Careful planning from the outset is essential and the first point we consider is setting out the house in the best possible location on the site. To make the best use of passive solar gain we ensure that the building is out of the shade of other buildings/trees, optimise the number and size of the north-facing windows, include wide overhangs to shade the windows in the summertime when heating is not required and incorporated moveable shutters.
Other design elements to consider are: the removal of any unnecessary projections or corners and determining the boundary of the heated area of the home and designing it to have a compact layout.
Heat retention is realized through specific construction methods like increased insulation, thermal bridge-free structures, an airtight building envelope, energy efficient windows and a controlled ventilation system.
To make the best use of passive solar heat gain, the sun’s rays must hit the windows in winter when there is a need for heat input but be shaded in summer by wide eaves. Eco-windows’ double glazed windows were specified in this design which use low-e glass and thermally insulated frames.