Sep 24, 2019 5:48 pm
We are a young couple undertaking the exciting (but extremely anxiety inducing) task of building our first home. We have fallen in love with a 2.5 acre block in the Perth Hills with a building envelope of 36 x 27m. The block has the best view (that we can afford) of the city skyline and the awesome WA sunsets. It unfortunately also comes at a decent price, limiting the house we are able to build and not conforming to all the great solar passive tips so we really want to make sure we get the bones of the house right as we can add in the superficial touches later but want to spend money where its necessary ie right sized eaves, solar glazing, insulation for those western walls, getting the rooms in the right places (as much as we can). We would need to face our alfresco and living to the SW corner of the block to 'get our moneys worth', meaning we will get the brunt of the summer sun. The alfresco will be extended atleast 3m to try take the heat of the living room (which will have raked ceilings which will extend to alfresco) and we will add in a timber arbor to be planted with a vine that has leaves in summer but nothing in winter (most likely grape vines) to give us shade along the remainder of the western wall. Where I'm getting stuck is should we plan that the alfresco is going to be too unpleasant to use on those really hot summer days and in which case we would want to put a courtyard on the southern side of the house but since thats the side that gets the least sunlight, will it be worth it? The city view will still be visible from the southern side of the block. The prevailing winds for the area is an easterly in the AM changing to the Fremantle Doctor (SW) in the afternoon. The Easterly will nearly be all but blocked by my partners planned workshop shed (20 x 10) on the eastern boundary (also blocking my morning sun!!) but better than blocking my view or the sun from the north. Any tips, advice, even the blatantly obvious will be very welcome! I just want to get it right and not get into my house and hate it!
Re: Tell me it can work - west facing blocks2
Sep 26, 2019 3:12 pm
We have a block in the Perth hills so I can understand some of your issues. Having your alfresco on the West/ Northwest side is ideal because it shades your house from the sun but still allows you to capture the sunsets and city views at night.
In Perth summers there will always be times where you can't comfortably be outdoors, regardless of the alfresco position.
The wind can get very strong in the hills, so it is nice to have a sheltered area. Ideally your house can be designed to make the most of the winter sun while creating a sheltered cooler outdoor area in summer.
Re: Tell me it can work - west facing blocks3
Dec 03, 2019 10:30 am
Living in Orange Grove (WA) with west-facing verandas may give you the sea breeze and views to Perth but will need roll-down fabric curtains or roller shades BEFORE the glass for survival. Pay extra for R5 roof insulation and anticon, which also helps with noise problems as planes fly to the ES over your house!
The gully winds you have taken care of.
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