Reid and Wren

Sunday Sessions – on Winter Sun (or Solar-passive Design)

I wasn’t planning to write a blog post today (I have been sitting in the sun getting ahead on posts for the upcoming week, so I don’t feel too stressed in the lead up to going back to work –read that last bit in a deep forboding voice). However, I can’t help myself- the sun is so beautiful that I have to share it with the world, as we all know that I am a sharer by nature. Admit it, that’s why you love me.

As some of you know, we moved earlier this year, from a north-facing townhouse to a north-facing house. No difference other than the size of the house and the backyard, right? Wrong. The townhouse had big oak trees completely obscuring the north side, and even the addition of large skylights didn’t help. It lightened up a bit in Winter, but only in a few patches and you had to follow the sun around the house.

This was as good as it got in the townhouse. Mostly it was much worse.

This was as good as it got in the townhouse. Mostly it was much worse.

In the new house there are 10(ish) foot windows all along the northside, which allows light to flood the lounge/dining areas all day. The floors are tiled which retains heat and emits it throughout the cold Canberra nights. The eaves are angled in such a way that in winter the sun makes it into the whole room, but in summer the sun doesn’t enter the house at all.

Early morning sun on the dining table

Early morning sun on the dining table

I highly recommend everyone planning a renovation looks into the benefits of solar passive design. It may seem like just a buzz-word, but for me, it’s the difference between hating the Canberra winter (as anyone who is familiar with the Capital of Australia would know that the winters and long and harsh, although with lots of sun), and not even really noticing it’s there. It also saves a lot on heating bills. For example, it’s currently 14 degrees in Canberra and I am sitting in the loungeroom with a singlet and shorts on, and all doors open to the outside as I was getting sweaty. Beat that Queensland!

You can find out more about living energy efficiently here.

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This entry was published on June 30, 2013 at 2:14 pm. It’s filed under Sunday Sessions and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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