When a home design includes a large bank of new windows, it is important to consider how the light will play across the renovated space, to be sure that the space will be light-filled in winter but protected from the heat of summer.
But how does a designer figure out how their design choices will impact the light flow into the space?
One of Arciform’s current clients is keenly interested in employing the key principles of passive house design as they renovate their 1952 home.
To help explore how the exterior design could support energy efficiency inside the home, Arciform’s draftsman Brad Horne used our architectural design program, Chief Architect, to generate a series of “solar studies,” using a feature of the program that maps sunlight onto a drawing based on the day, date, and precise geographic location of the proposed renovation.
Here’s an example of that study. Watch how the light shifts on a hypothetical August day from 4 pm to 6 pm:
We asked Brad: What inspired the use of this particular tool in the design of this project?
Our client is concerned with how many salmon are sacrificed due to energy usage to maintain a comfortable home. We’re hoping to keep the sun out of the house and keep it cool by use of a thermo siphoning method and exterior shades (slats at the roof). The goal is to create a passive house from a home built in an era when energy was supposedly limitless. We’re bridging passive design with beauty and style.
What have you learned so far? What are some of the potential design decisions that could be affected by the results of this study?
We’re still determining the results. Will exterior shades be needed? Or a deeper overhang? Would a deeper deck shade the daylight basement too much?
This is a great example of the benefits of working with an experienced architectural designer. With careful consideration and the right design tools, we can help prevent problems you may not have even realized were a potential concern… all before a single hammer has been swung on the job site.
Would you like to schedule an initial design consultation for your next home design project? Find out more about the process and schedule your consultation here.