Citation
Meadow Lake West

Material Information

Title:
Meadow Lake West
Creator:
Fleck, Robert M
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
approximately 50 leaves in various foliations : illustrations, charts (some folded, some color), photographs (plans) ; 22 x 28 cm

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Landscape architecture -- Colorado -- Arvada ( lcsh )
Land use -- Planning -- Colorado -- Arvada ( lcsh )
Real estate development -- Colorado -- Arvada ( lcsh )
Land use -- Planning ( fast )
Landscape architecture ( fast )
Real estate development ( fast )
Colorado -- Arvada ( fast )
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
General Note:
Cover title.
General Note:
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree, Master of Landscape Architecture, College of Design and Planning.
Statement of Responsibility:
Robert M. Fleck, Jr.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Colorado Denver
Holding Location:
Auraria Library
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
09455988 ( OCLC )
ocm09455988
Classification:
LD1190.A77 1982 .F624 ( lcc )

Full Text
MEADOW
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This thesis is submitted as partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Masters of Landscape Architect degree at the University of Colorado at Denver, College of Design and Planning; Graduate Program in,Landscape Architecture.
Accepted:
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MEADOW
LAKE
WEST


OUTLINE
i. INTRODUCTION
A General B Project
ANALYSIS
A Regional B Local C Site
hi.RESEARCH
A Solar Requirements
A Process B Land Use C Site Plans D Details
v. BIBLIOGRAPHY
V-l Program V-2 Site Planning V-3 Process V-^ Regional Map V-5 Local Map V-6 Site Map
V-7 Topography & Hydrology V-8 Soils & Vegetation V-9 Local Influence & Solar V-10 Climate Summary V-ll Composite
V-12 Altitude/Azimuth & Sun Path
V-13 Solar Chart
V-l4 Solar Angles
V-15 Solar Skyspace
V-l6 Building Orientation
V-l7 Shadow Patterns
V-18 Building Form
V-19 Landscape Form
V-20 Process Chart
V-21 PUD Checklist
V-22 Matrix
V-23 Land Use Concepts
V-24 Housing Types
V-25 Unit Design
V-26 Shadow Plan
V-27 Site Plan A
V-28 Townhome Detail
V-29 Recreation & S.F. Detail
V-30 Site Plan B
V-31 Detail B
V-32 Townhome Perspective



IMTRODUCTIOIM
MEADOW


INTRODUCTION
Historically, mankind has built communities in response to local climate conditions.
Mesa Verde, in southwestern Colorado,is a good example of this response. These dwellings were constructed on generally south facing canyon walls to intercept the low winter sun and provide shelter against cold northerly winds. These abodes were located well into the cliff face which provided needed shade and buffering from the hot summer afternoons.
In addition to adaptation of local natural features there is also evidence indicating that the dwelling walls were covered wth various colored clays to reflect or absorb the solar energy as desired. The designers and builders of Mesa Verde have, therefore, utilized not only a logical approach to local climate adapted building construction but have also adhered to certain universal site design characteristics. In other words, these builders have made effective use of solar patterns in site planning and design. Patterns which until present remain the underlying principles to energy efficient development and construction.
Besides Mesa Verde, there remain many examples from the past where climate and solar energy have significantly affected the form and style of human habitation. These environmental influences in every form, from
individual dwelling units to entire cities. Remnants from civilizations throughout the world bear testimony to a time when buildings were often designed in alliance with their environment. And, instead of advancing this enlightened approach to site design there has been a frequent regression away from it.
The availability of inexpensive and plentiful energy resources has become an outmoded notion. The pendulum has now begun to swing back to local solar adaptation. Furthermore, a more enlightened conservation oriented form of community design and development is showing signs of emergence. The energy conservation along with economic, environmental and social benefits of natural climatic adaptation are becoming more and more apparent .
The current challenge lies in the need to merge the historical design precedents of these ancient civilizations with the needs and programs of the present. This combination of past and present is needed to create a formula whereby optimal energy efficent site design and development can be achieved.
'I


