What Is The Importance Of Solar Orientation In Architecture

Do you remember the cardinal points you learned there at school? Because today is the day to dig up this knowledge to understand how solar orientation can impact the architecture of a house. Come on?

The solar orientation is nothing more than the path that the earth takes around the sun throughout the year.

This 365-day trajectory results in the four seasons (spring, summer, autumn, and winter), in addition to determining the length of days and nights. It is also worth remembering that this orientation varies concerning the two hemispheres (north and south) and due to the proximity to the equator.

How do know the solar orientation of a plot, house, or apartment?

It is very easy to find out the solar orientation of a property, whatever type it is. One of the best ways to do this is with the help of a compass. With it, you detect the north side and, consequently, the other cardinal points. Nowadays there are mobile applications with this function, which makes everything faster and more practical.

But if you don’t have a compass, the tip is to go to the property in person at different times of the day. Make two to three site visits to determine solar orientation. The first visit should take place in the morning, as the sun rises in the east. With that in mind, just look at the direction of the star king to discover the east face of the property.

The immediately opposite side is west. The face with the least amount of sunlight is in the south, while the opposite face is the north. Schedule another visit for the afternoon and see how the sunlight behaves. Also, remember to do this check-in view of the season.

Thermal comfort x solar orientation

To enjoy a warm and cozy home in winter and fresh and airy in summer, it is essential to understand the solar orientation concerning your property.

Every day the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. During winter, the sun’s inclination is more to the north, while in summer it is a little more to the south, especially in the morning and late afternoon.

Solar orientation: Tips when buying or designing a property

  • When visiting the property for the first time, check for the presence of mold and moisture. This can be an indication that the place receives little or no sunlight.
  • Note if there are buildings, tall houses, or trees very close to the property. Buildings of this type compromise the incidence of sunlight, even reducing ventilation.
  • Integrated environments favor the distribution of sunlight. So, if you notice this configuration on the property’s floor plan, it’s a good sign.
  • Beware of properties that have environments such as living room and kitchen facing west. In addition to the more intense heat, direct sunlight can compromise the functioning of household appliances and also fade the color of floors, upholstery, and wooden furniture.
  • Apartments with a balcony can shade the lower units, even facing north. That’s why it’s always good to visit the property in person.

Tags: architecture, architecture and design, home decor, interior design, solar orientation, solar panels

Author: Renata Kralevska


A passionate female writer, I specialize in articles about architecture and home interiors. I love sharing insights and inspiration to help readers create beautiful and functional living spaces.


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