1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

October 8, 2008

:282 Solar Orientation

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:282 EcoTip: You can use Google SketchUp with Google Earth to check your current or proposed home’s solar orientation.

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :279, :280, :281

Once you have placed your Google SketchUp design for your home on the chosen geographic site in Google Earth, you can check the solar orientation for various times of the day and year to determine the optimum placement and orientation for new construction, or to consider modifications for existing buildings. The software downloads are free at Google Earthand Google SketchUp.

You can find more information about using these programs for determining the best location for solar panels on your building and using SketchUp’s real-time shadow engine to perform a rapid sun-exposure analysis at http://sketchup.google.com/green/solar.html

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October 6, 2008

:280 Google SketchUp

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:280 EcoTip: Google has done it again. They are now offering a free 3D design software that is having a strong positive impact on green design.

Here’s and example of a Google SketchUp project by Alan Mascord Design Associates

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 Additional Information:

On their Green Architecture page Google SketchUp states:

Buildings account for about half of all of the energy consumed in the US, a fact which is not lost on many of today’s practicing architects. Many are using Google SketchUp to make decisions early in the design process which will significantly affect the way their buildings perform. From determining a project’s overall massing to optimizing fenestration patterns and siting for the position of the sun, SketchUp helps architects explore options early enough to make a real difference.

SketchUp’s powerful shadow engine allows professionals to understand how daylighting, shading and passive solar issues are impacted by their design decisions – in real time. Architects also use SketchUp to help clients visualize green features such as solar panels, rainwater catchment systems, sustainable landscaping and building material options that will serve to reduce the environment footprint of their buildings.

You can download a free copy of Google SketchUp at http://sketchup.google.com/green/architechture.html.

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