Green Home Initiative


Did you know direct sunlight can generate the same amount of heat as a single bar radiator over each square metre of a surface? Simple shading can block up to 90% of this heat.


Shading of glass to reduce unwanted heat gain is critical as unprotected glass is often the greatest source of unwanted heat gain in a home.


The (former) Department of the Environment and Heritage had released a guide to more ecologically friendly building which greatly talks on how to best maximise the energy efficiency of your home.

How you create shade is informed by the direction you face

  • The north facing openings (and south facing openings above the tropic of Capricorn) receive higher angle sun and therefore require narrower overhead shading devices than east or west facing openings. Fixed horizontal shading is often adequate above north facing glazing. Examples include eaves, awnings and pergolas with louvres set to the correct angle.
  • East and west facing openings require a different approach, as low morning and afternoon sun from these directions is more difficult to shade. Keep the area of glazing on east and west elevations to a minimum where possible, or use appropriate shading devices. Adjustable shading is the optimum solution for these elevations. Deep verandahs, balconies or pergolas can be used to shade east and west elevations, but may still admit very low angle summer sun. Use in combination with planting to filter unwanted sun.
  • Fixed shading devices can regulate solar access on northern elevations throughout the year, without requiring any user effort.
  • Summer sun from the north is at a high angle and is easily excluded by fixed horizontal devices over openings.
  • Winter sun from the north is at a lower angle and will penetrate beneath correctly designed fixed horizontal devices.
  • Correctly designed eaves are generally the simplest and least expensive shading method for northern elevations, and are all that is required on most single storey houses.
  • Fixed horizontal louvres set to the noon midwinter sun angle and spaced correctly allow winter heating and summer shading in locations with cooler winters.
  • Midwinter and midsummer noon sun angles for locations can be calculated using the formulas below, where L is the latitude of your home.
Midwinter noon sun angle = 90 – (L+23.5)
Midsummer noon sun angle = 90 – (L–23.5)
Equinox noon sun angle = 90 – L

Adjustable Shading

Adjustable shading allows the user to choose the desired level of shade. This is particularly useful in spring and autumn when heating & cooling needs are variable. Note: active systems require active users.


Northern elevations

Adjustable shading appropriate for northern elevations includes adjustable awnings or horizontal louvre systems.


Eastern & western elevations

Adjustable shading is particularly useful for eastern and western elevations, as the low angle of the sun makes it difficult to get adequate protection from fixed shading. Adjustable shading gives greater control while enabling daylight levels and views to be manipulated. Appropriate adjustable systems include sliding screens, louvre screens, shutters, retractable awnings and adjustable external blinds.


North-east & north-west elevations

Adjustable shading is recommended for these elevations as they receive a combination of high and low angle sun throughout the day. Typical responses for northern and eastern or western elevations need to be integrated. Select systems which allow the user to exclude all sun in summer, choose full sun in winter, and manipulate sun levels at other times.


Schedule Your Complimentary On-site Consultation

Pergola Land services the northern Sydney Districts. Simply enter your contact details below, and a Design Consultant from Pergola Land will call you to arrange a time to meet and discuss what you'd like to do