IIMTROOUCTIOIM
According to Housing and Solar Age magazine the majority of people polled indicated that it is of growing concern to incorporate more energy conscious design principles into the contemporary residential community. During 1981 a survey of passive solar homebuilders in metropolitan Denver was conducted by Energy/Resource Plan, Inc. of Evergreen. Their findings indicate that the trend towards passive solar housing is already well established and thriving despite a recession in the current housing industry. Furthermore, this trend helps demonstrate the local housing industry's commitment to developing ipore energy efficient communities.
The Writer Corporation of Denver, Colorado has responded to this growing need by sponsoring a thesis project which will explore the opportunities and constraints of site planning for a passive solar planned unit development. The site provided by the Writer Corporation is located in Arvada, Colorado and consists mainly of 80 acres of southerly facing slopes with two irrigation channels and a five acre body of water that provides an interesting amenity.
Since the effective design of any planned unit development includes proper site planning and unit design, the collaboration of landscape architect and architect
is imperative (fig. V-l). Therefore, third year architectural student Steve Risley will be involved in designing the solar townhomes which will occupy a portion of the site.
As with any land development and design there are several aspects which are extremely important to the creation of a community with imagibility and identity that is in harmony with the physical setting. The first aspect involves both the intrinsic site characteristics; it's potentials and constraints for development, and the site's surrounding contexts. The second aspect implies the application of the required program which is both an ideological theme and an architectural concept. It is important to recognize and define the characteristics of the site as a unique opportunity for design. The distinct site personality of soils, vegetation, landform and climate express a unique site character. Any proposed development should respond to existing site conditions. It is the intent of the site anslysis to produce the necessary physical ingredients into the design process that will reinforce and enhance the existing site composition (fig.V-2). Analysis of surrounding land use, circulation and community character will form the 'contextual' element to assure proper fit into the existing com-munityscape.
The'program'involves the implementation of the clients desire for development. The program provides an integral element into the design process for it is the mitigation and application of the 'program' to the site which will provide the conceptual framework for site design solutions. Therefore, the goal of the proposed thesis project is to produce a compilation of information which


ENGINEERING
MEADOW
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site planning,
§jt§ analysis
In site analysis there exists two important sets of factors: those components that are unique to the specific site and those realized through reference to regional characteristics.
The assessment of a site should include geology,soil, slope, climate,vegetation,wildlife and scenic quality. Also of importance include site location within the region and its accessibility to social and personal services.
Predetermined program such as land use and building site requirement should be applied to assure 'sense of'fit', both within the site and its' surrounding environment.
land planning,
The selection of land suitable for development or pre servation should depend upon an assessment of it's potentials and constraints and it's value for both proposed and other uses.
An inventory and interpretation of the sites characterizations and its relationship with adjoining land use will provide determinants of form, potentials and restraints for the location of structures and the pre servation of amenities.
Land planning is the process whereby the requirements of the program are provided, realized and welded together with the 'context'; with sensitivity to the site analysis, with imagination and with preservation and respect for the site.
5|cin SITE PLANNING we are involved then with the diagrammatic connections betweenbuilding form and outdoor space and with the arrangement of elements and allocation of areas for a variety of land use needs and functions, all within the confines of a single comprehensive site and its program for development or change.
site design & development


will address the issues of effective solar oriented planned unit development, from architectural design to proper site planning. The objective of this thesis is to provide the Writer Corp. with process oriented potential design solutions which will enhance their knowledge in creating better informed decisions regarding the development of more energy efficient communities.
Essentially,a three part process will take place to achieve the final product. This will consist of (A) analysis,
(B) planning and (C) site design. The analysis will include the research and depiction of site location showing existing circulation, municipalities and land use. The physiographic feature of the site will be identified with emphasis on soils, slope, hydrologic character, existing vegetation and both local and off-site influences. These factors will be analyzed in terms of the potentials and constraints they offer for development.
The planning stage will involve the research into the site planning standards for passive solar site design.
At this time, land use studies should be conducted to assure the proper fit into the the existing community environ-
ment. A consideration must then by paid to the architectural product to be utilized. This product should reflect not only the compatibility factor in surrounding land use but also the capabilty and experience of the developer. Ideally, at this time a market study would be conducted to support the decisions made concerning the selection of housing type, density and other community characteristics.
The third stage will include a study of two land use concepts. These concepts will incorporate the solar research, the architectural choices, circulation needs, recreation possibilities and open space.
A schematic plan will depict the land use considerations and from that a plan will be developed showing unit arrangement and the site planning opportunities. The graphic depiction of this process is illustrated in figure V-3.


