Orientation Of A Building

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The orientation of a building is important so remember these orientation tips.Prior to setting the foundations of a prospective property, it is best to consider the orientation of the proposed building in relation to the Sun as this will greatly influence the extent to which the property can absorb/ reflect heat during the Seasons, particularly in Winter and Summer as well as the general comfort of the new property occupiers. (see Fig.1)

Fig.1: example of incorporating the movement of the Sun

into property design


The designed property must be orientated in such a way as to provide good ventilation and minimise wasteful energy loss whatever the weather.

Exposure to radiation from the Sun in the form of infra-red waves should also be considered in the design of the property as during Winter there is much less infra-red radiation exposure as the Sun is positioned more towards the Southern Hemisphere from the perspective of someone living in the Northern hemisphere e.g England, Sweden etc. Instead of property owners having to spend vast amounts of money on heating and gas during the Winter, it would be advantageous for their property to be built in such a way that it receives the most infra-red radiation exposure from the Sun to naturally and cost effectively warm their property. The opposite can be said for a property during the Summer season. As mentioned previously, during the Summer season, for the same person living in the Northern hemisphere, they would find the Sun more orientated towards the north now making the days longer and since their property has high exposure to infra-red radiation, it would be best if their property was designed to reduce the amount infra-red absorbed during that exposure for the reasons being that it would prevent the building structure from deteriorating due to the material expanding when heated and contracting when it is cold as well as the general comfort of the owner.

Other factors that may have an affect on the orientation of the proposed property are: rain, humidity and prevailing winds.

For rain especially in the case of heavy rain, it is best for the building to be designed in a way that it’s thinner exterior walls are not exposed to the impact of heavy rain so as to avoid having to frequently spend money on repairing damages caused by the rain.

For humidity, in very hot, humid conditions it has been found to be warm to anyone but this effect can be countered if there is improved ventilation. For this reason, if a property is to be built in a very humid area, it should be orientated in a way that it transfers this humidity away from the area and improves the comfort of anyone in that immediate area.

For prevailing winds, as mentioned in humidity, the key to improving the occupant’s comfort during hot, humid conditions is to increase ventilation. To do this, the direction of the wind and the speed at which it flows has to be considered in an area where the building is to be placed. The proposed building should be placed in font of very fast winds during the humid Summer season to encourage ventilation.


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