Written by Ingrid Gorissen
How lucky are we, living on the beautiful Fraser Coast, our own paradise. It’s the care for where we live, its beauty but also seeing its vulnerability, the need to protect and nurture, the passion to pass on nature the way we are able to see and experience it, onto our kids and grandkids.
Appreciating what nature has to offer, we should really be taking in consideration what can be done to create comfortable homes with low impact on the environment, economically to run, healthier
to live in and adaptable to changing family needs.
When we are able to do so, working with nature will bring comfort and enjoyable living.
One of the aspects of an Eco considerate home design is based on sun and wind, the orientation on the block of land.
Designing a house to respond to the sun requires looking at the whole project from start to finish.
Once the big orientation has been figured out, we can look into the shape and room figuration affect how much light and heat can penetrate the house as well as which rooms will receive the most sunlight and heat gain. We need to look into insulation and ventilation. It’s the orientation of the design on the site, the sun and shading aspect and the materials used that can make or break the comfort of living.
Living in a home with light filled living spaces, open to a morning sunny backyard is really enjoyable. If a block is not orientated right, there are heaps of tricks to create exactly what we are looking for.
These are some approaches for working out smart orientation:
- You can add a private outdoor space to the front or to the side
- Creating indoor-outdoor living spaces filtering the sunlight. Entire glass walls can be used to create the connection
- Glass walkways in-between rooms
- High clerestory windows meeting the roof line to allow north, north-eastern light and airflow into the room.
- Change of roofline to create higher windows or retractable roof option.
- Sun can be kept out in summer but will beautifully heat and light the room in winter time.
- When capturing northeasterly sun is simply not possible, consider increasing the amount of glazing on your south-facing windows and walls.
- The right colour scheme will make the house look lighter and brighter
- North-facing indoor and outdoor spaces can sometimes require eaves and external shading devices such as trees to provide reprieve from the hot summer sun.
However, if your home faces the other way, these shading devices will only prevent much-wanted sun from entering your garden and interior. A little pruning and strategic placement of trees
can open up the spaces, so they receive as much sun as possible.
Together with this passive design approach, it is also clever to consider the functionality and
timeless elegance creating the WOW of a beautiful home!! A custom designed home has a
value not only based on square meters and location but also with the high value of longing to
The good news is that it is possible to build a healthy home and it doesn’t have to be more
expensive either. The biggest key for change is looking beyond the trodden paths.