Article information sourced from Complete Homes
If you’ve almost settled on a new home design, make sure you’ve settled on the right site orientation first. Your ideal floor plan might look terrific, but you also need to ensure it is compatible with the local climate, access to light, winds, soil drainage, sloping, and a whole host of other factors. Here are some of the things you should consider with site orientation when choosing your new home design.
Conduct some climate research for your new home design
The best orientation for your new home design will depend on your heating and cooling needs. Are you looking for a site that will allow passive cooling or heating, or a combination of both? Study the local climate and consider temperature ranges, humidity, the direction of cooling breezes and hot winds, any seasonal extremes, and the impact of the local landscape.
The sun is one of the most important sources of light, and making good use of sunlight can reduce your energy bills. The aim in designing a house is to bring natural sunlight into every room, without overheating them in summer.
Think about the way each section of your house will be used, and plan accordingly. For example, you might position your kitchen and breakfast room in the southeast corner to capture the morning sun. Sitting rooms and entertaining areas might be best set on the southwest side to catch the afternoon sun.
As our climate gets warmer, homes will need to make the best use of natural cooling elements. Positioning doors and windows to capture cool breezes can make all the difference in making sure your home stays comfortable. For hot or humid climates, it’s generally beneficial to make sure the longest walls of your house face north. This orientation will maximise your home’s exposure to the sun during winter, but minimise it during summer.
Not only does the sun provide natural light to the home, it’s also an important source of heat and energy. If you are concerned about the energy efficiency of your house, or you simply want to reduce your electricity bills, there are several things to consider when it comes to site orientation.
If you plan to install solar panels, position your house so that its longest axis runs from east to west. That way, the layout of the house will follow the natural path of the sun and it can absorb as much of its light as possible during the day.
You should also check the site for any elements that might block out the sun. For example, a large hill, rock formations, or tall trees can hinder your house’s exposure to sunlight, reducing the solar benefits ordinarily available to an energy efficient home. But on the other hand, hills and trees can also be an asset. They can shelter your home from harsh winds during winter, and provide shade during summer (so you won’t need to use your air-conditioning as much).
If you need a hand choosing the best builder partner that can advise you on your site orientation and new home design, call our expert phones team on 1800 184 284 or request a call back.
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