This week, we’ve put together a short guide to help you maximise the benefits of passive design solutions by understanding orientation in your home. With a particular focus on light and wind, we break down each aspect and offer suggestions for a more environmentally friendly and comfortable home.
- Mornings generally receive Northerly winds from the inland due to land breeze. During winter this is the dominant source of wind. In summer, Northerly winds can be quite hot.
- Direct sunlight and an excellent source of passive heating.
- Necessary to use shading methods, such as planting deciduous trees (which permit low-angle Winter sun through) or installing eaves and blinds.
- Suitable for daytime, living and dining rooms or courtyards.
- Ideal orientation of the home with the long side facing North, or 20-30° off from the center.
- Be wary of hot Northwesterly winds in summer and cold Southwesterly winds in the cooler months.
- Evening sun can be quite harsh and hot in summer.
- Option to strategically plant trees and shrub to divert undesirable winds and provide shading in the evening.
- Alternative is to place utility areas facing West (e.g. laundry, bathrooms, storage) which insulate and shade living areas.
- Little to no Easterly wind all year round. Design should promote cross-ventilation from other rooms.
- Direction of sunrise and cool morning light.
- Suitable for kitchens, breakfast rooms or bedrooms, as morning light is beneficial to regulate our circadian rhythm (natural body clock).
- Evenings generally receive Southerly winds from the ocean due to the sea breeze effect. Southwesterly winds in the cooler months can be quite harsh.
- Indirect light, therefore requires little to no shading. Borrowed light methods include use of skylights or reflections off neighbouring buildings.
- Should be properly insulated as there are minimal passive heating options. Active heating may also be necessary.
- Suitable for bedrooms or artist studios, as South light produces cool and controlled colour values.