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Skip Navigation LinksDepartment of Housing and Public Works > Construction > Sustainability > Smart and sustainable homes > Templates and tools > Best orientation for your house

Best orientation for your house

Take advantage of the sun’s natural lighting when planning your new home.

Sun path diagrams

Select the region that your new house will be located in and find out what orientation will be most suited to capturing the sun.

How to read a sun path diagram

Sun path diagrams are used to identify the direction the sun will travel across your house.

A building is positioned on the centre of a compass, and the path of the sun is drawn for summer and winter.

The sun path gradually moves between the summer and winter paths throughout the year, and twice a year (in March and September) it crosses the Equinox sun path.

You will notice that in summer the sun moves directly over a house, making it hotter, while in winter the sun path is further away and temperatures are lower.

Example—Rockhampton house

For example, to see how the sun will directly affect a house in Rockhampton that faces north:

  1. See the sun path diagram below.
  2. Find the black square at the centre of the diagram. This represents your house.
  3. To see where the sun will be at 6am in summer, find 6am on the diagram.
  4. Follow the curved line down until it meets the darker red line (the summer path).
  5. Draw an imaginary line from this point to the house.

For the Rockhampton house sun path, the eastern parts of the house will receive direct sun at 6am from slightly south of east.

Your experience will tell you that the sun will be low (just above the horizon) at this time of day. This means that the sun is likely to shine through any unshaded windows on the east of your house.

Sun path diagram for Rockhampton 

More information

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Last updated 19 June 2019    Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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