How Concrete Floors Fit Into Passive Solar Homes

Take it from us – polished concrete floors in NZ homes are very trendy right now. Thanks to our superb range of finishes, we can deliver a polished concrete floor that is quite stunning to look at, and far more distinctive than any other surface on the market today. This aesthetic appeal goes a long way to explaining why polished concrete is an increasingly common sight in New Zealand homes and businesses.

But we know of another huge reason why concrete floors are hot at the moment. It has to do with the growing popularity of passive solar home designs in New Zealand. In very simple terms, passive solar design refers to the use of the sun’s energy for the heating and cooling of living spaces. When sunlight hits a building, the materials that the building is made of are able to reflect, transmit, or absorb solar radiation. This is a free and environmentally-friendly way to keep a home comfortable, and can greatly reduce the need for expensive heating and cooling systems like heat pumps, ceiling fans, wood burners and ducted air conditioning systems.  

In a nutshell, the main elements of passive solar design include: 

  • building location and orientation on the site
  • building layout
  • window design
  • insulation 
  • shading
  • ventilation
  • thermal mass

Thermal mass is key in passive solar design, and that is where polished concrete floors come in. We’ve spoken before about polished concrete floors having a high thermal mass: in other words, they are able to absorb, store and release a substantial amount of heat energy in the form of solar radiation. As the sun goes down later in the day, and as the temperature drops with it, this stored heat is gradually released throughout a wide area of the home. Wooden and carpeted This is a very efficient, low-cost way to warm a home during all seasons while being kind to the environment. When thermal mass is incorporated into a passive solar design, the result is a home where energy costs are drastically reduced, as well as emissions. 

In these modern times, when we’re increasingly eco-aware and looking for ways to reduce our energy footprint, homes built on passive solar principles are becoming more and more popular. Of course, polished concrete floors are the foundation of every effective passive design. To find out how our beautiful polished floors can also be great for the planet, feel free to give us a call



To get the best out of your floor call before you pour!
0800 448 433