Building a Sustainable Custom Home Through Passive Solar Design

Sustainability has been attracting supporters in several industries these days, especially in the home construction field. More and more people are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint while saving cash. After all, what homeowner wouldn’t want to see low or even negative bills for electricity, gas, and water? If this refers to you, then you might have already considered installing solar panels while drafting custom home designs Adelaide for your new construction. However, have you ever heard of passive solar design? It’s high time you do, so read on.

Custom Home Designs AdelaideWhat Is Passive Solar Home Design?

Passive solar design is a sustainable home construction technique that enables the maintenance of a comfortable temperature in the house without the use of electricity or gas. Instead, it uses renewable sources of energy, such as the wind and sun to provide lighting, heating, cooling, and ventilation in the household. Passive solar custom homes take advantage of the building site, climate, and construction materials to minimise energy use.

What Are the Principles of Passive Solar Home Design?

Location

Each of Australia’s eight climate zones will have its characteristics, which will determine their custom home designs Adelaide. Hence, the house’s location will play a significant role in deciding its passive solar design.

Orientation

This factor refers to the position your custom home builder places the house on its site. In Adelaide, living areas should face north to maximise the exposure to the sun in winter while enjoying the shade in summer.

Shading

The use of shade and outdoor spaces plays a crucial part in lowering indoor temperatures during summer. Eaves, shutters, awnings, pergolas, and plants can block up to 90% of the heat from direct sunlight. However, it’s important not to block the winter sun to help maintain warm indoor temperatures.

Building Layout

The rooms and outdoor spaces in passive solar custom home designs Adelaide should be planned carefully to maximise comfort. This means that living and dining rooms, as well as other main living areas,  should face north to receive maximum daylight. Meanwhile, east-facing rooms are ideal for kitchens to take advantage of morning light and cool afternoons while preparing lunch.

Thermal Mass

This refers to the property of a material to absorb and store heat. For instance, concrete, bricks, and tiles have a high thermal mass because a lot of heat energy is required to change their temperature. On the other hand, materials such as timer have a low thermal mass.

Natural Ventilation

Passive solar custom home designs Adelaide use the wind to circulate air inside the home. The home builder will carefully plan the rooms, as well as the size and placement of windows and other openings in the house.