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Old 03-14-20, 11:45 AM   #3
Helper EcoRenovator
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Western Washington
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Some specifics:
We all like natural light in the winter but not the summer sun's heat. Build with plenty of south facing windows, but put them behind a porch or really deep overhang.
That way the low sun angles of winter will shine in, but the brutal high angle summer sun is blocked.
Keep north facing windows small and for specific views.
Look at east and west windows with regard to trees, if you have any. The tree shadow can help with the heat. Around here the afternoon sun does the most damage, so the west window placement is important.
Basements are the least expensive and most efficient square footage. They maximize the earth's moderating influences, and increase the density of your home. I call it that because of the surface area affected by weather in ratio to square footage is lowest. Below the frost line the earth is very close to the average temperature for your area. This acts to moderate highs and lows.
Often you can retreat to basement spaces in the summer and avoid or minimize cooling costs.
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