Benefits of Maximizing Southern Exposure for Home Designs

For people planning to build a home and the idea is to have Green Home that offers the owners the chance to make use of renewable resources to save money, then proper orientation of the new home is important. Orienting a new structure to accept the warmth provided by the sun during winter months while avoiding extreme heat in the summer is actually not a new thing. Ancient Roman and Greek homes were oriented and then built with the idea of seasonal exposure. Certain facts influencing building orientations never change. The sun rises still in the east and it sets still in the west. By midday during winter the sunlight is at low angle and at high angle during summer. These are facts that do not change; therefore they should be taken advantage in planning for home building. It is important to position a new structure accordingly so that the daily, as well as the seasonal, motions of the sun can be used in increasing indoor comfort while significant reduction of cooling and heating expenses is also possible.


Benefits of Maximizing Southern Exposure

Sunlight is natural and it is a great source of free warmth. Since daylight is free and sustainable there is no reason why anybody should ignore its power that is readily available. By positioning your home properly according to the movements of the sun you will be able to save energy while creating a healthier and more comfortable living space for you and your family.

Affordability is indeed a good advantage and the cost of trying to maximize sunlight is going to depend on what measures you are going to take. For instance, rearranging your furniture is free and all it takes is some efforts on your part. Other measures can be really inexpensive like painting your wall with lighter reflective paint. Some measure though may require a bit more investment (like installation of light shelves and retrofitting skylights and windows), but will surely pay off in the long run. Harnessing the natural energy from the sun by using solar-powered lighting in illuminating paths and landscapes is also a recommended measure to take.

Maximizing the ability of using a valuable resource like sunlight is indeed helpful in keeping the lights off at daytime and in saving money every minute.

When you make use of the sun’s power to warm and light your home, you are also saving the environment from total destruction. Use of daylight doesn’t need electricity generation and it eliminates greenhouse gasses emission, thus you are making it possible to save the Earth. Additionally solar power utilization involves very little product resource manufacturing, extraction or shipping.

What Should Be Done

For New Homes

Basically, the steps are simple. One good measure to consider is facing the front side of the structure within twenty degrees on the true south. This positions windows that are south-facing and will give them the ability to effectively collect solar energy that will bring in heat inside the home during the cold winter months. It is important though to know that not all windows facing south are going to be effective solar collectors. The degree measurement and the size of the window are important factors. Large windows that are facing extremely to the southwest may overheat the home interior during summer months, and structures that are positioned extremely to the southeast may not get the required sunlight and warmth when winter comes.

Dispersing the light is important and this can be achieved by a properly positioned south-facing window that can illuminate the area from 20 up to 100 times more. When you disperse the light, you reduce glare and heat while you also reduce overhead lighting use.

Painting your ceilings and walls in reflective light colors is also a good idea as well as use of sky tubes or solar lights. You would also benefit well from the power of the sun by installing light shelves that can be useful in reflecting light deeper inside large rooms.

For Existing Homes

For an existing home the best way to take full advantage of the benefits of the sunlight is to start on making renovations. Renovations usually equate high costs but that shouldn’t be the case if you know what to do. The first thing that should be done is to use the resources available. It is also a recommended step to consult a home designer or contractor that is experienced and skilled in passive solar, heating/cooling and electrical design techniques.

It is a good idea to adjust Venetian blind angle so that the light can be aimed where it is needed. When you angle the blind towards your ceiling, light is reflected downwards with no heat gain. Using blinds is ideal because it can reduce the entry of unwanted glare and heat, while you can still benefit from the warmth and the light of the sun.


There are a lot of things to take into consideration if you want to maximize the benefits that can be provided by the power of sunlight. Maximizing southern exposure is one significant consideration. This is a measure that will provide your home with needed shade during sunny summer days. Additionally, proper orientation is going to give you the opportunity to take advantage of sunlight so your home is provided with the required warmth and light during the dark and cold winter days.

If you are building a new house or planning on renovations, getting professional help is a good idea. Professional designers can make your residence a structure that is more affordable to cool and heat. Aside from being energy-wise, proper orientation of your home is also going to give an abode that is highly comfortable and healthier to live in.

Make day-lighting an essential concern in your home building or renovation project by maximizing southern exposure. Daylight is free and it is abundant. It offers natural light and warmth that will give you the chance to save energy, save the Earth and save you and your family’s health.

What does Eco Design Mean?

Eco design basically means designing for a building or product that will result in the most positive impact on the environment. It is a design style that eliminates the possibility of increasing global warming impact and greenhouse gasses emissions.

In the construction and building industry, many contractors are now incorporating sustainable designs into the options that they offer. Some construction companies are even concentrating on designing green and staying away from tradition building techniques that use traditional, non-renewable and costly materials. Going Green means going natural and if your building is built with natural materials you can only expect the best living and working conditions inside and outside.

Construction designers are now taking on Eco Design concept throughout the designing process; from choosing the materials, to the preferred energy system to be used, and to waste disposal system.

