The proper orientation of a pre-fabricated metal building on your property lets you take advantage of an effective way to knock down utility costs. Positioning the building to take advantage of passive solar energy lets you make use the sun’s warmth in the winter while avoiding the brunt of solar heat in the summer.
There’s only a bit of science behind it, and it turns out this practice is hardly new. The ancient Romans oriented their homes and public buildings to take advantage of passive solar energy. Here’s what you need to know.
The Basic Building Blocks
The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. During the midday it’s at a high angle in summer and a low angle in winter. These four basic acknowledgements are what you need to keep in mind to position your Miracle Truss® building for optimal indoor comfort – and to reduce cooling or heating bills.
Put up your Miracle Truss® building so it’s within 15 degrees of the east/west axis. This is especially helpful if you purchase one of our rectangular designs because the ends of the building facing the east and west will have less surface area.
Areas along the south-facing side will provide more heat from solar warmth in winter. They’ll also be more consistently lit by sunlight – so this is where you should consider adding windows. Our 24-inch on center design makes it easy to buy standard energy efficient windows and easily install them without any worries of retrofitting.
Try to face the front side of your building within 20 degrees of either side of true sough. It allows windows on this side to act as solar collectors during the winter months. If you deviate too far from a 20-degree true-south angle, you’ll lose advantage of the passive solar possibilities.
The walls facing south should have 50 percent more window area than those facing east or west. This configuration is even more effective if you also place shaded trees or overhangs to deflect the midday summer sun. The west wall needs fewest windows.
Consider deciduous trees for the south side. They’ll offer heat-reducing shade during the summer, but provide solar heat exposure during the winter when they’ve lost their leaves.
Need some inspiration? Check out our gallery. We’ve collected a growing number of photos provided by Miracle Truss® customers. Tell us about your needs for a building with this form, and we’ll send you free information.