northern side of the house is also good solar passive design.

b) Siting Considerations

Picking a particular site upon which to build your home is a balancing act. It can often be a trade-off between solar efficiency (ie. orientation) and the natural attributes of the building block (lifestyle factors). For example it would not make sense to orient your house towards the north for passive solar advantages if that meant that you were looking at your next door neighbour's pig farm when your west view was to distant snow-capped mountains.

There is no "one size fits all" solution to how to site and orient your home. There are, however, many different ways to get the best advantages possible from your particular building site (e.g. landscaping, pergolas with shade battens, etc.). These solutions require astute design knowledge and professional advice which Post & Beam can provide.

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