In a brand new home, alternate energy design features can reduce your energy uptake by preventing unwanted heat entering the home. Homes that are passively designed take advantage of natural climate to maintain thermal comfort. Passive home design offers an effective energy solution with the capacity to reduce or wipe out heating and cooling bills, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions from heating, cooling, mechanical ventilation and lighting.
Even internal shadings reduce summer temperatures, improve comfort and save energy. Direct sun can generate the same heat as a single bar radiator over each square meter of a surface. Shading can block up to 90% of this heat. If used effectively, shading new windows can prevent your home from becoming too hot or too cold. In a typical insulated home, windows can account for more heat gain or loss than any other element in the building. In summer, heat gain through an unshaded window can be 100 times greater than through the same area of insulated wall – acting like an unwanted renewable energy installation! As an alternate energy solution, shading of glass to reduce unwanted heat gain is critical. Unprotected glass is often the greatest source of unwanted heat gain in a home. Radiant heat from the sun passes through glass and is absorbed by building elements and furnishings, which then re-radiate it. The first principle in a warmer climate is to place blinds that reflect solar heat that was transmitted through the window, back out through the window but also to employ Renewable energy design principles.
Employing design principles for renewable energy
Renewable energy design encourages the use of external shading devices over openings such as windows or verandas. As with window furnishings, lighter-colored shading devices reflect more heat away from the building. Eaves, plants, trees, awnings can all be used to shade the building, particularly windows, to reduce unwanted glare and heat gain.
With a home facing in the ideal north orientation, sun can be excluded in summer and admitted in winter using simple horizontal devices, including eaves. With renewable energy design energy needs are minimized in terms of air conditioning requirements. With a building facing east or west the low morning and afternoon sun emanating from these directions is more difficult to shade. thus, there is a need for an appropriate shading device such as adjustable shading. Many awnings allow for adjustment and appropriately designed eaves are by and large the simplest and least expensive shading method for northern elevations. Here, all that is required on most single story houses. An awning design needs for example, to offer wind screening (except in situations where home wind energy is required as a renewable energy solution) where needed and / or greater width in hot dry inland areas. This is well understood and an experienced awning supplier should be able to provide alternatives with regard to particular locations.