STANFORD UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF EARTH SCIENCES - EARTH SYSTEMS PROGRAM

Sustainable Choices

Landscape for Summer Shading & Natural Winter Heating

Simplicity:
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Carbon Impact:
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Money Savings:
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Health Helper:
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Overview
Using your landscaping as a part of your home’s heating and cooling system is another simple and traditional approach to architecture. You can use deciduous plants—that have full, green leaves in the summer and lose their leaves in the winter—and plant them in front of south-facing windows that need summer shading and winter sun exposure. This can give you a beautifully natural canopy in the heat of June and July, while letting those glorious rays shine in during December and January.

Tips & Tricks
Combine aesthetics and function. Choose vines or trees that will add to the beauty of your home.

Learn about native deciduous plants in your area. Visit a local nursery of landscaping business and find out what recommendations they have.

Web & Print Resources
Landscape shading:
www.pioneerthinking.com
www.eere.energy.gov

Find the solar angles for your region:
www.srrb.noaa.gov

Fun Facts

In San Francisco, the elevation of the sun is 29° in December and 70° in June. With careful overhang design, you can take advantage of this difference to shade in the summer and heat in the winter.