With the evolution of environmental concerns and the growing desire to create an ecologically viable habitat, sustainable houses and buildings are attracting more and more individuals and project leaders.
While it is now a priority in design, it is not always easy to approach eco-construction standards. Do you have a bioclimatic house project? Do you want the support of an expert?
Take advantage of the environment
The first reflex to have is to make optimal use of the environment, which notably involves a careful reading of the plan. Many elements of the configuration of the land can be used to the advantage of the construction such as relief, exposure to the sun, wooded areas, etc. For example, the hardwoods located to the south of the construction allow cooling in summer.
The plot thanks to their shade, but their branches do not obstruct the passage of light in winter; while the conifers in the north offer good protection against the cold wind. Another example, on a sloping ground, partially burying the north facade makes it possible to shelter the habitat as much as possible.
It remains to be seen whether the priority of the project is to store heat or to cool the living space. The right balance is to be determined according to the geographical location, the local climate and of course, the needs of the user.
It is also essential to place the majority of openings to the south, in order to avoid overheating in summer while taking advantage of the sun in winter. The sun’s trajectory in summer is higher and the angle of incidence is wider, allowing glass surfaces to reflect more solar rays instead of letting them overheat the habitat. Conversely, the low winter sun emits rays which penetrate directly into the habitat and provide a significant source of heat.
A poorly oriented habitat can quickly lead to unnecessary energy losses that can be avoided. Since the heat inputs are mainly from the South, and losses are from the North, it will be in our interest to distribute the living rooms to the South in order to take advantage of the maximum amount of sunshine and hot winds.
Thus, rooms such as garages, laundry rooms, etc. which require less heat and lighting can be placed in the north. They will serve as “buffer” rooms and will form an airlock to reduce the loss of heat stored in the hottest rooms of the house.
It may seem surprising, but the colors used for the exterior walls are also important: these walls are directly subjected to solar exposure and are the source of the first energy to be absorbed and transformed.
For example, a black wall has a solar absorption coefficient of 95% while a white wall absorbs only 18% of solar radiation and reflects the rest. The median colors would therefore be in the ocher, red and brown tints, the absorption coefficients of which are between 50% and 80%. Combined with the right material, colors make it possible to take advantage of sunlight, or on the contrary, to protect against it.
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