What’s a bioclimatic porch?

The twenty-first century is already established as that of climate and energy challenges. The rise of the energy costs and growing interests of citizens for saving the environment have had an impact on plenty of domains, namely the building industry. While a house used to be a station of energy spending, and therefore environment polluting, it is now possible to create very low-energy homes. We therefore speak either of low-energy building (or BBC) or of bioclimatic house.

une véranda bioclimatique ensoleillée

What are the stakes of bioclimatology?

The term bioclimatic refers to a building which is specifically incorporated into its environment, and harnesses the surrounding climate conditions to produce energy. We therefore speak of bioclimatic house, as well as bioclimatic pergola and porch.

The bioclimatic porch is truly at the center of the bioclimatic house. Far more than a simple living room, this porch is also meant to regulate the temperature of the whole household, including in the middle of winter, they’re allowing you to complete, or even replace traditional heating systems, which would reduce your energy costs by so much.

How does the bioclimatic porch work?

The bioclimatic porch is designed to absorb sunlight and convert it into thermal energy. The heat stored during the day is transferred to the nearby walls, often equipped with specific materials, which recover it during the night. Sophisticated ventilation systems may equally be associated to the bioclimatic porch in order to convey heat throughout the entire house.

The importance of exposure and geographic factors

To be efficient, a bioclimatic porch should be designed with utmost care by a manufacturing carpenter using aluminium.

Before setting up such a porch, a very large number of factors should be taken into account. Firstly, the house’s geographic location will determine the nature of some of the bioclimatic porch’s equipment. In the regions with generally little sunshine, the glazed surface should be maximal in order to store as much sun as possible all day long. In the warmer regions, ventilation systems or solar protection should be contemplated to avoid overheating in summer, for instance.

Finally, the issue of the exposure is equally essential, and strongly linked to the location of the house. A bioclimatic porch may not be set up just about anywhere. Indeed, the sun’s path in the sky should be taken into account, as well as all possible nearby tree shade, in order to set it up as well as possible.

Photo d'une véranda en aluminium verte près de la nature

The bioclimatic porch: a natural expansion of the house

By definition, the bioclimatic porch is far more than just an element added to the house. Whether it was planned from the beginning of the house’s design or added during a renovation or expansion site, the bioclimatic porch is fully part of the house.

On one side, it’s a living room incorporated to the house. It may be laid out as a lounge, a game room, a dining room, etc.

On the other, the bioclimatic porch is the heart of energy of the house. It heats in winter and opens up and ventilates in summer. With this open-on-the-outside-world room, a new vision of the house arises: a unique entity, which heats and ventilates autonomously, with the utmost respect to environment.

Photo d'une véranda bioclimatique vue de l'extérieur

What does a bioclimatic porch look like?

A bioclimatic porch should be as bright as possible. It therefore includes a very large number of glazed surfaces. To assemble them, a high-performance aluminium structure is often favoured. Provided with thermal bridge breakage systems, the aluminium profiles offered by Installux have excellent thermal performances, while allowing the design of tailor-made porches. The dimensions are perfectly adapted to the house, and the different glazed surfaces lined up with care to respect as much as possible both aesthetical balance and energy performances.

The glazed surfaces usually extend to the porch’s rooftop. In some cases, the rooftop may be equipped with light modulating systems, such as adjustable slats or blinds, just like vertical glazed surfaces. This allows shading, particularly in summer.

The opening on the house should be handled accurately with regard to the exposure, the size of the house, the region and the energy needs. Usually, bioclimatic porches are adjoining a solid wall, which may be built out of materials known for storing heat. During the day, the wall(s) store(s) the heat collected by the porch, before recovering it into the house by evening or nighttime. However, wide openings may be laid out in the wall, in order to allow the light to penetrate deeper into the house.