How to Maximize Daylighting

Using an example from their architecture firm housebrand, John and Matthew detail how you can design a home that maximizes daylighting.

If you enjoyed today’s Design Minute, you may also like “How to Reuse a Concrete Foundation” and “Understanding Spray Foam Insulation”.

  • Li-Na

    Has Housebrand ever done a house that has a courtyard (or a courtyard-type space)? I’m drawn to houses that have courtyards and I’m curious to know how practical they are in a freezing cold climate, let alone an infill site. Any thoughts?

  • Matthew North

    Hi Li-Na – Thanks for your question. Yes, we have done several courtyard houses. We currently have two court yard houses under construction and one that we completed in 2008 (the plans and photos are on our housebrand website). The real advantage of a courtyard design is that it allows light to the center of the plan – which is typically dark in an infill situation where the building footprint is maximized. It does mean a smaller overall square footage – because the courtyard space takes away from built space as well some additional costs for an irregular foundation shape and a greater surface area of exterior finishes. But, the real advantage is in the livability of both the interior and exterior spaces. There is also a lot more transparency between indoor and outdoor spaces and in spite of a smaller square footage I would argue the courtyard houses feel much bigger.