Light and Shade

Thinking of extending your dwelling an interesting segment for the success of your project will be the quality and quantity of free light, shade and heat you require for your new area.

With most of extensions, unless its a second storey, these rooms are mainly to the rear of a dwelling. If a the extension i.e.: rumpus to living area under same roof line as existing dwelling, then in the age of rising energy prices the use of light and sun can make or break the energy performance of this room.

Most dwellings we look to have our average living room temperature around the 20 to 22 degrees Celsius.  This means we have to consider heating and cooling for the room. Good access to sun reduces cost’s during daylight hours (winter) provided our insulation needs tick the right boxes for summer. The greatest percentage of glass should face between 30 degrees east and 20 degrees west of north where solar gain and loss may be controlled to the greatest advantage.

Large windows and Bi fold doors have great upsides for views, light and space but classic downsides in poor insulation qualities unless more expensive product options chosen. With significant cost reductions in double glaze and other solar options mean the extra you pay as reduced. It is important then to understand that energy ratings can be improved through the use of better glazing options, eg double glazing, low-e, toned, solar glass and so on. Doing your own research will often point your designer and builder in the right direction for window selection and style.

Wit the increase cost of heating and cooling hitting homes and owners flocking to solar energy, including me,  I’m also considering what cost and product options of changing a door and window in my living area to provide more insulation while maintaining my view’s to the rear garden which I enjoy. With solar options seemly from $10,000 plus reducing my energy costs via good performing products may also be a sound investment. As i’m not actually renovating I can still can a window and door and get the benefits. If you are extending then a bit extra for these products may just help your long term energy bills.

Heating (and cooling) of the whole house nowadays is a luxury we must now question in house design. Where we have extensive open living area’s where say 50% which we rarely occupy but we heat and cool it 365 days a year the smarter design solutions need to be applied.

So when thinking of your renovation and couple of the above ideas might be worth considering within your design.

  • Provide good insulation and high performance glass products.
  • Reduce within reason large expanses of low use areas.
  • Consider more fully what free solar energy you can welcome into your home, PS.at least while the government considers way of charging you for it.

Clearly your designer or builder may have good product solutions for your project but good product research will ensure you can provide clear product decisions for your home.

So consider making the best of free energy and how you might control it to make your home both economical and enjoyable to be in.