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The layout of rooms in a passive solar building is important because an intelligent arrangement can reduce energy consumption and increase comfortability. The layout of different spaces in a house relies on their utilization in each season and at various times of the day.
Typically, living spaces or areas with more activities should be located at the south of the building to get maximum heat energy from the sun. However, spaces like baths and toilets should be located at the rear of the house.
How to Plan Rooms in Passive Solar Building?
- Place frequently used rooms such as living, family, or dining rooms on the south side of the house to get the maximum heat energy. The designer should pay attention to potential issues related to glare from sunshine through large windows.
- Locate bedrooms on the north side of a house unless frequently used. Privacy requirements may limit the use of large windows for bedrooms. However, some homeowners may prefer full passive solar bedrooms with large windows.
- Spaces such as garages, closets, storage areas, and other less frequently used rooms must be placed against the north, east, or west exterior walls. These spaces act as a buffer and protect conditioned rooms from the outside temperature.
- Locate entryways away from winds.
- Placement of toilet, laundry room, and kitchen close to the water heater saves heat that may be lost from longer pipelines, see Figure-1. The kitchen and dining rooms should be placed on the east of the house to take advantage of the early morning heat energy from the sun.
The following tips can be considered during the configuration of rooms in a passive solar house to further improve the plan from an energy-saving viewpoint:
- An open floor plan can distribute heat energy throughout the house by natural convection, see Figure-2.
- Use an open-plan approach if the building footprint is small. Open spaces show the building larger than they are, which adds to the feeling of freedom and space. Small houses are cheaper to construct, employ passive solar technology efficiently and have a lower effect on the environment.
- However, open space is more costly to heat if the passive solar effect diminishes since zone heating is difficult to implement in small-sized buildings. Fewer rooms mean less separation, resulting in noise issues.
- Prevent the division of the building between north-south zones.
- Employ an east-west partition wall as a thermal mass.
- Provide south-facing clerestories to charge north zones of the house with the sun’s heat energy.
The layout of interior rooms in the passive solar building is significant because an intelligent arrangement can save energy consumption and increase comfort.
The layout of different rooms in a passive solar building relies on their utilization in each season and at various times of the day.
Generally, living spaces or areas with more activities should be located at the south of the building to get maximum heat energy from the sun.
The kitchen and breakfast rooms should be placed on the east of the house to take advantage of the early morning heat energy of the sun.