House plan advice and suggestions
First home builder here and would love to get some suggestions and advice on the floor plan below.
I have read the tips on yourhome.gov.au and want to incorporate these in to the plan, in particular passive heating and cooling. https://www.yourhome.gov.au/passive-design/orientation
This is based off of the Metricon Hampshire 45.
The lot location is in Box Hill (north west of Sydney) so I'm taking in to account the warmer summers being further inland. The surrounding land is also quite flat so I am assuming that there will be little wind.
There is a 1.5m drainage easement on the south side so we decided to put the garage on that side. This leaves the rest of that side further away from the fence which is great for light but since its on the south side there will be zero sun going in to the house. Does anyone have any suggestions? Can that space be on the northerly side instead? Would this space on the south side help with cooling southerly winds entering the home?
There is also a retainer wall on the back (west) and South side of the lot, which means that the back and south neighbours will probably be higher than us.
The questions are mainly layout and its relationship to the house flow and also aspect.
With the ground floor, we are highlighting these areas:
The Dining room and alfresco was shortened to fit on the block (30m long).
- Therefore looking at the Kitchen to Dining room zone - would it be better if the island was rotated so the space for the dining room?
- Sink/stove/fridge triangle - can this triangle be improved?
- 2nd sink will be added to the pantry area
- Because of the sitting room turning in to a movie room, the WIL will be removed and the pantry will be extended. Therefore in order to have a bigger laundry with cabinets, it gets swapped with the ensuite/powder room (ensuite turns in to a powder room)
- The Outdoor room to include vergola roofing to be able to control light and increase light coming in to the house in winter
- Will the number of northerly windows make a difference to winter light if the distance to the fence is 0.9m, and most likely that the neighbours will also build a 2 storey house? If not, are there any things we can do to increase more winter light? For me, natural sunlight is important and I tend to gravitate to the brightest areas of the home.
- Is the W/C in an ideal position at the end of the hallway, or would it be better to keep it clear there and put a window instead to let light and wind in?
- Swap bathroom and Bed 4? This would be for the bedroom to have a better view than the neighbours house. I am aware that bed3 and bed4 will be west facing but with the retainer wall Im guessing that the house behind will be taller and shade the sun.
- decreasing the length of the ensuite to 4m: would the corner of the WIR and door to the master bedroom look weird if it was out of alignment?
- that extra metre could go towards making the main bathroom and bedroom 4 a bit bigger, but that would make the walls and doors out of alignment to the right side. Would that be odd from an architecture point of view?
- Bedroom 3: move built in robe to east wall and add window to west wall. Also Bed3 has 2 windows (currently the floor plan has 2 wide windows - would that be odd?
- Master bedroom WIR replaced the original ensuite so it takes up a bit more room. Therefore the wall length for the bed is 3.25m. Will this look tight when putting the Queen size bed and side tables on that wall (I measured our current ones and the total width leaves 30cm on each side)?
- would it also benefit cross ventilation if the master bedroom had a 60x120cm louvre window on the north wall?
I currently live in a house that has a zero lot on the south side and zero windows, as the wall makes up the fence for the neighbour. So I have no idea if the winds are cool coming from there.
I would love to have a passive house and hope that one day these will be more common (and affordable)! Air conditioning and heating bills are getting more expensive and to reduce these would be a dream (we will definitely be getting solar power). Any other tips for better insulation would be great.