Over Heating - How Solar Passive Design Reduces Risks

The spotlight's currently on climate change, with ‘Before the Flood’ being released and the Paris Agreement coming into effect this month, we all know temperatures are on the rise. Again, this year is predicted to be the hottest on record. Heatwaves can have detrimental effects on our elderly and cause a death spike.  So what does this mean for our homes? It has been seen already in Auckland, that even new apartments will not be able to handle the energy load to run air-conditioning units (read the article here). The densifying of Auckland and our main cities will also heat things up. Keeping homes warm wont be the only priority - we must be able to keep them cool as well. 

The absolute necessity for passive solar design, not only for heating but for cooling as well, has never been so important. Lets look at the factors influencing overheating in housing… (this little inforgraphic comes from the Zero Carbon Hub – UK)

Considering overheating at the design stage will ensure cost savings however it often isn’t even discussed. With the focus being on warm dray housing taking priority. Details which help reduce the risk of overheating include exterior shading. Shading the windows reduces over heating in warmer months, this can be done in a number of ways, such as foliage, fixed over hangs and roller blind or adjustable louvres. Glazing that faces east or west poses a bigger challenge. Overhangs do not work when the sun is low, therefore louvred shutters or roller blinds that cover the whole window are required. We love these European Louvres from Griesser

These shutters can all be on sensors, based on temperatures, wind or rain. They do the thinking for you!