Maximize Sun Exposure During the Cold Season

This need is greatest in northern regions and less in southern regions of the country. Likewise, exposure of interior spaces to sun can increase ambient room temperatures and reduce heating costs during the winter season. This heat is retained inside the room, referred to as a “greenhouse effect.” No shrubs should be planted that screen the sun from windows on the south side. Deciduous trees and other vegetation are able to shade the house during the summer but allow the winter sun to pass through when leaves are absent. One other thought for amplifying sun exposure is to maximize the amount of window area on the south side of the house. Deciduous plants that have an open or loose branching structure are preferred for the south side of the house to minimize the number of individual branches that block the sun. spaces and make them more enjoyable to use for longer periods of time. A dark-colored pavement can accentuate this heat buildup by absorbing more sun rays and converting them into heat. A number of site design concepts need to be considered to maximize sun exposure. Outdoor spaces intended for the cool season should not be placed adjacent to the north side of a residence. trees will provide effective shade over the house roof in the summer, but will allow the winter sun, with its lower sun angle, to shine below the tree canopy where it can di­rectly strike the walls and windows of the house. Evergreen plants will, of course, completely block the sun’s rays and eliminate their potential heating effect. One technique for maximizing sun exposure of exterior spaces in the winter sea­son is to locate the spaces properly. Furthermore, it is best to use trees that are limbed up and to locate them rela­tively close to the house, except in fire-prone areas (Figure 3—24). Densely branched deciduous plants and most evergreen vegetation should be minimized, if used at all, on the south side of the house. In this position,

Figure 3-23
A winter "heat pocket" can be created on the south side of the house. Outdoor spaces located on the south side of a residence will also benefit from a “heat pocket” effect created by heat reflected away from the exterior house wall and the adjoining ground plane (Fig­ure 3—23). As previously suggested, outdoor spaces that are used during the cool season should, where possible, be put on the south side of the house to receive full sun exposure during the day. Even so, they also need to be carefully located and selected. This is espe­cially true in the transitional months of October/November and March/April.

Updated: 29.10.2014 — 07:00