How to Design Your Home for A Cold Climate
When designing your new home, you need to consider some factors to enable you come up with the best plan and design for the building. One important aspect that you are likely to overlook is the climate. The climate of the area in which you intend to build the house can affect how energy efficient your house will be and how it will adhere to the elements. If you are building in a cold region, consider the following when designing the house.
Choose the Location Carefully
In a cold climate, you want to ensure your house gains as much heat as possible. This means you will want to take full advantage of the sun. Choose a location that will ensure the longer sides of your house will be on the east-west axis. This will allow a larger area of your house to absorb maximum sunlight. That is, choosing a location on the east-west orientation or the southern slopes of any nearby mountains or hills will ensure your house receives maximum solar radiation.
Be Keen On the Design of the Roof
How you choose to design the roof of your house will also affect the efficiency of the house in a cold climate. First, consider a sloped roof design. Cold climates usually experience heavy rainfall or even snow for extremely cold regions. A sloped roof will ensure that snow or rainwater doesn't accumulate on your roof to create puddles. Water puddles on a roof are usually the birth of roof leak problems. Besides, if snow is left to accumulate on a roof, the extra weight can affect the integrity of the roof materials as well as the underlying decking and you may end up with a collapsed roof.
The choice of roof materials is also part of roof design. For cold climates, metal roofs are usually more effective than other roofing materials. Apart from being durable, they will stand up well to the extreme temperatures and are excellent at shedding snow. However, this can be a problem because since snow is shed relatively fast, you can easily end up with piles of snow around your house. Therefore, design for adequate space beneath your roofline.
Design for A Low Ceiling
Heat gain is often desirable in a cold climate. If you build your ceilings too high, you may waste a lot heat. This is because heat tends to rise up so you want to keep it as low as possible to maximise heat levels in your home.