Sun Path Analysis

Part of a complete home design is situating the house to take best advantage of the sun exposure. Through a sun path analysis we can chart the path of the sun and demonstrate how the directionality of the sun interacts with the structure.

Commonly the sun path is charted on the longest day of the year and the shortest day of the year. In colder climates maximizing sun exposure to assist in the passive heating of the home over the winter months is smart home design choice.

Tracing the sun exposure also demonstrates how much light will be pouring into a eastern facing master bedroom in the early morning hours or into a media room in the evenings (when it may be more in use).

The home diagrammed above was built at 7400 feet elevation in Wyoming. The high elevation and cold climate meant that maximizing the sun was important. To help minimize sun exposure pouring in the wide wall of windows, illuminated above with the 12:00 PM noon sun, a modification was made to the structure. The sun sours higher in the sky during the summer months, so the ridge beam was extended out four feet on the front of this house and a porch was added. This overhang effectively blocks the sun in the summer while allowing the lower winter sun to peek down below the extended roof line in the winter.

The photo and cover 3D rendering on the blueprint page above reveal that the preliminary design for this home was modified as the design progressed and the main entry doors were placed on the southern facing sunny side with the porch and the integral garage was rotated towards to the north side of the plan.

When money is invested in quality designs and the full design process of preliminary drawings and final construction drawings is completed the owners are left with a home that is much more successfully integrated into the site.