For an introduction to the issues involved in siting your building, take a look at the Siting and Orientation PowerPoint.


Ask yourself the following questions in relation to your own building ideas:

§         In which direction should your building face?

§         How can your building minimise heat loss?

§         How can your building maximise use of heat from the sun (solar gain)?

§         How can your building utilise natural elements to be warm when you want it to be warm (e.g. winter, evening, night) and cool when you want it to be cool (e.g. summer, daytime)?

§         Can you make use of existing natural features of your chosen site (e.g. re-using materials, vegetation for shade, earth for wind protection, slopes for solar gain)?

§         Should the building have low visual impact?

§         Is it likely to create problems (e.g. visibility, sun loss) for other buildings or will other buildings create similar problems for yours?


For more information on siting and orientation look at

Siting and orientation PowerPoint

For general principles, go to  If you scroll down this page you’ll get useful advice on how siting and orientation can reduce energy use and an example from Durham. has useful rules to guide you on making the most of what a site already offers. There’s more to think about at