At Energy Rating Perth, we urge our clients to include the aspect of energy efficiency early in their building design rather than adding it as an afterthought to gain a 6 star energy rating. Our energy assessors think a simple aspect like layout design (or zoning as termed in the building design process) needs to be carried out efficiently.
Zoning or space usage is the division of spaces according to their appropriate uses and their overall combination creates a layout design. Layout design must be carried out keeping building orientation in mind and just when and how the rooms of a home will be used. Since it is ideal to orient your building north, the spaces must be arranged in a way to maximise passive solar heating and/or cooling. Zoning is essentially understanding the usage of space; the activities that occur in an area and the time of the day the space is being utilised for and organising them based on these factors. Using zoning for thermal performance means that if a building is oriented north, the spaces that are occupied for a longer time during the day i.e. living, dining, kitchen etc should be placed on the northern side. On the other hand, sleeping spaces or ones that are utilised at night should be placed on the southern side as they are cooler in summers and can be comfortable for sleeping with covers. Utility spaces like laundry, garage, and bathroom can be placed on the eastern/western side as to shield the living and sleeping spaces from solar heat gain. The areas, which are unused most of the day, should have the ability to be closed off entirely so they are not included into the overall volume that requires to be heated or cooled. Some of these spaces may generate heat due to the activities that take place for instance the kitchen. Such spaces need to be well ventilated to avoid unnecessary heat gain.
Our clients at Energy Rating Perth often prefer placing the living spaces as well sleeping spaces in their home accordance to factors like views and ease of access. But our energy assessors at Energy Rating Perth urge that intelligent building design and planning can ultimately create a thermally stable building purely due to its layout. Seeing the savings they will be making our clients almost always opt for layout designs that put efficient orientation into building layout design over plans that are simply “aesthetically pleasing”. For more information on energy efficiency improvements, contact us today!