How To Plan Your Landscape For Maximum Energy Efficiency

Landscaping for maximum energy efficiency begins with gaining an understanding of the best way to utilize the trees, solar movements and resources that are available. Closely examine your house and surrounding property, including slopes on the ground, overhead utility lines, walkways, play areas, trees, flower beds, decks, fences and sheds. Then make sure you have a good understanding of which areas get impacted by wind and sun in order to determine which windows and walls need to be protected. In addition, determine how well the plant can survive in those locations since winter and summer months may fluctuate. Since it takes time for plants to grow, you’ll want to have a good understanding of how your landscape will develop and grow over time.

Phoenix-landscape-architectureYour climate is the next thing you need to understand. Some tress don’t do very well in locations that are windy. Many kinds of flowers are unable to handle excessive moisture or direct sunlight. Planting more trees can help to improve the air quality; they produce oxygen, while trapping dust, pollen and pollutants. Soil quality also improved by trees through feeding them organic matter.

How To Choose Trees As Energy Conservation Features

Planting trees for energy conversation purposes is valuable for both traditional houses and passive solar homes. The goal once again is providing shade during the summer and sun during the winter. In order to achieve this, the following criteria should be met by whatever trees you choose:

– Evergreen vs deciduous: Nature has ideally designed deciduous trees to provide direct solar benefits. During the summer they leaf out and provide shade, then during the winter their leaves are shed to allow sunshine in.

– Winter sun filtration and twig and branch density: Whenever a tree loses all of its leaves during winter, its twig and branching structure are completely visible. A very open structure is produced by some trees, which allows solar energy and light to shine through. They are ideal for energy conservation and passive energy. Other trees which product a high volume of twiggy growth are not as beneficial since each proportionately more light is compromised by each additional twig.

– Form, diameter, height: For trees to function in the role of energy conservation devices, it is necessary for them to be sized so that the house’s needs are met. A two story home will need to have much taller trees compared to what is need by single story homes. What that means is that tree’s upper half needs to be wide enough so that a significant shadow is cast. A ranch style house has a tendency to be low and long. Therefore a tree for shading it walls in summer will need to have a wide canopy that isn’t especially tall. The tree’s size also determine how far away from the structure it needs to be planted so that optimal benefits are obtained and problems with roots and branches interfering with the house can be avoided.

– Seasonal shadow positioning: Houses requiring trees for protection against morning as well as afternoon sun during the summer depend on the casting of a tree’s shadow. The shadow combines the tree canopy’s depth and shape. Windows and walls can be shaded by fine tuning shadows at the most critical times of day when the sun’s angle changes.

Arrangement: Any trees used for the purposes of energy conservation need to be considered as part of the larger landscape. It isn’t just about placing one tree in the optimum solar position. It involves designing a landscape featuring a broad range of plants grouped with the conservation trees so that the entire composition is more attractive. A grove is an ideal way of offering solutions that provide you with opportunities for using various species to help ensure diversity. This protects your valuable investment from losses due to pests, disease or storms.

Region And Climate Based Landscaping Strategies

Mid- East Coast U.S. – Temperate Region
– Use windbreaks for deflecting winter winds that come from the northwest and north.
– Make sure your home is shaded from the hot summer sun.
– Take full advantage of the winter sun for light and heat.

Southwest U.S. – Hot Arid Region
– Use plants for cooling the air surrounding your house.
– Naturally cool your house by taking advantage of summer winds.
– Shade the roof, windows and walls of your home.

Southeast U.S. – Hot Humid Region
– Avoid placing planting beds needing lots of water close to your house.
– Use trees for warming sun during the winter and cooling shade during the summer.
– To cool your house, channel summer breezes.

North- North East Coast – Cool Region
– If heat in the summer is a problem then shade the west and south sides from the sun.
– Make sure winter sun reaches windows that face the south.
– Dense windbreaks should be used for protecting your house from the cold winter winds.