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  • How to add natural light to your home with passive design


    Your house should be your castle – not a dingy , dark dungeon. Designing to let as much sunlight in as possible will make sure that your new build is a comfortable and warm environment when you finally move in. That's not to mention the fact that it will also be a drier and healthier environment to live in. 

    There are a few tricks to designing a sunny home that can be easy to execute, without putting too much strain on your construction loan. We've run through the basics to help make sure you build a sunny home, not a dark and cold lair. 

    Design according to your location

    When aiming to build a sunny and comfortable home you should think about the climate you live in and design accordingly. These considerations will include the following:

    • Are you in an area that's cold in the winter? If so you'll want to include a large north facing wall in your design, as this is the facade that will enjoy the most sun. Include large windows on this wall if possible, and ensure that most of your active spaces like your kitchen and living room sit along it. 
    • Is your home located in a tropical or subtropical area like Cairns? You'll want to use reflective insulation, minimise north facing walls, and install shading to keep your home as cool as possible. You'll still want to let sun into your home however, so including windows with shades on the east side of your home is a good idea. 
    • Windows on the southern side of your home should be kept relatively small to reduce heat loss, as they will receive minimal sunlight. 

    Installations that can let more sun in

    Smartly placed windows are key to making the most of the sunlight. Here are a few interesting varieties that you should consider: 

    • Skylights: Including a skylight in your home is a brilliant way to get sunlight into areas away from the building's exterior. 
    • Floor to ceiling sliding doors: During winter these can remain closed to let in sunlight and trap in warmth. During summer leave them open for great indoor-outdoor flow. 
    • Clerestory windows: If your home has to be built facing south for whatever reason these windows can protrude from the roof, offering both an interesting design feature, and a way to trap sun from the north. 

    These additions will all add to the character of your home and let sunlight in, without maxing out your construction loan

    Choosing the site

    Wide sites with plenty of north facing space are the ideal in most Australian climates – to maximise sun during winter.

    Narrow sites on the other hand may be ideal in more tropical climates, as it will be easier to maximise cooling breezes and minimise the sun's heating effects.

    A photo posted by Inhabitat (@inhabitatdesign) on

    Nov 15, 2016 at 11:00am PST

    Consider the shape and orientation of the site when buying land, and consider if it can accommodate a large north facing wall. When designing and building a comfortable home, you'll want to put most active spaces near that north wall to ensure maximum living comfort during the cold months. 

    Get in touch with Mortgageport's experienced team of brokers today and we can help get your dreams of building a beautifully designed and comfortable home of the ground. 

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