Energy efficiency is becoming the name of the game when building a new house. Part of that effort involves extensive planning with your preferred home builders regarding the general orientation of your new house.
The emphasis on having an energy-efficient house takes precedence, given the climate in Duluth. The St. Louis County city’s proximity to Lake Superior and the increasing cold as the winter months get closer drives home the need for a house that keeps all the heat locked in while bringing in as much natural light during the day. When you’re interested in having an energy-efficient house put up on your property, take up your options with a company such as Lakeside Advanced Builders, who is a Certified Passive Home Builder.
As there is an emphasis on acquiring as much natural light as possible, determining the sun’s orbital paths during summer and winter is necessary to ensure you get the best light during both seasons. Given Minnesota’s location in the Northern Hemisphere, the sun’s track takes it north of east and west in the summer, but south of that lateral axis when the winter solstice occurs.
Once you’ve determined the orbital tracks, you can draft the overall house plans to account for heat gain/loss and natural light during both seasons. One important point the International Association of Certified House Inspectors stresses is that the house ridgeline should be on an east-west axis to aid the design in having an appropriate number of windows to face both north and south. You need to address the glazing of the windows at this point, and whether to install skylights to help admit natural light in the middle of the day.
On the Inside
The interior will be affected most by the orientation of the house plan, and should aid the remodeling team in case some elements of the interior design must be changed before the project gets underway. Window selection can make a huge difference in the home performance. As an added bonus, window treatments help protect furniture from the damage caused by the sun’s UV rays.
A house with a solar orientation can easily help homeowners manage their energy utilization better. If you would like to learn more about this, please do not hesitate to consult a trusted home builder.
Building Orientation for Optimum Energy, InterNACHI
Siting with the Sun: Passive Heating and Daylighting, GreenBuilding Advisor