Home orientation: North or South facing?
There are many things to consider when building a home – location, block size, type of home, layout of the home etc. We could go on and on but instead here’s another one for you – Home orientation. Does it matter what direction your new home is facing? Is this a priority for you?
We have put together the following points to to give you a better understanding of your homes optimum orientation. Of course when you build with WA Contry Builders our designers will do all the work for you!
Principles of good orientation
It is important to consider the orientation of the home in relation to seasonal variations in the sun’s path as well as prevailing wind patterns. Good home orientation can reduce or even eliminate the need for supplementary heating and cooling, resulting in lower energy bills, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and improved comfort. If your site is not ideally orientated, there are strategies you can implement for overcoming some of the challenges.
North facing homes are generally desirable here in Perth due to the positioning of the sun. The ideal orientation for living areas is within the range 15°W–20°E of true or ‘solar’ north. This maximises heating and cooling efficiencies. Poor orientation can exclude winter sun and cause overheating in the summer by allowing low angle east or west sun to shine into the home.
Check list for designing your new home
The following points provide a brief overview of points you should consider to maximise the thermal comfort your home can offer.
- Living areas facing north to catch maximum sun in winter creating warmth and light
- Bedrooms facing south shielded from summer sun to provide cooler sleeping conditions
- Locate utility areas (laundries, bathrooms and garages) on the south or west where possible
- Position majority of windows facing north to allow winter sun to enter while also being protected by summer sun by eaves.
- Keep east facing windows to a minimum as they receive morning sun and can heat the house quickly
- Keep west facing windows to a minimum as they receive afternoon sun and can be difficult to shade
- Ensure south facing windows are modest in size as they do not receive any direct sunlight and can cause heat loss in winter
- Correctly sized, placed and overhanging eaves are essential to provide a balance between winter sun and summer shade
- Planting deciduous trees carefully to provide cooling shade in summer and allow the winter sun to shine into your home