I would appreciate any advice that people can provide. - I am based in the UK, and my house was built around 1903 in a design suited for the best of the heat retaining conditions that existed at the time, thick stone walls, small rooms and very small windows. The wind normally comes from the south west direction and there is often a high wind speed. The house is built into a bank on the southern and west sides to provide some shelter from the wind and rain. The eastern side of the house looks down a beautiful protected landscape, but there are no windows on that side of the building.
I have been researching solargreenhouse designs because I want to add a growing space combined with a sheltered light filled undercover space on the eastern side of the house. Its nice to be cozy in a small room by a fire when there is a gale outside, but there are plenty of days when I want an undercover sunlight filled space to sit and work. Every source I have found on solar greenhouses says that they have to be built south facing. There are other places around the small holding where I could build a greenhouse for growing food that meet that criteria. But that is just not possible near the house.
I am thinking about having build on the side of the house a steel framed lean too single story structure which is 30 ft by 15 ft, and faces east, following the building principles of solar greenhouses, putting in underground insulation. incorporating building up beds within the structure for planting, as well as building in seating area and a fish pond for thermal mass as well as pleasure and incorporating a rocket stove and log burner into the design and just accepting that its a space where I have to select the plants according to the temperature range possible. Is this idea going to work or am I completely wasting my time? Has anyone tried something similar and if so what would you recommend doing / not doing.
For what it’s worth, in my opinion if you can’t get Southern exposure, then eastern exposure is the next best thing. You do get some light and it doesn’t get baked in the afternoon like western exposure.
On a parallel note, I built my house with southern and Eastern exposure for the sunlight, and western shade to avoid being cooked and overwhelming the a/c.
There are definitely plants that like morning sun, and it is also true that southern exposures can be a double-edged sword when things over-heat and plants start drooping.
There are also pros and cons to attaching a greenhouse space to an existing house that was not designed for it - humidity rotting the shared wall is the one I'm aware of - so please speak to people familiar with both your climate and your home's characteristics, so you can plan any necessary vapor barriers.
I would also map what the angle of the glass needs to be to get light at various times of the year. You've identified that you're in the UK, so that means very long summer light days and very short winter light days, but gathering that data to help in your decision making could be a good next step.
You might get more suggestions if you posted a few pictures +/- a map showing the house from above - our municipality has that feature on their website, although you need a better computer than mine to make it work. I went and visited the Municipal Hall when I was trying to figure out how water was moving across parts of my land, and they were very helpful. Barring that, if you know any locals with quad copters, they might be willing to snap a few aerial photos for you?