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When looking at block orientation a key issue is using the sun to warm the house in winter and keeping the sun out of the rooms in the summer.
Typical blocks in Australia are rectangular. About twice as long as the block width, as are most home designs. This limits the way you can place the house. In my experience the order of preference of blocks is.
1. Facing East
2. Facing West
3. Facing South
4. Facing North
If you have got a block at an angle it will require a bit more thought unless you can orientate the house in one of the above preferred directions. Larger blocks and square blocks make adjustments to the house orientation easier.
My reasons for the preferences are as follows:
This orientation allows one of the long sides to face north making the best use of the sun in a passive solar house. Usually the master bedroom is at the front so even in the summer the low sun morning sun only warms the bedroom from the chill of the night. Windows can be minimised on the west side to stop the house overheating in the afternoon and evening. This orientation also gives you plenty of roof area for the most effective location of solar hot water and solar electricity panels.
Again like the east facing block you can have one of the long sides to face north making the best use of the sun in a passive solar house. With a master bedroom at the front you will need to take steps to keep the afternoon sun out of the room to stop overheating. Like the East facing orientation this is useful for solar panels on the roof.
With a house facing south the best layout is to have as many rooms as possible having large windows facing north which can be difficult on a narrow block. To make the best of this orientation you may need to have plans drawn up as most standard plans don’t suit this orientation. It’s also best to minimise west facing windows.
A north facing house is probably the least desirable on a suburban block as it makes it hard to get the sun into the house. I certainly wouldn’t want big north facing windows allowing passers by to look in.
Lots more information in the anewhouse Guide to Buying a Block for only $4
See similar posts see Choosing a Block and Passive Solar