PASSIVE SOLAR DESIGNS

The true meaning of passive solar designs for SEASCAPE DESIGNS is to give a client a warm home in winter & a cool home in summer.

Like most things in life it is very simple to incorporate passive solar designs into any home  but it starts with good site orientation of your land . 

The best set up is your front & back of block facing east or west , so the hot summer sun is on the smaller parts of your house and the longer boundaries of your block face north & south for helping achieve good flow through ventilation from the south and good winter sun from the north

 It is easier to get good passive solar design with good site orientation but is also possible with poor site orientation , just means you need to work your floor plan more to make sure you get some northern winter sun into your house and some windows facing south for flow through ventilation to help cool your house in summer.

Passive solar design is about utilising the natural elements of your local environment , the SUN , WIND & RAIN  come from different directions and in different quantities in each part of Australia.  In southern climates you need to incorporate as much northern winter sun into your building as possible.  In northern climates you need more shade and flow through ventilation as possible.

Passive solar designs is also a lot about thermal materials and absorbing the sun , heating up the inside of your home using floor to ceiling windows allowing winter northern sun to hit your concrete slab  or tile floor.  It heats up all day and at night gives off the stored heat out into the inside of the house and is proven to work as good any energy producing heater for a lot less money.  Highlight windows on the north walls can also let in winter sun into hit a solid thermal brick / stone / earth wall that heats the centre of the house up during the day and helps keep the house warm at night during winter.

A solid thermal wall can also work in reverse during summer , being in the middle of the house and shaded from any direct overhead sunlight during summer , keeps the wall cool during the day & a nice temperature during the night.

Part of designing a passive solar home , you need to run the home in accordance to the season and weather to help keep your house warm in winter & cool in summer.

In winter it is good practice to open up all window curtains during the day to let in as much natural light inside your home , it helps warm up your house naturally and if you have any thermal materials to absorb the winter sun .  At night you need to close all window curtains to keep the heat inside your house and keep the cold outside coming through all your windows.  You need to use a heavy drape style or a thermal blind to block out as much of the outside cold .  If you have double glazed windows or good curtains you can keep your inside winter temperature at a mild 18-20C till 10-12pm with only using natural heating.

In summer months it is good practise to close up all window curtains during the day to keep the heat from outside coming through the glass in all your windows.  The house will stay relatively cool all day when kept in the dark with no windows open letting in hot air and all curtains blocking any sunlight inside helps keep your house 10c cooler inside than outside.  Ceiling fans are a good way to keep air moving around the house.  As soon as the sun goes down on a hot summer day , open up every window in the house , open up all curtains and watch your house cool down within an hour.