Solar Access, Warming & Lighting

We have talked about solar passive design, allowing the sun into our homes to warm them in winter and this being a result of northern orientation to the low winter sun in our southern hemisphere.

Whilst this is paramount in the design process, the attributes and orientation of the home site chosen has a bearing on the layouts as well and orientation can be firmly dictated when dealing with steeply sloping sites. This said solar access need not be restricted to windows in walls.

Where orientation is away from the north, roof framing can be orientated to face the sun and roof windows incorporated to allow solar access into the rooms that face away from the winter warmth. When combined with skillion roofs, clerestory windows can achieve this end and can be used to provide winter solar access and natural lighting to inner and southern rooms and still remain solar passive. They can also optimise natural stack ventilation – described later.