How Do I… protect from the western sun and storms?
A reader asked us: “How do you design to protect /insulate the Western side of your exposed build from Heat and South West Storms ?”
Sun, hot west winds and southwest storms can all batter the Western side of a building, but good designing and planning can minimise the impacts. Light Home spoke to Craig Riddle, owner and Managing Director of Living Green Designer Homes, for some tips.
When designing a new home it pays to consider environmental principles and design techniques that will protect and insulate the western side of a building. Indeed, an important part of the design phase is looking at the solar access of the building over both winter and summer.
“We always start with the solar access and the orientation of the house,” says Craig Riddle from Living Green Designer Homes. “If your house is facing the west, you are a bit stuck but you need to limit the sun entering the building and enhance protection and shading.”
Firstly, limit the amount of openings and windows on the west side and limit the use of glass. Also make sure the solid wall area is adequately insulated to provide sufficient thermal mass.
Where glass does need to be used, good insulation results can be achieved with Smart glass. Double glazing can also be considered as it slows down the transfer of heat, however it also means it takes longer for heat to escape from inside.
“Look at extra protection methods such as awnings to shield from winds and provide shading from radiant heat. Use lightweight structures and products that allow the occupant to work with the house, such as pull-down awnings that manually retract,” Riddle says.
Where the house orientation and design means there must be open areas that are west-facing, incorporate covered decks, pergolas and extra fixed awnings to bulk up protection and shading from the sun and wind.