Use of Eco Materials

By using materials sourced naturally, the environment is being saved from losing the supply of non-renewable resources. This is very important in the objective to save the earth from total destruction. Local raw materials are less costly and they reduce environmental shipping costs, greenhouse gasses commissions and fuel consumption.
Aside from using natural materials, use of recycled materials is also an important aspect of eco designing. It is essential though to keep in mind that using recycled and recyclable materials must not generate waste during the manufacturing process or once the materials life cycle has reached its end.

Materials that can be reclaimed and reused include timber or wood and stones. These materials can be obtained from junkyards of directly from the construction site. In most cases, wood and timber are used as support beams for new buildings or to be used as furniture. Stones gathered from excavation sites are useful as retaining wall. When these reclaimed items are used there is less energy consumed because no new products are made and a new natural quality is successfully achieved.

Water Recycling System

Eco Design is also about making sure that water system within the site is sustainably achieved. This is where water recycling comes in and the best way to do this is by installation of rainwater tanks that will harvest water that can be used in many purposes.

Use of grey water is also a good way of avoid wastage of drinking water. In households, it has become essential to use grey water in order to lessen the stresses on the water supplies, reduce the costs and usage of home water, and to support the blooming landscapes. Fresh water is very precious and it is very wise to know how to properly use it so that it can be reused in the objective to live sustainably. That is why it has become essential for Eco design to incorporate effective water recycling systems.

Off-Grid Structures

One of the best ways to achieve sustainable living is to live off-grid. This means not having to rely on electricity power from big companies that make use of power from non-renewable resources. If your home or commercial building has its own power source system, you get to save money on utility bills while living healthier and saving the environment.

Off-grid electricity if clean electricity and it can be achieved by harnessing passive or active energy systems.
Passive Energy

Passive energy system has the ability to heat up a structure with the use of non-mechanical methods, which means optimized use of the natural resources. By using the power of daylight a building can be effective heated up during the cold winter months, which will result in less energy consumption due to less reliance on electric heating systems. By positioning the building according to the position of the sun, your home can have natural heating when you need it.

Installation of green roof is another way to use passive energy and this is achieved by covering your roof with vegetation to create insulation for the regulation of outside temperature. Your green roof is your best weapon in controlling how much heat and coolness enters your home. Additional a green roof is also useful in retaining water and sound proofing your home.

Active Energy

Active energy system aims to provide power for the buildings by using the resources that are readily available like the heat of the sun and powers of wind and water.

One way to use active energy is to use solar power. Today, solar power is the most commonly known renewable energy resource. Solar power can be obtained by using Photovoltaic panels or thermal solar panels. A Photovoltaic panel converts solar radiation into electric current that can provide power for home appliances. A thermal solar panel, on the other hand can significantly reduce diesel and gas consumption and greenhouse gasses emissions.

Other active energy systems include Biomass (energy from organic materials), Geothermal energy (energy from harnessing ground heat) and Wind Turbine (generated energy from wind).

NASA Reports Continues Long-Term Global Warming

According to NASA scientists, 2014 is the warmest year recorded since 1880. There is video that displays the global temperature averages in five-year time series. As time passes by, the red color indicating warming can be seen increasing, meaning that the Earth is indeed getting warmer. The video shows the estimated changing global warmth from 1880 up to 2014.

NASA scientists continue to expect that the earth’s temperatures are going fluctuate year after year, but they are certain of one thing; the earth as a whole has definitely warmed up for up to 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit or 0.8 degrees Celsius since the records in 1880. This is a kind of trend that is significantly driven by the uncontrollable increase of greenhouse gas and carbon dioxide emissions into the earth’s atmosphere.


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The analysis given by NASA-GISS includes the measurements in temperature gathered from 6,300 weather stations worldwide, buoy-based and ship-based ocean temperature readings, as well as gathered data from the Antarctic research stations. Plugging the measurements into an algorithm allows for the proper estimation of average global temperature.

Warmest Years on Record

NASA scientists reported that as of 2014, the years 2006, 2009 and 2013 are on the same position as the seventh warmest since the year 1880. The record also disclosed that 2005 and 2010 are the warmest years ever prior to the warmest temperature recorded for 2014. This only means that the fluctuating temperatures are not really going down, but rather going to the extremes.

In 2013, it was recorded that the average earth temperatures was at 58.3 degrees Fahrenheit or 14.6 degrees Celsius. This temperature is warmer that the baseline for the mid 20th century of 1.1 degrees Fahrenheit or 0.6 degrees Celsius.

Since 1880, it has been recorded that the average global temperatures increased for about 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit or 0.8 degrees Celsius. This record was based on the analysis performed by the NASA-GISS.

Warmest Years Varied From One Region to Another

The relatively warm temperatures of 2013 were not really experienced around the world. For Australia, 2013 was the hottest year ever, while continental USA, recorded 2013 as the 42nd warmest year in history. The temperature analysis performed by GISS is collected from weather data from over one thousand meteorological stations from all over the world, sea-surface temperature complied through satellite observations and measurements through Antarctic research stations, considering the account station’s history along with the urban heat-island effects. In order to effectively compute the divergence between a given month’s surface temperature and the same place’s average temperature from the year 1951 to the year 1980. This 30 year period works as a foundation for the analysis, and according to the records, it’s been 38 years since a year with cooler than average temperature was recorded.

