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Does Orientation Really Matter? with the Undercover Architect

Does Orientation Really Matter? with the Undercover Architect

Amelia from Undercover Architect is joining us this week with the answer to a question we are asked as builders at least weekly.

Q: Does Orientation Really Matter When You’re Designing Your Home?

I can’t answer this more plainly. Yes. Yes. Yes. Emphatically yes.
When you design for how the sun moves across your site and home, it is the single biggest thing you can do to create a home that works and feels great.
Research shows that our health and wellbeing improves with access to natural daylight on a regular basis.
Not only that, using what is available for free (natural sunlight and breezes) to heat and cool our spaces means lower energy bills long term. Often we forget about the ongoing costs in running our home when budgeting for a build or renovation.
I bang on about this a lot – I know. Honestly though, when you make the decision to design for orientation FIRST, then it makes all the difference to all other decisions, and the home you create.

It is also the secret sauce in spaces that feel and look great. It’s this magic ingredient that you really don’t know how awesome it is until you’ve lived in a home and experienced it – and then wonder how you ever lived otherwise.
So arrange the spaces in your home for orientation (see #uatips below). It may not always be possible, but start with this framework and prioritise your living areas getting northern sun (or southern if you’re in the northern hemisphere). If you can’t position them there, then read here for other ways you can access that northern sunlight.

Then provide shade and shelter to deal with hot summer sun and heat, whilst allowing winter sun to warm your interiors. Use your roof overhangs (eaves), and external landscaping to do this. You need horizontal shade elements (eaves and awnings) for high sun (midday sun), and vertical shade elements (screens and external blinds) for more horizontal (morning and afternoon) sun.
A fantastic resource for learning more about the climate in your area, and how to design specifically for it, is Your Home. When you design for the climate specific to your area, you use natural resources to heat and cool your home for free. Great for you, great for the environment, great for your home and great for your budget.

It doesn’t cost anymore to make these decisions – if they’re the decisions you make first. By prioritising orientation in your design, it will enrich everything you do after that.

More importantly, your life in the home will be enriched for these decisions. Your home will feel better, and you will feel better in it. And isn’t that what you’re ultimately aiming for? Yes. Yes. Yes. Emphatically yes.

Thank you Amelia, I couldn’t agree more. These decisions are so very important to enhance the quality of your life living in your biggest investment.

Amelia has a brand new project launching on the 30th of November, called Your Reno Roadmap. This brilliant concept will provide you with a step-by-step map to guide you through your renovation process. For more information see this post. Amelia can also be found on Facebook, Instagram and her Blog.

Do you have any questions for our Undercover Architect? Did you take into consideration the orientation of your home when planning?

Nicole xxx

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