Building Location by Body of Water

Do you have any reference I can read about siting a building by a body of water?



Hi @ridlby,

I don’t have anything off hand, but perhaps @cat.heard9 or @heatherrivera have a reference they can share?

Hey @ridlby, I paged through a few books NCARB recommends for PA and PPD and I think your best reference is going to come from the Site Planning and Design Handbook by Thomas H Russ. Are you looking for information regarding general building placement near water (orientation, views, wind, etc) or for ecological specificities (how water moves through a site, erosion control, flooding concerns, etc)?

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Hi Cat -
Looking for information about Orientation, wind , views etc… Site Planning seems to address erosion.


Gotcha. Try looking in “Sun, Wind, and Light: Architectural Design Strategies”. I wasn’t able to page through the book itself, but based on the table of contents I’m thinking this might get you what you need. I have a vague recollection that the brightwood PA and PPD books might also include some information related to siting buildings.

Sun, Wind, and Light is what most people have said is the best bet for this. Unfortunately, this seems to be topic lacking in study sources.

Correct, unfortunately I found nothing useful in SW&L. There are a couple of lines in MEEB on P #94.

We’ve taken note of this and are hard at work behind the scenes!

hey @ridlby; I was looking through some reference books and found a chapter that might be helpful, if you’re still looking for information about siting buildings near water. Chapter 5 of the Brightwood PA book goes over environmental siting considerations. Could be worth a page through?


Hi @cat.heard9 -

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if the building is in hot humid climate the water should be to the north of the building. If in cold climate, the water should be to the south of the building. Reflection off the water provides radiant heat gain during winter months in the cold climate and reflection off the water in hot humid climate is avoided during the summer months.


Hi! Where did you find this information?

I find the explanation above to make a lot of sense. Was source material ever provided?


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