Orientation, Siting and Layout

If you are building your home, by carefully considering the position of your house on your block of land you can maximise the passive solar design advantages that can make your home more comfortable all year round.

The orientation and siting of your home can also make a huge difference to your energy bills throughout the year. The ideal home in the southern hemisphere is sited with the daytime living areas facing north, with the long axis of the house running east-west. If this is not possible, variations on the orientation can be made up to 30 degrees to the east and 20 degrees to the west of true north, with no major effects on the solar advantage. Large windows on the north side of the house will also let in the sunshine during winter, but can be easily shaded from the summer sun. This will make the house warmer in winter and cooler in summer. Ideally, have your daytime living areas facing north and have north-facing windows to optimise capturing the winter sun. Following an open-plan style of home will also help. Not only does it make the best use of all available space, it should allow light to penetrate easily and air to circulate freely around the home.