In order for a building to be energy efficient and environmentally friendly in any way, there are many things to consider when searching for a site or placing a house on a site.
Analysing needs and lifestyle – current and future
- What type of home is needed?
(house, apartment, villa; is a large garden required, lifestyle options and access to facilities)
- Does the location suit your lifestyle and can it accommodate potential changes in the future?
(family addition, retirement, old age, health and so on)
- Is the site close to public transport, work, school, family members or other social activities?
(Proximity may reduce the need of a second car. It will reduce car trips, travel time and carbon footprint, consequently protecting the environment, and saving money).
- Determine the true cost of the location.
(A site/ home in the outer suburbs may be cheaper, but will this compensate the higher transport cost and the additional times spend on the road or on public transport?)
Study the site and the local climate
- Seasonal and diurnal temperature ranges
- Direction of hot, cold and wet winds and cooling breezes
- Humidity range
- Effect of local geographic features or climate conditions, like the fall of a site, vegetation or neighbouring properties that might modify air movement and solar access.
- Seasonal characteristics
- Orientation of the site, determine where north is. Will the configuration of the site allow for good solar access, and the positioning of private open space and garden areas facing north?
- Are existing or proposed buildings or trees overshadowing the site?
If you do want to know more about how to place a building on your site and how to arrange your floor plan for optimal solar access please check our other articles.