What is it?
Designing and building a new home can be very rewarding and exciting. Renovating can be rewarding too and sometimes less costly when factoring in selling costs and moving and buying again.
But in all the excitement of planning and designing there’s something that is often overlooked. What is it?
It’s access to sunlight.
Sunlight is one of the most important resources we all have access to, so it makes sense to use it wisely.
This applies to renovating or designing your new home.
Have you ever rented or purchased a home only to learn you could not possibly live there? It didn’t feel right or was too hot or stuffy or maybe didn’t get a breeze?
If so, most likely that’s because it was not designed with aspect and orientation in mind. Getting that right here in Queensland is very important. Get it wrong and it’ll cost you money in the long run because you’ll need to spend money to fix things if it’s at all possible.
You’ll also probably spend more on heating and cooling than you otherwise would have. Worse still, you might even decide that you can’t live there and need to sell.
It’s more than just sunlight!
Using the sun to guide your design whether for renovation or a new home is important but it’s not the only thing. What we’re really talking about is aspect and orientation, which is more than just sunlight.
Here in Southeast Queensland north or north-east facing properties are considered the most desirable because they get the most direct sunlight through the day, especially in winter when the sun is at its lowest. In an urban area where sunlight is at a premium, this can make a huge difference to a home’s liveability and even its value.
Aspect & Orientation:
These properties are referred to as having a ‘northeast aspect’ or a ‘northern aspect’. So, from this you can see that aspect refers to a direction a property is facing – it’s orientation.
So, what is orientation? Orientation is the positioning of a building in relation to seasonal variations in the sun’s path as well as prevailing wind patterns, frequently referred to as the direction your home is aligned to relative to points on a compass, usually north if in the southern hemisphere.
So before rushing headlong into planning your new home or renovation make sure that you consider designing for aspect and orientation. If you don’t it’s highly likely that it will cost you more money that you otherwise needed to spend.
But it’s more than that! Keep in mind, when you walk into a home it might be the view that hits you, makes you go ‘wow’, but when you live in the home and walk into it every day it’s the aspect, the orientation, that gives the home the ‘wow’ that makes it a joy to live in every day.
6 “Real Life” reasons why you must pay attention to Aspect & Orientation!
- Good orientation can increase the energy efficiency of your home, making it more comfortable and a joy to live in and, also cheaper to run. Saves on energy bills.
- Sunlight brings light and energy. Homes with a northern or north-eastern aspect offer the most direct sunlight during the day, making rooms brighter and warmer.
- It’s scientifically proven that natural light is necessary for our well-being. It maintains health, mood and reduces anxiety.
- Prevailing winds. Often cold breezes and big storms come from the south (or SE or SW), so you will bear the brunt of these with poor aspect.
- The wrong aspect or orientation could result in the living areas likely to be in shade most of the day, the risk is the double downer of darkness and damp.
- Damp, cold rooms aren’t enjoyable places to be. You’ll spend more on electricity and energy bills warming them up.