Jun 15, 2020 9:26 pm
Re: House Orientation and Passive Heating4
Jun 16, 2020 10:53 pm
So the floor plan and orientation are fixed?
No but want to utilise the views of the west from Living/ Kitchen area
I would say the only way you get any passive solar heating is if you orientate the living and kitchen North and do away with a solid veranda and alfresco. You obviously wont get any views to the west so the floor plan is only going to get you one or the other.
I would go with a completely different floor plan if you want to have both.
If you're considering passive solar then you would ideally have very minimal glazing facing west or cleverly designed shading.
Re: House Orientation and Passive Heating5
Jun 16, 2020 11:05 pm
Any West facing windows (or East facing)will get minimal passive heating in winter, but massive solar overheating in summer.
The only way I have ever hadcomfortable summer afternoon/evening conditions in rooms with West facing windows is by using a highly reflective film on the windows. This means that that even a minimal passive heating is effectively lost.
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Re: House Orientation and Passive Heating6
Jun 17, 2020 4:19 pm
Hi Robbo14, Like the others have said this current plan/orientation will provide virtually no passive solar heating unfortunately.
So you have some hard decisions to make. If it was East views you were chasing then arguably not quite as bad as West....but almost! You need to decide how much the economic and comfort benefits of a different orientation you are willing to sacrifice in order to capture the views. The plan isn't terrible if you simply rotated it north, but you would need to get rid of the roof and consider the slight wall articulations on both sides.
In terms of house plans and capturing some of the west view, the only way I could imagine it working would be a north facing (rectangular) living area with kitchen on west side.....and a short, but wide 'viewing' window running the length of the kitchen bench between the benchtop and overhead cabinets. At least then you would have a decent view out to the West but by the nature of the reduced window height (say around 800-900mm?) it would limit the 'damage' done during summer. That one window could also be treated with a Low-E coating etc.
I think longer term you would regret prioritising the views over the comfort/economic benefits you would otherwise gain from a different setup.
We designed our living zones in our new house to capture winter sun, and I must say the result in terms of living comfort and not needing to run heaters is amazing. I just wish we could have had more of our house facing north.
The living zones in our house pretty much have needed no heating so far this
year...and we live in a cold climate (Ballarat, Vic).
The only negative is the rest of the house doesn't get the solar gain, so a few nights we have been turning on a small split system in the Rumpus room and it does a pretty good job of warming the mid zone (we close the door typically b/w living and main hallway)
Re: House Orientation and Passive Heating7
Jun 17, 2020 4:31 pm
I've seen a high performance house with a west feature window to capture the views. They had to limit the size somewhat and designed the room so that it was a focal point rather than the north facing glazing. I can't remember what type of shading they had exactly (was mechanical) but I know that it had to be very carefully considered as even high performance glazing will heat your house up quite a bit in the summer time.
Re: House Orientation and Passive Heating8
Jun 17, 2020 4:41 pm
Only you can decide what is best for you, but continuing with the general advice others have suggested whatever you do DO NOT underestimate how much summer heat gain you will experience whenever the sun is hitting glass directly. Also the aluminium frames will contribute to the energy losses.
We reduced our west window heights to what I thought was reasonable and used a grey tone treatment, but still our rumpus room window (1200mm h x 2200mm w) caused enough grief last summer I am now organising for external awnings to go on all those west windows (ensuite, rumpus and Bed4).
I also have spoken to people who have Low-E glass facing west and they still report fairly severe summer heat issues. Glazing treatments can only achieve small benefits in my opinion....stopping the sun hitting the glass is the best option.
At least you are considering all this and asking questions. Many people don't, including us with past builds!
Re: House Orientation and Passive Heating10
Jun 17, 2020 6:17 pm
You need some sort of vertical external shading, like hinged fins or shutters. This would allow you to enjoy the view but adjust the angle of the shade to block out the sun at its worst. Horizontal shading like roofs and eaves won’t help when the setting sun is low and shining straight under the overhang.
Re: House Orientation and Passive Heating11
Jun 18, 2020 1:34 pm
@darb74 Is your rumpus double glazed?
Yes, it is double glazed with grey toned glass on one pane. The only difference with this window and the main living areas is we didn't upgrade to laminated grey toned, just standard toughened glass. But I don't think the lamination does much to stop heat transfer, possibly Low-E would have helped but we decided not to pay the extra for this coating treatment.
Anyhow here is the window spec for our rumpus:
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