Passive Solar Buildings

What is Passive Solar Design?


An experienced architectural designer will guide you through the process of designing your own home over the internet. For the biggest investment you will make in your life, you need professionals who have been in the business since 1993.

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    ORIENTATION is the way you place your home on its site to take advantage of the climate. Living areas would ideally face north, allowing maximum exposure to the sun, and easy shading of walls and windows in summer. Good orientation reduces the need for auxiliary heating and cooling. It also improves solar access to panels for solar photovoltaics and hot water. Your home is thus more comfortable to live in and cheaper to run.

    THERMAL MASS is the ability to store heat from the sun during the day and re-release it when required. High density materials have high heat storage capacity and are therefore said to have high thermal mass. Lightweight materials such as timber have low thermal mass.

    BUILDING ENVELOPE - should be designed for optimal interaction with the climate. Solar radiation and ambient air temperature are the major source of heat given off by the sun. The human body's perception of comfort is gained more from radiation rather than convection. The temperature of surrounding surfaces is more important than the air temperature. The first strategy should be to provide a barrier to reduce overheating and secondly to provide effective natural cooling.

    INSULATION— high insulation levels are essential in passive solar design to at least the minimum requirements of the building code. Ceilings and roof spaces account for 25 - 35% of heat loss while floors account for 10 - 20% of winter heat loss. Walls account for 15 - 25% of winter heat loss and air leakage accounts for 15 - 25% of winter heat loss.

From Our Great Clients

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    Our Passive Solar home is just wonderful! It is so comfortable to live in and is very energy efficient all the year round.

    Roger and Pat Pettman

Why bad housing design pumps up prices for everyone. Whether you're a boatie or not, everyone realises the importance of keeping the water on the outside when you go sailing or fishing. The less leaky the boat, the less you have to rely on devices like bilge pumps to stay afloat.

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