Oak Framed Buildings With Passive Solar Design

If you are trying to live a more sustainable way of life and are concerned about the amount of energy used to heat and light your home, then you may already have come across the concept of passive solar design. Passive solar design is all about using the natural resources at your disposal – the heat and light from the sun above all. Good passive solar design ensures that your home remains warm in winter and cool in summer and can be lit as often as possible using the natural daylight available. Oak framed buildings can be the perfect structure for the incorporation of passive solar design.

In the northern hemisphere, the main, large windows on a new oak framed passive solar structure should always face south. Since the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, the sun will come from the south through the warmest part of the day. Since the sun will never shine from due north, the windows on that side of the home, if there are any, should be far smaller.

The best passive solar buildings will also take into account the angle of the sun throughout the year. In our cool climate, we want to allow as much sun into the home as possible for most of the year, though in a warmer climate we would want to create shades such that the sun only enters the home during the colder months when the sun is lower in the sky.

An oak framed building that is too large will not be successful in terms of passive solar design. When an oak framed home is designed on a human scale, it can be heated and lit more easily, while still providing plenty of space for modern living. In an ideal passive solar design, the sun should be able to come in through large, south facing windows and hit the back wall of the rooms.

When the sun hits the wall of an oak framed garden room, it will heat the structure itself. Oak is perfect as a companion material to other natural materials such as stone, cob, straw rendered in clay and other ecologically friendly building materials. These materials are great at absorbing the heat of the sun and storing it for later. This thermal storage capacity of a structure is key to good passive solar design. Heat will be stored up in the structure during the day and released during the night. This means that a well-insulated home can be kept at a more comfortable and consistent temperature throughout the day and throughout the year.

Due to its strength, durability and the fact that it can be used to create structures in a wide range of different shapes and sizes, oak is perfect for projects looking to minimise energy use and maximise solar gain. It will be an integral part of homes designed to minimise bills for heating and lighting and which have a goal of smaller carbon-footprint living.


About Us

We here at Loosehanger Oak pride ourselves on our attention to detail, as well as our environmental credentials. We provide an end-to-end service – taking care of everything from initial idea to finished construction. We handle all the small hassles and let you relax and look forward to enjoying your new oak building or oak extension.

Contact Gary today to begin your journey, book a free site visit and consultation, and join our many contented customers as you embark on your own oak framed construction project.


Understanding Oak Frame Buildings