3.9 ELEMENT 9 – DESIGN FOR CLIMATE
Energy Conservation and Comfortable Living
All of these factors need to be verified for their relevance to other regions. For example, sun angles vary significantly with latitude, and the time and direction of cooling breezes varies with proximity to the ocean and other factors. In the hot humid regions thorough ventilation (and hence space around buildings) and shade are more important than solar penetration in winter.
Achieving Solar Access on Site
The shape and orientation of lots sometimes make it difficult to achieve optimum layout of a development. Sometimes this may also conflict with the principle of dwellings facing the street. Often a compromise will have to be made.
It should be Council practice to assist where necessary by making concessions in particular cases, especially by modifying side setbacks to allow solaraccess, provided that neighbours’ privacy or solar access is not affected. These concessions may include building up to a side boundary.
In other cases, the only available private north-facing open space may be within the street setback area. The Codes recognise this, for example by modifying the provision for fencing in the street setback area to allow for private outdoor living space.
Protecting Solar Access for Neighbouring Properties
Development should be designed so that it does not seriously affect solar access for neighbours. In most cases, this means avoiding very tall walls close to southern boundaries, so that excessive shadows are not cast across the north-facing areas adjacent. In some cases, overshadowing by west or east-facing walls may also be important.
As with overlooking, but even more so, the potential for a building to overshadow a neighbouring site, or be overshadowed itself, varies enormously from case to case.
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