Creating a sense of space and openness while at the same time achieving a sanctuary can be done by careful placement and sizing of windows and doors.
A large expanse of glazing can ensure a lightness of a building and an indoor-outdoor feel of openness and connection to the environment. Large windows let indoor spaces bask in natural daylight and offer views to the surrounding areas. Views to nature boost our mood and have a positive effect on our health and wellbeing. Large, glazed areas also make a room appear bigger and can add value to your home.
Correct placement is vital so that large windows help heat the house in winter through passive solar heat gain. That is why in the south of Australia large, glazed areas ideally should be oriented to the north or north-east of the building to allow winter sun to stream inside when the sun is low in the sky. This will also help to reduce heating costs.
But it is important to address excessive heat and glare through window design or shading, either through structures or deciduous plantings, especially if large windows face west.
Energy efficiency and comfort becomes less of an issue as window technology evolves including double and triple glazing and low-E coatings, and benefits of large windows and doors can outweigh perceived drawbacks.
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