Orientation is one of the most important design elements to consider when building your home, and it’s no different for your verandah.
Good orientation can make your outdoor living space more comfortable to live in, while also increasing your energy efficiency and reducing your running costs. In turn, bad orientation can lead to an uncomfortably warm outdoor area in summer, and a freezing space come winter, which means you either won’t utilise these areas or will have to spend thousands artificially adjusting the temperature.
The elements of orientation
When most people think of orientation, they think of the position of the sun in relation to their property. However, it encompasses so much more than this.
Good orientation design in Australia considers:
• The reduction of high summer heat
• The ability to retain heat during the winter
• Wind direction
• Wind type (including cooling breezes)
• Passive cooling and heating
• Surrounding shading and buildings
• Seasonal characteristics, including any extreme temperatures
What to consider with your verandah design?
As a general rule, living areas, including outdoor spaces, should be relocated to take advantage of winter sun and cooling summer breezes. In most of Australia, the ideal aspect is north or north east, so all main living areas should be north facing. This is because in the height of summer, the sun will sit directly over those spaces and in the colder months, the light can still creep in.
Consider wind direction over the course of the year – for example, on the east coast of Australia, cool breezes are generally north easterly to south easterly. Make sure to position your verandah to capture these appropriately, especially during the summer months. If your home is open to harsher winds, consider what landscaping elements you can use to block these from these – fences and plantings are just two options.
Providing your verandah with some much-needed shade is also an important factor. If there isn’t any shade provided by your own home, surrounding properties or your garden, consider installing a roof or shade screen that will protect anyone sitting outside over the sunnier months. You can also look to install vertical structures that can block the sun, while still allowing light, views and ventilation – lattice and vertical awnings are just two examples.
To find out more about building the perfect verandah at the optimal orientation, get in touch with the verandah experts at Innovative Verandahs today! Our passionate team are experts in the field, dedicated to ensuring your verandah offers you the best outdoor living experience possible.