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MEADOW
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ANALYSIS
REGIONAL
The regional context for the thesis site is located in the Denver metropolitan area along the Colorado front range. The local governmental jurisdiction is the city of Arvada which has a population of some 90,000 people. While it enjoys some degree of autonomy, Arvada is essentially a suburb of Denver(fig.V-^).
The city of Arvada has experienced a population growth significantly since its incorporation since 190^. The two most significant forces shaping Arvada's growth and development have been agriculture and urbanism. Up until the late 19^0's, much of Arvada was rural and agricultural by nature. The past three decades have witnessed its transformation into a highly urbanized segment of metropolitan Denver. The urbanization was accompanied by a significant population increase which can be attributed principally to the construction of Interstate 1-70 that helped facilitate the migration towards the suburbs.
The number of residential units has increased dramatically in the past twenty years until today over 77$ of the developed land in Arvada is devoted to residential use. As would be expected from the fact that 90$ of this housing is single family dwellings, the vast majority of
of the city's population is part of a traditional family. Further, the residents are predominately white and of middle class background. The average income is approximately $25,760, and over one-half of the families have an annual income falling between $20,00 and $25,000.
As for the future, the city of Arvada is expected to gain its share of regional growth. The Denver Regional Council of Governments forecasts a fifty percent increase in regional population between 1980 and 2000. Figures for Arvada reflect this proportion quite closely; by the the year 2000, a population of 120,000 is expected.
As a rule any land development project should be consistent with the planning policies of the jurisdiction in which it is located. Traditionally, the comprehensive plan is the most general formulation of a community's policies regulating growth and development. Zoning ordinances and subdivision regulations are usually imposed to implement these policies. The purpose of zoning is to establish standards for light, air and open space around buildings and to regulate the specific use of land and structures. Both zoning ordinances and subdivision regulations serve to control housing density, reserve street right-of-way and preserve community appearance.
However, with a planned unit development subdivision regulations and traditional zoning ordinances may simply serve as guidelines with, at most, selected sections being legally binding. Approval of a p.u.d. is, accordingly, contingent upon more than simple compliance with the zoning and subdivision regulations, but is granted or denied on an individual basis. Because of this, there


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must be exclusive policies and sections which should be dealt with in a jurisdictions' comprehensive plan for development .
Arvada's first comprehensive plan was created in 196^. The primary policy strucuture of Arvada's Comprehensive Plan for developmant is known as the 'target'. A target differs from a goal in that the latter is simply a desired end, while the former is more realistic, more constrained by the existing situation and actual possibilities. The comprehensive plan defines a 'target' specifically as "conditions achievable and modified by the strategies and means available to achieve them".
The recent Comprehensive Plan identifies many areas which contain both long and short term targets. Of these, three are particularly relevant to the project undertaken: quality of life, transportation and housing.
QUALITY OF LIFE twenty year target:
"We resolve to continue our committment to improvement of the quality of life and our citizenry by the acquisition, development, and improvement of parks, open space and public lands".
TRANSPORTATION twenty year target:
"We resolve to provide a balanced transportation system through the encouragement and improvement of all transportation modes. We further resolve that this system shall be developed in harmony with Air Quality requirementd, Land Use, Social Development, and other related goals of the City of Arvada."
HOUSING twenty year target:
"We resolve that a diversity of housing types is necessary and desirable. There shall be maximum use of planned unit developments to insure diversity of housing types and maximum land utilization efficiency. Planned unit development principles shall' be used to provide adequate open space for an individual development".
There also exists in the Comprehensive Plan another element which should be taken into consideration: the Land Use Plan. The Land Use Plan is a graphic and written analysis of the desirable and feasible pattern of development. This plan relates the general location, character and relationship of future land uses within Arvada's jurisdiction along with projections for future development. The zoning map attempts to institute the land use plan. Zoning is the specific regulatory device aimed at controlling the use of private development and property.
The Land Use Map conveys graphically the land use plan for a given area. In our case, the site under consideration falls in the category low density residential. This category allows single family detached homes, mixed density p.u.d. and individual or small areas of duplex. The overall density should not exceed the recommended density of ^.5 dwelling units per acre. The density of a planned unit development may exceed the recommended density only if the increase can be substantiated on the basis that a superior design/development package will not impinge on the existing city services or adversely affect the quality of life in the community.


The other basic organizational concept as described in the Comprehensive Plan is the 'neighborhood unit'. A neighborhood unit can be defined as "a geograph-cal area whose boundaries are determined by either natural or man-made impediments which serve to divide that area from another and within which the following functions may be found: housing, schools, parks and open space, churches and commercial (neighborhood) uses". A neighborhood is characterized by schools and parks within a half-mile from housing and a population large enough to support an elemantary school. Ideally, major streets should be located at the perimeter of the neighborhood, particularly serving as boundaries defining the edges of the neighborhood.
These planning concepts provide the polit ical or legal context from which design concepts should, in part, be based. In designing and site planning the Meadow Lake West thesis project these guidelines helped to provide the necessary legal framework for development.
A




