Passive Solar Design Principles - Site Analysis

Identifying physical site characteristics and micro-climate

One of the most critical parts of correct passive solar design involves analysis of your site.  Good design always begins with thorough analysis and understanding of the constraints and opportunities presented by the site.
Important site characteristics are:
a.  Topography—direction and magnitude of site gradient
b.  Aspect—which parts of your site receive direct sun and shelter or exposure to wind.
c.  Prospect—views outwards from your site.
d.  Other environmental conditions—noise, vegetation, geology, drainage, micro-climate, overshadowing from natural or built obstructions, fire risk and relationship to water courses.
e.  Planning constraints—local government ordinances which are applied to achieve streetscape and broad site servicing objectives, and maintain heritage and cultural values.
f.  Preservation of valued flora and fauna.
Site analyses are generally made as a series of overlay plans which build up a picture, layer by layer, of the best parts of your site to exploit for building purposes.

Example of a site analysis executed for a rural site in a steep, heavily wooded area


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