Building best orientation for best solar heating



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    Brett Spencer

    The Architect's Studio Companion dives into this a little more.  They explain that maximum solar gain is achieved when an elongated building along the east-west access is oriented within 15 degrees east of true south (although up to 45 degrees can still achieve some of these benefits).  This maximizes the amount of exposure to direct sunlight in the winter.  Devices such as overhangs or horizontal exterior louvers should also be incorporated to limit the amount of unwanted summer sun.  For this reason, it is best practice to have spaces within the building that are facing south to be user-occupied spaces, as they will receive the benefit in this daylighting strategy.  Rooms on the north side of the building should be secondary uses (restrooms, services, etc.) which act as a buffer from the cold air on the north side of the building from the user occupied spaces. 

    Hope this helps!

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    Shuai Cao

    Hi Brett

    Thanks a lot for the information! And it really helps!




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    Afxentis Christoforou


    I actually read this today in the Ballast Review Manual. There is a graphic showing the best orientations for the 4 main climates-which has reference to the 17 degrees. I believe it was in chapter 9.

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