Bldg. adjacent to a body of water

How does a body of water -such as a lake- affect a building? Would there be any excessive glare if facing South?

Hi @mingo.draft ,

I’ll see if I can help!

If you are presented with a site that includes a body of water I would consider a few things:

  1. Is there an opportunity to provide desirable views of the water?
  2. Will my building program negatively impact the existing body of water or the watershed? For instance, you might not want to site a manufacturing facility next a pristine lake.
  3. How far away from the water does the building need to be to avoid tides/be stable? Is the floodplain an issue?

There are other considerations, but I would start with these! While a body of water certainly might produce glare, particularly if you are looking East over it at sunrise and West over it at Sunset, I think this is typically viewed as an acceptable and positive thing. You likely want to site your building in a way that allows occupants to enjoy the views!

The other thing I would consider when siting next to a body of water is what impact your building might have on it. The exam likes to bring up concepts arounds watersheds and watershed protection in particular.

As well, you should understand the concept of a floodplain and what to do if your building is in one!

All of the PA Section 1 Objectives relate back to this information, so if you want to learn more I’d check out those lectures or the “Site Planning and Design Handbook”.

Hope this helps!


Thanks Darion. I appreciate your response.