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).