Designing with Mother Earth in Mind

In Australia we use Solar Passive Design principles. Orientation of the home is an important aspect of the design.


In the Southern hemisphere the sun is always on the North side of a building. North facing windows are beneficial in the winter since the sun will shine straight in, even at midday. In the summer, however, there would be a lot of overheating. This can easily be fixed by shading the North facing windows. Shade sails or even vegetation would help.


Windows have to be placed very carefully, remembering that the sun rises in the East and sets in the west during summer. The home would be more comfortable if there were lesser the windows in the two elevations as we are minimising the amount of direct sunlight into the home. The South side of the home would always be in the shadow and hence we would loose the most of the heat through that end of the home, minimizing the amount of openings in that elevation would help as well. Always remember where the best breeze is coming from on the block to allow for the windows to catch it to cool the residence down during summer.


Finding a good land is always the hardest part. A land with a large North coverage would maximise the heat gain, but don’t stress Solar Passive designs are very flexible, as long as we have some amount of North facing wall. At Eco Abode we have amazing solar passive designs to achieve this and still maintain a great looking elevation. To learn more about how we do this please contact us at [email protected]


The featured image shows the general principles of solar passsive design (Keya Lea 2014).

Reference: Keya Lea (Solarei) 2014, the general principles of passive solar design, digital image, Green Passive Solar Magazine, accessed 11 August 2017, <https://greenpassivesolar.com/2014/08/passive-solar-down-under-te-kauwhata-house/>