Sun — Sunlight is one of the most important factors to consider when designing a home. Improperly sighting a home without regard to sun can lead to glare, overheated spaces, sun damage or dark and gloomy interiors. Mapping out the sun’s path on your site can inform you about what times of the day spaces may need shading, how the surrounding environment will affect the site, as well as what places will be best for outdoor living.
Views — Although every home may not be blessed with sweeping views of a beautiful landscape, each site still has its unique surroundings to take into account. Whether it is framing small focused views in an urban setting, or designing floor-to-ceiling windows towards a mountain vista, it is important to highlight the best aspect of the site and make the home feel grounded to its unique location. Just as important as good views are bad views. Simple design changes can screen neighboring homes, roadways or any other eyesores.
Wind — Although wind is a bit more unpredictable than the sun, it is a factor that can really make or break a home. In warmer climates, it is important to site a home so cross-breezes will flow during the hot months, whereas in cold climates you may want to buffer the wind with landscape to reduce heating bills. No matter where you live, some forethought about wind will enhance your outdoor living spaces, reduce energy costs and even help with maintenance!
Sound — Anyone who has ever been woken up by the garbage truck in the morning knows that noise can cause a damper on daily living. Make sure to visit your site at different times of the day to determine the main sources of noise pollution. Proper siting of quiet spaces, such as bedroom vs public spaces, or even kitchens can help prevent some of the tolls on daily life. Additionally, landscaping, high-quality windows and sound insulating can make a huge difference.