How to Ensure Your New Home Is Orientated Correctly!

Did you know the importance that orientation plays in making sure your new home is energy efficient?
A poorly orientated home can result in you having to spend more money on glazing and insulation than may otherwise be required.

Poor orientation often occurs with an off the shelf designed home where the ideal orientation is not marked on the brochure, this leads to you picking a design that may not be ideal for your block, leading to increased, unforseen costs on your build.   

It is one of the main reasons why designing a custom home can actually save you thousands.

If you have ever looked at a second hand home, you may have heard the term, “this home has a great northerly aspect”.  There is a fair bit of truth in that term, but with a truly energy efficient home, there is way more to it.

So, what are our top tips for making sure that your new home has the right orientation to maximise energy efficiency while also ensuring you get value for money?

  1. The maximum surface area of your elevations should be on the northern and southern sides.  For example a rectangular home is not only the most economical to build, but is the easiest with which to maximise energy efficiency
  2. Make sure common rooms such as kitchens, living rooms and dining rooms are positioned on the northern side, with bedrooms on the south. Ideally you would be able to orientate your north facade within 15° W and 20° E of solar north.
  3. Ensure less used rooms and spaces like entries, toilets and laundries are situated on the east and western sides

In addition to this, it’s important to ensure that your desired orientation achieves a decent set back from your neighbours.

This is important for a myriad of reasons, in Energy Efficient terms it really matters because it ensures you make the most of available natural light and breezes.

There isn’t much point having the perfect northerly orientation if you are building up against the northern boundary with your neighbours two storey home towering over you.

Ideally you want to achieve a set back as follows;

  • 6m from a single storey home
  • 11m from a double storey home

If you are to the south AND downhill of your neighbour, then these setbacks will need to be increased and can be verified by carrying out a sun study, which your designer and builder should know about, and understand.

One way to overcome a blocked northerly aspect is by using highlight windows or skylights.
However this type of design element requires special consideration as it can have a large effect on your homes energy rating if done incorrectly.

In our next blog we will give you the 5 tips to make sure your home is designed to ventilate well all year round (which is a different thing from a well sealed building envelope).

Would you like a more detailed look at home orientation?

You can download our free design guides on home orientation for energy efficiency right now.

Click the link below to download the guide to orientating your home correctly to improve comfort and save on your energy bills.

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