We were flattered to be featured in an article on Houzz.com, on principles of effective passive solar design. Written by Briony Darcy, principal of DE atelier Architects, the article give 9 examples of how passive solar design has been used in builds around Australia.
Essentially, solar passive design is about creating an internal environment which maintains a consistent, comfortable temperature throughout the year, utilising the free resources of the sun, wind and a considered design. It can vastly reduce reliance on mechanical heating and cooling, not to mention reduce your energy bills.
Our project Mewstone was featured in the article as an example of using thermal mass in passive solar design. Materials with thermal mass are dense and can store heat within and include concrete, masonry, stone and rammed earth. The capturing of heat in thermal mass is best suited to regions with sunny days and cold nights (Perth region Western Australia where this home is located, has the most sunny days annually of all the Australian capital cities) .
The thermal mass acts as a heat bank, storing the warmth from the sun during the day. In the evening, as the temperature drops, the heat is gradually released maintaining a comfortable internal temperature and reducing the need for mechanical heating. The Mewstone, designed by Swell Homes, utilises reverse brick veneer (RBV) and an exposed concrete slab for thermal mass. RBV is where the inside wall is brick and the outside is clad in another material such as fibre cement, timber or render. RBV is a very effective, thermally efficient wall system when coupled with appropriate insulation and external cladding.