When designing an outdoor room it’s important to consider the seasonal changes in the path of the sun as this will affect how much light and heat you will receive into the area.
Summer vs winter sun
Although the sun follows the same east-to-west path year-round, the trajectory of it changes quite a lot. In the summer the sun will be a lot higher in the sky, almost directly overhead, while in winter it will be a lot lower. This phenomenon is illustrated in the diagram below.
One way to cut down on the amount of direct sunlight you receive is by building a roof or wall or by using trees to give you more shade. While trees and walls will give you permanent shade, roofs with the Eclipse Sun Louvre Range giving you control over the temperature – this allows you to cut out a lot of the harsh summer sun, while still allowing the warming winter sun and light into your outdoor space as well as adjacent rooms.
If you want a bit of extra heat in the winter it’s a good idea to have your outdoor room facing in a northerly direction. This way you’ll get the sun during the cooler months but it’s easier to block out the harsh summer sun because of the higher path it takes. See southern Hemisphere in the diagram below.
Source: Apricus Australia
Angling your outdoor room to the east or west can provide a range of benefits too. If you’re an early bird, consider having an easterly facing room as this will give you sunshine during breakfast but you’ll get shade throughout the rest of the day.
For those who like to throw dinner parties, a westerly facing room will mean you have sunshine in the evening. Angling a room in a north-westerly or north-easterly direction will give longer hours of sunshine to enjoy.
While a cooling breeze can be nice on a summer’s day, feeling the full force of a southerly wind isn’t so great. While it’s a good idea to have protection, particularly to the south, you want to make sure you don’t box yourself in all around and create a stuffy environment.
Creating an outdoor room is a great way to make the most of Newcastle’s great weather, and by getting the basics right you’ll find yourself spending more time out there and potentially increasing the value of your property.