Passive sun & shade harvesting case studies—ancient sites
• White House ruin, Canyon de Chelly, Arizona, USA • Montezuma’s Castle ruin, Camp Verde, Arizona, USA • Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico, USA
I am amazed by the high level of awareness many ancient cultures had—and still have—in regards to the changing seasonal path of the sun, and how they have integrated this awareness into their lives and their design choices. These photographs were taken at various sites on the summer and winter solstices to illustrate these cultures’ wise use of passive sun & shade harvesting design, and practice of maintaining solar rights for all.
Solely with these simple, free, passive strategies I found these ancient sites were 10˚ to 20˚F (5.5˚ to 11.1˚C) degrees warmer than ambient temperature in winter, and 10˚ to 20˚F (5.5˚ to 11.1˚C) cooler than ambient temperature in summer.
White House ruin, Canyon de Chelly, Arizona, USA Latitude 36.1˚N Elevation 5,000 feet (1,524 meters) Average ambient winter high 44˚ F (6.6˚ C) Average ambient winter low in January 15˚ F ( -9˚ C) Average ambient summer high in July 91˚ F (33˚ C) Built around 1060 A.D.
Montezuma’s Castle ruin, Camp Verde, Arizona, USA Latitude 34.5˚N Elevation 3,147 feet (959 meters) Average ambient winter high temperature 55˚ F (13˚ C) Average ambient winter low temperature 32˚ F (0˚ C) Average ambient summer high temperature in July 86˚ F (30˚ C) Built between 1100 – 1350 A.D.
Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico, USA Latitude 34.8˚N Elevation 7,000 feet (2,100 meters) Average ambient winter low 17˚ F (-8.3˚C) Average ambient summer high in July 89˚ F (31˚ C) Built between 1100 – 1250 A.D.
information on how to design and implement passive sun & shade harvesting strategies at all latitudes, and irrigate the living ones with free on-site water sources…
Volume 1 has detailed sun & shade harvesting info on:
Volume one has resource and information on:
Orienting buildings and landscapes to the sun
Designing roof overhangs and awnings to optimize winter sun and summer shade• How to choose and size windows to optimize passive heating and cooling
Sun & shade traps
Maintaining winter sun access with winter-solstice shadow ratios and solar rights• Sun angles and path for any latitude and season
How to find your way, and true north or south, with the sun and other stars• How to place vegetation or structures to maximize natural ventilation or windbreaks
Table comparing the energy consumed, water consumed, and carbon emitted of active and passive clothes drying, water heating, food storage & prep, lighting, heating, and cooling strategies.