May 30, 2020 3:00 pm
Hi all! Has anyone got any ideas on building on narrow block with east/west outlook and where the northern side neighbour is on north boundary? How do we get enough northern light into the home?
The block is 12.5m × 30m long total of 375m2. Want to build a 3×2 on block. How have others managed the overshadowing of neighbouring property?
Re: Narrow blocks2
Jun 12, 2020 3:07 am
I am about to build on a small block also, although much smaller (7.5 x 27.5 = 206sqm) and it is south facing over a park, garage to the north (cottage block). Luckily others in the area for my house are all single story but I am interested in what others have to say on the overshadowing (just in case I get a double story next door) so I am joining in your thread. I will post my own thread once my designs are finalised.
All the best with your build!
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Re: Narrow blocks4
Jun 12, 2020 8:53 am
I hate developers that release blocks like this!
Having access to northern light is very important, particularly in living areas. Not only will your home be light, or will be more comfortable. Requiring less heating, & cooling (than western or eastern orientations), lowering energy bills.
But you're right, it makes it very tough to get northern light into your home on these narrow eastern & western frontage blocks.
There are solutions, but they come with compromises.
The best solution in this case is to build an "upside down" house. With living areas upstairs, & bedrooms downstairs.
Upstairs is always warmer, which is perfect, as you want your living areas to be warmer than your bedrooms. Bedrooms can be cooler, darker places. Although, if you're lucky, you may have room for the master upstairs too.
As I said, they're compromises. A big one will be cost. It's unlikely you'll find a volume builder that will produce a home like this for you. But hopefully the extra cost would be worth it, as the home should be far more efficient & comfortable to live in.
For some people another negative is lugging the groceries upstairs to the kitchen. The same with very small children. A good way to keep fit though.
Another negative, no connection from the living areas to the backyard. Though you could consider designing a large balcony off the living area.
Locating a large proportion of your glazing facing north - which is what you should do to achieve an energy efficient "passive" design - means you'll have privacy issues if they're facing these windows straight at a close northern neighbour.
But with an upside down house there are solutions for the dilemma of lack of privacy. The solution is north facing clerestory (highlight) windows. Coupling these windows with a South facing skillion roof design is perfect. As these windows will be located very high on the wall. So you'll have views of the blue sky, not your neighbour. You'll also have no overshadowing issues, so have access to abundant amounts of sunshine in winter.
I love it when good design solves a tricky problem. This is the case here. One of my favourite examples is 35 Kangaroo Street, Manly, NSW.
https://www.realestate.com.au/sold/prop ... -128750534
Yes, this is a premium level home, in a very expensive area of Sydney. But it solves the issue of overshadowing & lack of privacy in a narrow block brilliantly. Those in the living areas would have no idea that a large block of flats is located just to the north, right in the boundary.
The living areas are light, the clerestory windows even light the lower level entrance & hallway via a void. Usually I hate voids (in standard home layouts). As they act like giant chimneys, allowing heat to be lost from living areas in winter. Flowing upstairs to bedrooms, where they are not required. But this is not the case in upside down houses. The heat flows upstairs to living areas, where it's required.
Bedrooms are downstairs, where they'll be cooler, & a little darker. Although minor bedrooms have access to light & a little privacy with a small courtyard. While the latter has ocean views.
The only problem I see with this design is that all of the roof is south facing. Meaning the entire roof is orientated very poorly for solar PV. I think roof design for optimal solar PV is extremely important nowadays. In this property they should have designed the garage roof to face the other way, north. This would have been perfect for solar PV.
But all around, such a brilliant solution.
A couple of photos.
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