When embarking on a new home construction project, it is important to start from the principle that the house should be designed according to its environment, and not the other way around. Indeed, it is recommended to think of the plans of the future dwelling taking into account the chosen land and its orientation in relation to the sun. Why worry about these points which may seem secondary? How to properly arrange your house in this sense? Let’s do a check in.
Why take into account the environment of the house to design the plans?
If taking into account the environment of a future home is obvious for many future owners, it is not a criterion that speaks to all individuals who embark on such a project. However, it is essential to design the plans for your home according to the terrain and its overall environment, and not the other way around.
Many individuals have a very specific idea of the ideal home, but designing the plans for it is not so simple. Having a desire is one thing, but implementing it is not always possible. It is the ground which conditions the plans of the house and not this one which imposes its forms and orientations.
The main environmental criterion is orientation. Why ? Quite simply because the course of the sun throughout the day has a significant importance on the dwelling and its inhabitants. Sunny rooms will naturally be heated throughout the year, which saves considerable money in winter, but is also very hot in summer! Rooms on the north side will stay cooler throughout the year. As for the spaces located to the east, they will be bright in the morning and those to the west in the afternoon.
If the southern exposure is the most desired by individuals, because it allows you to open your house at the back towards the sun without worrying about prying eyes, it is obviously not possible for everyone. Buying land facing north, east or west is entirely possible and will require different layouts and house plans drawn accordingly.
Following the course of the sun is therefore a good way to reduce your energy bills, but also to take advantage of ideal sunshine throughout the year, which is beneficial for physical and moral health. If this is your project, let’s see together how to design the plans of a house according to the sun.
Where to place the different pieces according to the sun?
Rooms to be located to the south
The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. The southern orientation is therefore the most beneficial for warming and illuminating its interior more naturally and thus limiting energy costs. To save money, it is recommended to open some rooms to the south. In winter, these are heated and lighted naturally by the low sun, which reduces the heating and lighting bill. In summer, the sun is higher and penetrates less deeply through the glazing, which allows the house to be illuminated without suffering from the heat.
Here are the rooms that are recommended to be placed on the south side:
- The living room and the dining room : when these living rooms face south, they are bathed in light throughout the day. In winter, the sun, lower, largely penetrates through bay windows and windows. The living rooms are thus naturally heated and lit for longer. They are therefore clearer and more user-friendly. In summer, it suffices to keep the shutters closed or semi-closed during hot weather to limit the sunshine, but the sun being higher, its rays will penetrate less deeply into the living room, leaving the rooms more pleasant to live in.
- The kitchen : it’s your choice, but a south orientation is often desirable in a kitchen, because the room thus benefits from good sunshine throughout the day and the year. In winter, it will be very warm and bright, and having your meals there with the sun will be pleasant. On the other hand, if you dread the heat, the south can be a constraint in summer, especially if you are used to cooking a lot, because cooking heats up the room even more. It’s up to you to see according to your habits and your desires.
The pieces to place in the north
The rooms facing north will be the least hot and the least luminous, and this throughout the year. North is therefore generally limited to rooms that need to stay cool or to rooms that are only passing through.
- The bathroom : a bathroom only needs a small window and a heated towel rail is useful for a good part of the year. It can therefore be placed in the north. The brightness will be sufficient and the heat necessary for comfort will be provided by a suitable radiator, the use of which will be limited to the short time the room is occupied.
- the entrance : if you are designing a well-defined entrance to your house, placing it in the north is a good idea, because it is a passage room. It therefore needs little light and little heat.
- The pantry, the laundry room : pantry and laundry room are so-called cold rooms, where it is not necessary to have significant heat or intense light. In a laundry room, household appliances such as washing machines and dryers, freezers, water heaters, boilers or heat pumps naturally give off heat and will heat the space without the need for heating. In the cellar, stored food requires a low temperature for ideal preservation. In addition, these rooms act as a buffer by absorbing the cold outside in winter, which reduces heat loss from living rooms.
- The garage : the garage is a place dedicated to parking vehicles and storing various elements. It needs neither light nor heat. Positioning it to the north is therefore the most ideal.
Rooms to be located to the east
East-facing rooms will be bathed in light from the morning. They will therefore be naturally heated in the morning and darker in the afternoon. This is an ideal location for a master bedroom. Indeed, placing it to the east is a good way to take advantage of the sunrise and its warmth in the morning and to find a cooler space in the evening, for a good sleep.
Rooms to be located to the west
Children’s bedrooms can be located to the west, as they will benefit from the sun in the afternoon and a more pleasant warmth in the evening for sleeping. Children spend more time in their room during the day and can therefore feel good there all year round.
The guest bedroom can also be located to the west, although its orientation does not usually matter, since it is used less.