Regional temperature differences are more powerfully affected by the weather dynamics instead of global mean. For instance, in 2014 in the U.S. there are parts of the East Coast and Midwest that were uncommonly cool, while in Alaska California, Nevada and Arizona, the residents experienced the warmest year recorded.

Different Views and Opinions on the NASA Video

The video itself has received different reactions from different people. Some people mentioned that if you trust Thermometer temperature readings then you probably believe that Global Warming is true and that 2014 is indeed the warmest year recorded.

It was also commented that the video animation displays data from worldwide network of temperature observations. The succession towards greater coverage of the red colors in the course of time is an indication that there is indeed a long-term global warming occurring over the last century.

Another commenter noted that there is one glitch in the video and the description. It was specified that the temperature rise is distorted by the current and more accurate temperature measurements. The noted temperature rise is about similar as the variable. Basically, this means that old and new data do not really correlate, thus there is not much information that would either confirm or deny the claim that 2014 is the warmest year on record.

Out of the whole description, it was also noted that the fifth and the sixth paragraphs are the ones that really made sense. The commenter also mentioned that he never doubted that there are indeed some significant weather pattern changes, but he also does not think that the overall global warming is going to occur that fast.

Another important observation is that some global locations really change their average temperatures, but as the general air currents revolve with different minimal tracks, there still could be a very small change. Unless the world experiences a collective total global system disorder, with generally reversed shifts in magnetic, the climate change trend might still take many hundreds – if not thousands – of years.

This is another view regarding the video animation from NASA: Thermal surveys are a matter of coverage and resolution, while today’s instruments are giving us mounds of data, the very idea that we have produced sufficient coverage and resolution misses the mark. Convection makes surveys very difficult because heat exchange is a moving target. Cleaning up data needs to happen in order to increase the accuracy of a speculative survey. And that’s where we are at in climate science. No credible scientist will instruct the public to take data or algorithms as truth. Science does the best it can, and there is quite a bit of variability within the climate science community regarding the sensitivity of Co2 forcing.

One analysis is that no one really knows what the global temperature is. People can only theorize based on the measurements and the algorithms used in managing them. In order though, to properly perform thermal surveys, advanced technology is needed and it is important to spread the devices out in proportion to their peak coverage concentric. Measurement alone does little in helping the public understand anything about climate. Trial and error has no room for global climate.

Experts’ Views on NASA’s Claim

Experts disagree over the significance of the claim. It was noted however, that there is slight doubt that the fast warming during the 1980s and early the 1990s has slowed. It was added though that there was significant rise in greenhouse gas emissions.

The new figures only showed that the report of global warming stopping is nothing but a myth, probably wishful thinking on the part of some people. Global warming may have slowed down, but to say that it has stopped is something really close to impossible. It was analyzed that the trend for 0.12C global warming per decade is long-term and there is a chance of it picking up again unabatedly, in case there is continued rise in greenhouse gas emissions.

Other experts concluded that if there is a long-term rate of 0.12C per decade then it could only mean that the Earth would be 1C warmer when the century reached its end, and not 4C to 5C as previously claimed.
It was also insisted by climate skeptics that these new figures only showed the warming is at a pause as there was no significant statistic warming trend since 1997. This is because the complete rise over this time period was particularly smaller than error margin.

It was also added that a longer view should be taken since 15 years seems a bit too short. Natural fluctuations are expected, as well as different natural occurrences (like changes in solar output and volcanic eruption) that may increase the global warming rates.


Since the 1880, it has been recorded that the average surface temperature of the earth has significantly warmed by around 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit or 0.8 degrees Celsius. It is a trend mainly driven by the notable rise in carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions into the Earth’s atmosphere.

Since 1880, Earth’s average surface temperature has warmed by about 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degrees Celsius), a trend that is largely driven by the increase in carbon dioxide and other human emissions into the planet’s atmosphere. The majority of that warming has occurred in the past three decades.

The series shown in the animation can be viewed as warm years’ series in warm decades’ series. The individual year’s ranking may have been affected by chaotic and disoriented weather patterns and the long-term warming trends can be attributable to the climate change triggers and these include mainly of the human greenhouse gas emissions.

While 2014 can still be claimed as the earth’s long-term warming trend, some scientists still anticipate that there will be year-to-year variations in the average global temperature caused by disastrous phenomena like the La Niña or the El Niño. These phenomena significantly cool or warm the tropical Pacific and are considered to play significant roles in flattening the long-term global warming trend for the previous 15 years. The 2014 record warmth however, occurred when there was El Niño-neutral year.

NASA monitors the planet’s vital signs from space, land and air using a fleet of satellites plus ground-based observation and airborne campaigns. NASA is constantly developing new ways of observing and studying the planet’s interconnected natural systems along with computer analysis tools and long-term data records for better viewing of how the Earth is changing. GISS shares this exclusive knowledge with the public as they vigilantly work with institutions around the globe, for the contribution of understanding and protection of planet Earth.