Are you looking for a home design that makes maximum use of climate conditions to maintain a pleasant temperature range in your living spaces naturally? Then you should consider how passive design is used to lower residential energy use in Australian homes. Strategic design features in the roof and floors, and the location of windows and walls, work together with natural heating and cooling sources to warm or cool the home as required.

Passive design strategies to improve a home renovation

The unique characteristics of different climatic zones define energy goals and design responses. Here is a brief outline of how the principles of thermal comfort work.

  1. Placement

The direction a home faces can take advantage of the sun’s path and wind flows to heat and cool the interior. This also includes the placement of windows and doors. For example, in cooler climates, the house, particularly larger windows, would ideally face north to maximise the exposure to the sun.

  1. Shade

Beneficial shading that utilises awnings, shutters, eaves and, even plants can reduce unwanted heat. Glazed windows can also maximise climate comfort. Just make sure you calculate the angles correctly to allow for heat from the winter sun to get through.

  1. Materials

Consider the climate you live in and choose materials that will aid your home in passive heating and cooling. The use of insulation will act as a barrier to keep your house cool in summer and retain warmth in winter. Materials such as concrete and tiles have high heat storage capacity while timber has low heat storage capacity. The use of materials to warm and cool your home must be used appropriately, as there is a chance you can create the opposite effect; the materials radiate heat in summer and absorb heat in winter.

When done correctly, passive design elements effectively secure thermal comfort in your home with the added benefits of reduced heating and cooling bills and lowered greenhouse gas emissions. Even though the best time to integrate an effective passive design is in the initial design of a home, a professional renovations company can implement passive design principles into a renovation or extension. Speak to a consultant at Duncan Thompson Extensions today to find out more.