Arizona is one of the sunniest states in the United States, with more than 4,000 hours of sunshine per year. Arizona cities occupy three spots in the top ten sunniest cities in the world based on recorded average sunshine over a thirty-year period. While the word sunshine brings about pleasant thoughts, it’s too much of a good thing. Here are the strategies to use when planning to build a home in Arizona.
Strategic Fenestration Design
After deciding on optimal orientation and situating rooms with sun exposure and uses, you can figure out the most effective fenestration strategy. You can select the level of sun protection based on the direction which the windows face. Windows facing north receive consistent natural light with limited direct sun, so minimal shading or drapery is required.
On the other hand, windows facing west receive the most sunlight. Consider using all available equipment to receive maximum sun protection, such as residential window film. In Arizona, many people use architectural sun shades and heavy interior shades.
Ideally, you want to plan for a home that gets a reasonable amount of sun to stay warm during the winters. The house should be oriented in the direction where it can get adequate cool breezes during the summers months and the right amount of sunshine during the winter.
Start with a compass when planning the home’s orientation as well as planning locations of each room. The directions will help you decide where to situate bedrooms, patios, decks and other areas like garages and laundry rooms. Position the bedrooms facing the east for early risers since it gets the most morning sunshine.
However, save western facing rooms for less frequently used areas since it catches more sunlight and is subject to intense heat. South-facing rooms let in the most winter sunlight but receive limited direct sunlight during summers. North-facing rooms have the best spots due to consistent natural light and almost no unwanted summer heat.
Lastly, consider designing a landscape that adds towards protection against direct sunlight to keep your surroundings cool. Use low shrubs and bushes in the north and south and keep all the tall trees in the west.
These strategies help you in building a home in the sunny state of Arizona and manage the sunshine and keeping the interiors pleasant and energy efficient.