Is it possible to maximize natural daylighting in a house while minimizing heat gain from sunlight? The Min/Max house by GrindHeavy says ‘yes’–when the house allows its inhabitants to make adjustments as needed.
The Min/Max house (which comes to us by way of Ecofriend) works to minimizes solar exposure in all orientations while maximizing views. This is accomplished by means of large windows fitted with louvers made of recycled materials that provide shading in various solar orientations; the louvers, which define the exterior of the house, were designed to reduce solar exposure to the interior while still allowing the inhabitants to enjoy natural views on the outside. Additional daylighting is provided by a large skylight, which reduces the need for artificial illumination when it makes sense to turn the louvers against the heat of direct sun..
Other eco-features of the Min/Max house include a sloped roof that accommodates a photovoltaic array for on-site power generation (which can be adjusted to maximize the solar orientation onsite). This roof also harvests rainwater, which is then collected in a ground level retention pool towards the rear of the house (we assume for landscape irrigation). The house design garnered an Honorable Mention in this year’s Who’s Next competition by Free Green.