Solar orientation design trade-offs — tough decisions
I have the unique opportunity to build an net-zero spec house for an investor in my local area. It’s a 1450 sq ft. ranch with a garage on a slab. Building to “pretty awesome” house principles. Air-tight, High R, Triple glazed euro windows, etc etc.
My dilemma is the trade-offs between curb appeal, design functionality and optimum solar orientation for solar PV and glazing.
The investor wants “curb appeal” and likes the long axis of the house facing the road, which puts the long axis N-S. My solution to obtain a decent amount of south facing roof was to put a hip roof along the “L” that is created by the garage. (See photo)
The only issue here is that this puts the two guest bedrooms and guest bath on the south side. The living area with the most glazing is on the north west corner. Not at all optimal for solar heating.
In order to get that glazed living room corner over to the south west, I have to flip the plan while keeping the garage put. This creates an entry problem–the utility room that was accessed through the garage is now on the other side. The only option for entry directly from the garage is to create a mud room that juts out of the front. Awkward to say the least.
So what do people think? Even with the swap the glazing situation is not optimal. It just kinda hurts to have to put that corner over on the north west side. Any ideas?
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