Sustainable architecture is designed specifically to reduce the negative impact a building will have on the environment. This is accomplished by focusing strongly on moderate and efficient utilisation of green materials, energy, space and the overall ecosystem. Passive solar design employs natural flows of energy from the sun and wind to achieve the most desirable indoor living or working environment for a building’s location and climate.

Various major aspects of design that must be incorporated to create passive solar buildings include orientation, shading, insulation, ventilation and glazing. Exemplary passive solar home designs are admirable architectural feats for the successful implementation of sustainability. The majority of well-designed passive solar homes use sustainable principles and systems seamlessly. They do, however, rely on the cooperation of members of each newly created home’s household in order to maintain good levels of energy efficiency.

For example, simple activities like closing windows to shield home interiors from the heat of direct sunlight during hot weather and opening them after sundown to admit the cool night air are basic actions that require daily attention. Keeping windows and skylights open to the ideal degree for regulating cross-ventilation in rooms and for adequate upper floor airflow is also a necessary practice for ensuring excellent ventilation if you own or inhabit a passive solar home. Regulating window treatment positions is also important. 

Primary Elements of Passive Solar Home Designs for Optimal Degrees of Sustainability

Ultimate quality passive solar home designs create minimal environmental impact, provide optimal comfort for all seasons, lower home operating costs and lessen the need for auxiliary cooling and heating with use of such design elements as the following: 

• Shading. Careful shading of a home and its surrounding areas is essential for quality passive design. This will lower indoor temperatures during hot weather while reducing energy consumption. When eaves, awnings, pergolas, shutters, trees and plants are skillfully positioned, it is possible to successfully block as much as 90 percent of direct heat from the sun. However, the sun’s angles throughout the year in your locale must be noted to avoid blocking desirable winter sunlight when installing shading elements and devices. 

• Ventilation. In passive design for homes, the natural elements of wind and buoyancy are used to ensure fresh air supplies in room interiors. You want to ensure adequate oxygen levels indoors for healthy breathing and thermal comfort. Optimal quality ventilation for your house will depend on your local climate, the exterior design of your home, individual room and open concept interiors and the size and positioning of your windows, sliding glass walls and doors.  

• Orientation. For achieving success in passive solar home design, room interiors and outdoor living areas must be planned and constructed for maximum comfort and utilisation. In general, primary living spaces like living rooms, dens, dining areas and entertainment rooms should face northward for receiving sun throughout the day. This layout will provide good solar resources during the cold days of winter. However, it may result in the need for horizontal shading choices for hot summer weather. Rooms that face eastward are best for kitchens, breakfast nooks and bedrooms. It is best to avoid using west and south facing rooms as major living spaces in homes. Rooms facing south receive low levels of heat and poor natural lighting, and westward facing rooms receive good light in the afternoon, but they often overheat. 

• Smart Window Design. Smart window plans for your passive solar home design must focus on the ideal window size, wall location and glazing methods for your locale for best results. Without proper design, placement and single or double glazing as needed, windows can cause your home to lose as much as 40 percent of its usable heating energy and approximately 88 percent of its gained heat. By enhancing the thermal capacity of your windows and using smart window design, you can save on energy costs while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.   

When you consult the excellent architectural designers, engineers and interior designers of Marchese Partners, led by Chairman and Founding Principal Eugene Marchese, you will benefit from top calibre advice, plans, designs and construction expertise for you passive solar home building project. Our experienced team of professionals provides innovative international consultation and services in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the UK. Our fine team will work closely with your vision to ensure that you receive the ideal passive solar home designs to meet and even surpass all of your expectations and desires.