Some informative points regarding a shading analysis are:
- Due to the earth’s rotation the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.
- Due to the earth’s orbit around the sun on an inclined axis, the path the sun travels through the sky is dynamic which creates the four seasons of the year.
- In winter, the sun rises in the northeast and sets to the northwest. The path travelled is lower in the sky.
- In summer, the sun rises in the southeast and sets in the southwest. The path travelled is more overhead and is in the sky for longer.
- There are two types of natural light, daylight and sunlight.
- Daylight is the percentage of the sun’s rays that are refracted and reflected due to the earth’s atmosphere. This is a softer light source which gives the impression of illuminating all things in all directions.
- Sunlight can be reasonably assumed as the direct light from the sun not diverted by the earth’s atmosphere. Any obstruction to sunlight will form a shadow to any object/s beyond.
- The amount of daylight produced in relation to sunlight and the intensity of sunlight determines how distinctive the shadow created by an object is.
- Not all shadows have a negative effect. Shadows are effective means of cooling temperatures by reducing the amount of sunlight. Daylight still occurs, allowing reduced but often usable levels of light.
- Planetary motions are continuous therefore shadows vary depending on the time, day or month of the year.
- Many environmentally friendly and thermally efficient buildings are oriented in the northern direction, limiting glazing to the south façade.
Access to sunlight provides additional benefits which include health and well-being of the occupants of a building and can possibly reduce reliance on artificial lighting and heating.