When it comes to the orientation (placement) of your new house on a site, there can be a lot to consider and each case will be different.
You’ll want to maximise the amount of sun especially if your winter climate is cold and hash.
As well as the getting the most out of the sunlight, there are other factors to think about such as the breeze, the topography (terrain) of the section, levels of noise, your views, access to the site, the climate in your area and security.
For Build7’s Design and Build clients, we make sure we consider house orientation early in the planning process.
Modern house design over the years in New Zealand means that larger windows are used to take advantage of the sun. Floor to ceiling windows are growing in popularity, but they can also allow heat to escape in the winter. Sometimes it’s not just a case of having big windows everywhere.
Our clients will often use one of our existing house designs as a starting point, then working with us we’ll customise the plan to suit the layout of the section and the aspect.
Maximising the new house for sun
Once again, your local climatic conditions will play a part in how you want to maximise sun. In warmer and northern parts of New Zealand, where there are a higher number of sunlight hours, you may need to reduce the amount of north facing glass. In cooler areas you’ll want to maximise it.
We’ll advise on the level of insulation required – again based on the local conditions and the overall design of the house.
If you have an attractive view to towards the south, you could consider more windows, but make them smaller. A new home build from Build7 will include double glazing which will improve the overall thermal performance of your home.
As mentioned your man living areas should ideally be oriented to the north, Generally, anywhere from 20 degrees West and 30 degrees East of true north in New Zealand is the sweet spot.
Because the sun is hottest in the middle of the day, we’ll advise you on the width of the eaves. It’s a balance between wide enough so that in the summer you get the shade you need, but not so wide that the sun is blocked out in the winter.
Minimising glare and overheating could mean cutting back on glass areas that face west. This will be important if you live in a warmer part of New Zealand where there’s no sea breeze and the air is hot and still in summer. If you’re usually out during the day in Summer and your windows and doors are closed, you’ll want to avoid overheating
Windows that face south in New Zealand get the least amount of sun. To cut down on heat loss, the windows should be smaller in comparison to the others in the house. Although smaller, consideration will still be given to diffused or reflected light and ventilation.
This is just part of the over approach when designing your new house. To learn more and to talk to us about your project please talk to us today.