Energy Efficiency: Floor Plan and Size


Pay attention to the floor-plan of your new home. It determines many other crucial elements of an energy-efficient design.

The floor-plan should be designed having into account the path of the sun, ventilation and zone heating and cooling strategies.

Daytime Living Areas

Daytime living areas should face the south (or the north, in southern hemisphere countries). This strategy involves relatively large south facing windows (north facing, in the southern hemisphere) to capture the winter sun…

Bedrooms And Other Areas

Bedrooms and utility areas can be located mostly on the opposite face of the house – assuming that the southern facade (northern facade in southern hemisphere) provides most of the daytime living spaces, benefiting from the winter sun entry…

Open Areas And Zoning

Also prefer an open-floor plan for your new home. This residential home design concept isn’t exactly new (it has some decades), and means larger open spaces, connecting related areas, instead of older designs where each function was associated to its own separate room: the kitchen, the living room, the dining room…

The open space concept helps home heating and cooling zoning and provides more energy-efficiency. It also allows light to penetrate more easily and air to circulate more freely within each area, helping the home to be smaller and to reduce energy needs at specific occasions via zone heating or zone cooling.

Size And Shape

A large family may demand a larger home, but that should never correspond to a too-big home.

Do not bet on complex and luxury details. You may install the most environmentally-friendly materials in the market, the most advanced appliances and solar and other renewable technologies, but without a proper shape and a modest size you will never get a low energy consumption.

We don’t need a large home to be happy and comfortable. We can be both in a home with, say, less than 2000 square feet. Too-large homes do not have into account the limited resources of our planet. Habits and fashions involving unnecessary large homes are irresponsible.

The Shape Of The Home

An elongated rectangular home, with its longer axis orientated in an east-west direction for solar heat gains is a common and very energy-efficient strategy in cold and temperate climates. But there are other good alternatives, namely for other climates…

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