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Integrated Building Design

Updated: Nov 16, 2022

A building designed by considering environmental factors has a better performance than that of random design. One critical factor is the relation between building orientation and sun’s path. During the long heating season the potential to heat indoors spaces by the sun must be a major design factor. This can be easily achieved by having larger windows on South direction and less on North direction. The windows facing south have to have a higher heat gain property and the opposite applies to North facing windows. One can also design a shade to avoid overheating during summer and it’s necessary to understand the sun’s path for effective shade design. The figure below shows the highest and lowest paths of sun for Vancouver and illustrates how shade dimensions are determined.

Figure: Sun's path in Vancouver.

Design steps:

- Determine or specify the windows height and the length from the windows top to the shade

- Sum the height and length

- Calculate the shade width by using;

Shade width = Height from windows lowest edge to the shade / tan (64.5 degree)

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