Hierarchy of Site Elements - Sun vs Topography



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    Marina Curac

    Interesting question. I would say that if you encounter a situation or location in which topography and solar exposure contradict each other or go against each other, you are either overthinking (like in this case with G), or you are not looking at the correct location. I'm pretty sure NCARB won't throw at you such trick. When it comes to determining building's location according to sun and topography, there are some general truths to remember. For NCARB they are all equally important.
    1) Do not ever orient your building north-south (that's what G is doing). Ideally you want east-west with a little angle towards east, depending on your climate.
    2) Following contour lines will be desirable from drainage perspective, and it can help with the construction cost
    3) If you have to build on a slope (crossing topo lines), make sure that slope is not too big (many resources give you good reference numbers).
    I hope this helps :)

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    Hiroki Sawai (Edited )

    General Rule of thumb for these questions:

    1. Don't pick the answer with the building oriented NS. Ever in these exams.

    2. Don't pick the answer with the building located on top of a hill.

    3. Don't pick the answer with the building located too close to water. If the question clearly identifies a body of water, do not pick the answer that blocks the view to the body of water, ie a building that is block from view with trees or a hill. 

    4. Don't pick the answer where the building is clearly on the north side of a hill. Do consider the building that is clearly on the south side of a hill. 

    Most often than not, these questions do NOT provide you a specific climate region. I'm sure i missed some rules of thumb, but these are the ones i consider when i see this type of question. 

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