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Building Orientation and Shading

The building shall be oriented with the long sides facing north and south whenever the site and location permit such orientation.

Balconies and open terraces should be built on the south side of the house, where direct sunlight will permit their use for more hours during the day and more days during the year. Likewise, the garage, store rooms and other areas that are less frequently used should be situated at the northern part of the house, where they will act as buffers against cold winter winds.

Another environmental factor that should be considered in the planning of building orientation and positioning is prevailing winds, which are the winds that blow predominantly from a single, general direction over a particular point. Data for these winds can be used to design a building that can take advantage of summer breezes for passive cooling, as well as shield against adverse winds that can further chill the interior on an already cold winter day.

For maximum solar gain, a building should be located near the site’s southern boundary to reduce the shading from neighboring properties, and also provide sunny outdoor space. However, the best location for solar access will vary from site to site depending on site shape, orientation and topography, and shading from trees and neighboring buildings.

There is a provision for external shading of the south facade during the peak summer season, and provisions are required for providing vertical shading to prevent direct solar radiation and glare due to low altitude sun angles, especially on the eastern and western facades.

There is a protection for the building envelope against thermal losses, drafts and degradation by natural elements such as wind and materials such as dust, sand, snow, rainwater, hail, etc. Orient buildings and design shading devices to optimize use of solar energy.

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