Ideal Clerestory Placement

@coachjoricolarusso I am reading through Heating, Cooling, Lighting and Sustainable Strategies and I am a bit confused what is the optimal direction a clerestory should face. My guess would be for the glazing to face the south to allow as much light into the space as possible but wouldn’t it also bring in additional heat gain that wouldn’t be desirable? If the glazing faced the north, would there be enough natural light to actually light the spaces below? Solar heat gain probably wouldn’t be a problem.

There are a lot of factors to consider when placing clerestory windows, including light and solar gain as you’ve mentioned. In certain places, like climates that are cold in the winter and warm in the summer, perhaps both light and solar gain are desirable in the winter, but only light in the summer. In this case, the clerestory could face south and have a deep overhang to block the sun in the summer but allow it in the winter when the sun is lower in the sky. North facing clerestory windows do allow some light, but less solar gain. So maybe north facing would be appropriate for a climate that is always warm. If the windows are operable and being used for ventilation, then perhaps the direction they face should be coordinated with the direction of the prevailing winds. I don’t think there is a “one size fits all” answer for which direction the windows should face - it depends on factors like these that are particular to the project and the climate.

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