Placing Buildings on a hill

Hi there,

I seem to struggle with the problems that ask us to place a building on a topo map. The reason is because I don’t know if NCARB wants us to be prioritizing climactic considerations, cut and fill considerations, views, sun, or all of the above! Also some problems seem like they could be subjective, so I need some help with that. I have Ballast study materials and have used Black spectacles in the past but I was wondering if there are other good sources?

I have passed 3 exams so far, but I am stuck on PA having failed (but come very close) multiple times.

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Hi @SJAHANGIRI!

I don’t know of any resources personally, @coachjakegroth do you know of any other good sources that help with building placement as mentioned above?

For questions like this we enter the realm of NCARB subjectivity and finding the best answer. (I know not a great start to this answer).

With that and my experience, I have learned to place higher priority on environmental impact and the biggest return on investment. It is a balance. So in your question, I would place first: cut and fill, then building orientation, then views. Views is clearly last their are other architectural elements that can accommodate this. The reason cut and fill and building orientation are first is because they have the biggest cost and and environment impact.

Now for the twist. If this same question was delivered for a cold climate zone along the boarder with Canada; I would place: building orientation, cut and fill, then views. Because the cost to heat and cool the building would be of a greater priority to the climate zone as it has a greater cost and environmental impact when compared to cut and fill. Views are still last.

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That is pretty helpful… thanks!

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