Solar Organization

As electric costs continue to rise, the use of natural daylight becomes more important.  In an urban environment or in deep floor plans, access to exterior windows can be problematic.  A strategy to address this is to organize the building by solar access.  Many spaces such as closets, bathrooms, mechanical rooms, etc. have less of a need for direct sunlight.  By prioritizing the needs of each space, a design can be reached that is ideal for its function.

In the case of the W.K. Stewart building, the building envelope was existing, so when an apartment was added in the unfinished third floor, the program spaces had to be grouped around exterior access.  By assessing the existing lighting conditions in plan and section, the available light was evaluated and compared to the functional aesthetical requirements of each space.  From this comparison, it was discovered that the master closet and bath, halls and mechanical rooms could be positioned to use the unlit space leaving ample light for the kitchen, bedrooms, living room and dining room.