Ngunguru Road Passive Solar House in Whangarei, New Zealand, is discretely tucked away off Ngunguru Road in Northland. The 340sqm house will be sited near the centre of a 1.2acre, gently sloping section. This positioning takes advantage of both the wider area to the east for space optimisation, and allows the home to be pulled back as far south as possible to achieve greater northern sunlight exposure.

The house lies along the east west axis, this layout follows the seasonal sun paths and will maximise passive solar gain during winter. The combination of roof shape, eaves overhang, high level north facing windows will allow as much sunlight as possible to be captured during winter, and will naturally exhaust warm air through a series of clerestories during summer. Top light and bottom light windows are specifically located for passive airflow and stack effect, naturally ventilating the bedrooms, lounge, dining and living spaces over summer time. The house will be constructed with exposed insulated concrete slabs and, both insulated and un-insulated exposed concrete block walls, optimising passive solar gain and heating during winter time.

The design of the house has evolved as a straight lined, linear zig zag to optimise site parameters and constraints, this comprises of three main house segments; the public and outdoor living areas, the private areas and the garage. All main rooms face north and are complemented by a series of north facing private courtyards and views towards private gardens and trees.

The house is designed for an anticipated 7000kWhs annually or an annual energy index of approximately 20.6kWhs per/sqm. The remaining power will eventually be provided by a 7.5kW grid connected solar panel system .Internal temperatures will passively peak at 24⁰ during later afternoon mid-winter, with the extreme low being 17⁰ during early morning.

Green technologies and features which have been incorporated into the house are the use of native beech timber for exterior soffits and some ceilings areas, above code insulation for floors, walls and ceilings, insulated glass, turf block at driveways reducing storm water run-off, gas hot water heating, breathable bio-paints for interior finishes, long lasting low maintenance linea weather board, native beech fascia boards at roof edges, energy efficient appliances will be standard items, and water efficient tapware will be used in bathrooms and kitchen.

The combination of passive design strategies, passive solar, passive cooling, energy efficient technologies and an eventual 7.5 kW solar panel system over the garage will render the house energy self-sufficient.

+ Location:  Whangarei New Zealand
Programme: Family House
+ Client: Private Owner
+ Site area: 1.2acres
+ Built area: 340sqm
+ Status: Design Development, Un-Built
+ CreditDuncan Firth, Claire Furlong, Saran Chamroonkul



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