Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond by Brad Lancaster

Sun & Shade Harvesting

Drawing of sculpture showing the flow and harvest of sun and shade at my garottage (one-car garage turned cottage). Sports of season represent the sun angle and line of the shadow cast at noon by roof overhang and gutter on the winter solstice (ski pole), spring/fall equinoxes (golf clubs), and summer solstice (fishing pole). We let in the sun when we need it, and shade it out when we don’t. Shadow cast here is on spring equinox. Reprinted from Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 1, 2nd Edition.
Photo of sculpture showing the flow and harvest of sun and shade at my garottage in Tucson, Arizona. The sculpture also creates a privacy screen just west of the garottage’s upper equator-facing window, so we cannot look down into the neighbor’s yard. The awning below is in its retracted position to let in more free heat and light in the cool and cold months, while in the hot months it is extended for more free shade and cooling. Shadow cast here is on spring equinox. Retractable awning by Allen Reilley and Henry Jacobson.

Sun sculptures/calendars are a continuation of a tradition pre-dating recorded history. Click here to see ancient examples on Tumamoc Hill just west of downtown Tucson.

These markers enhance our harvest of sun and shade, making the most of these free on-site resources.

Learn the seasonally changing paths of sun and shade, then work with them to provide free, clean, and silent winter heat; summer cooling; daylight, cooking fuel, and water heating year round; and the ability to turn your home into a renewable neighborhood solar power plant.

Most of these strategies cost nothing more than more initial observation and thought time, but lead to incredible long-term savings of money, energy, and water; enhanced comfort; better health; and greater awareness of, and ability to work with your surroundings for the betterment of all, which leads to greater happiness as well.

I put in more design time to ensure the integrated relationship between my home’s windows, roof overhang, and seasonally changing sun path would work as the images above show, but that was the extent of the additional cost. Now my windows and roof are my primary air conditioner in summer and heater in winter, they work great, and everyone loves to watch the changing shadow line on the sculpture that celebrates the integrated relationships.

I show you how to do the same, while integrating these harvests with that of other on-site resources such as rainwater, greywater, condensate, wind, and more in Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 1, 2nd Edition. Below I share many of the resources from which I drew to create this resource, and others.

Drops in a Bucket Blog

 »Read all blog posts...

Upcoming Events

Also see the full list of upcoming events.



The Umbrella

The Umbrella: December 2014

News, media, and events from Brad Lancaster.

 »Read all blog posts...

Like what this website offers?

Donations are greatly appreciated as they enable us to continuously update this expansive resource and generate new content. Thanks!