Tuesday, September 20, 2011


The cheapest technology in the house is borrowing shade from existing trees. We deviated from the US Green Building Council's LEED standards when we included lots of glazing on walls that face east and west. LEED's concern is that the low sun in the morning and afternoon brings excessive heat into a building during the hot months. We recognized, however, that the existing trees in the park to the west would provide a lot of shade in the afternoon, while our east neighbor's trees would shade the house in the morning. The photo at left shows the living/dining room shaded by existing trees, even before we add the roof panels.

These two photos show the courtyard and the east side of the house in the morning, when both are shaded by the trees in our neighbor's yard. We're encouraged by how well these spaces seem to be working, especially since the courtyard will be in shade at the very moments - morning and evening - when we plan to use it the most.

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