IOEALIZED NBGHBORHOOO EL-EIVIEIMTS


ANALYSIS
LOCAL
Of particular importance in any design project is the compatibility with the existing fabric of development. In times of rapid growth, however, it may become difficult to assess the patterns and this fact, in part, leads to a hodgepodge communityscape. An examination of the land use plan provides help in this case as it communicates the parameters of change (fig.V-5).
Turning to the site under consideration, there are basically five contiguous land uses (fig.V-6). Of these, three appear to be subject to change. The residential planned unit development to the north is separated from the site by 64th Avenue, a major arterial. The City tends to utilize parkways to define neighborhoods, and 64th Avenue provides the same function.
The status of 64th Ave. as a demarcation point is reinforced by the existing street pattern.
The residential development to the southeast, Meadow Lake Estates, directly abuts the site and forms a strong contextual influence. Of particular significance are two local streets, 6lst Avenue and 6lst Place, and one collector, 6oth Avenue, which terminates at the eastern boundary of the site.
A mixed use p.u.d. is proposed for the tract of land to the northeast of the site. This development will contain office, business, commercial, financial and residential uses.
Of great importance is the siting of a collector at the northeast corner of the site.
This street will serve as the principal entry point and a fixed design element.
The most tenuous land use abutting the site is to be found to the west and south. The land is currently zoned agricultural and lies within Jefferson County. As development increases, pressure to convert this agricultural land to residential will certainly increase and more than likely become a reality.
TOPOGRAGHY/HYDROLOGY
The site is relatively flat with an approximately sixty feet of elevation change from the highest point to the lowest (fig.V-7).
The site contains a variety of slope conditions, the northern part of the site site slopes gently towards the south-east while the south portion is relatively flat and faces due south. A small hillock area lies in the midsoutheast portion of the site and is surrounded by two irrigation canals. The majority of the site contains slopes of 5$ or less with some steeper sections being found along the canals and the hillock.
Given the description of the topography, it may not be surprising to find drainage swales on both the northern and southern portions of the site. Those swales to the north drain principally to the east while,those to the south drain towards the southeast. The most significant hydrologic feature is Meadow Lake. Besides being an object of visual interest, the lake serves as a collection point


for some runoff. In examining the drainage pattern for the north portion of the site, it may be possible to increase the retaining capacity of Meadow Lake. This would greatly help decrease expensive costs in subsurface water systems, as the runoff can be directed through streets and channels into the lake.
SOILS Si VEGETATION
In the absence of specific test borings, the most detailed soils information was obtained from the Colorado Soil Conservation Service. Five soil units are found on the site:Nunn Clay Loam, Gravel Pits, Lavak Sandy Loam, Nunn Urban Land Complex, and the Denver Kutch Complex (fig.V-8).
The Nunn Clay Loam is a deep, well drained system. Typically, the surface layer is neutral, clay loam about 6 inches thick. The upper 17 inches of the subsoil is mildly alkaline, heavy clay loam. The substratum to a depth of 60inches is moderately alkaline, light clay loam.
As a general rule and is true with the Nunn soil, the establishment of grasses, shrubs, trees and garden plants is limited with clayey textured soils. Maintaining plant residue on or near the surface reduces runoff and helps to maintain soil tilth and organic matter content. Applications of manure and commercial fertilizer containing nitrogen and phosphorus are needed to upgrade soil fertility. Supplemental irrigation is necessary when planting and during dry periods.
If the Nunn soil is utilized for residential development, the main limitations are shrink-swell, low strength, and slow
permeation. The effects of shrinking and swelling can be minimized by certain engineering designs and by backfilling with material that has lo shrink-swell capacity. Properly installed tile drains below the foundation and minimal watering against the foundation help control seepage into basements and the effects of shrinking and swelling. Buildings and roads should be designed to offset the limited ability of the soil in this type to support a load. Erosion and sedimentation can be controlled and the community appeal enhanced by planting adequate materials of shrubs and trees.
The gravel pits consist mostly of cut areas created from the mining of alluvial gravels and crushed,rock, borrow areas or extensive cut and fill. Permeability of gravel pits is moderate to very rapid with usually low water capacity. Runoff is slow to rapid, and the hazard of water erosion is moderate to high. Shrink-swell potential is commonly low while soil remains mildlly alkaline to slightly acidic.
Plantings can be difficult to establish and maintain with this soil type. Mulches are essential in establishing healthy stands of ground cover and shrubs. Removal of pebbles and cobbles in disturbed areas is required for best results when landscaping, parties ularly in areas used for lawns.
If this unit is to be used as a homesite, the main limitations are depth to bedrock, large and smaller stones and slippage.
The deep cuts needed to provide essentially level building pads can expose bedrock. Drainage is neede in some areas if roads and building foundations are constructed.


The Lavate Sandy Loam is deep and well drained. The surface layer is neutral, sandy loam about 5 inches thick. The subsoil is neutral, sandy clay loam also to about 28 inches depth. The substratum to a depth of 60 inches is mildly alkaline, sandy loam.
With this soil permeability is moderately slow. The runoff is medium and the hazard of water erosion is moderate.
The main limitation this soil presents is in the form of high shrink/swell potential, low soil strength and slow permeability. Again, like the Nunn type soil there can be certain engineering solutions which would mitigate the problem.
The Nunn-Urban Complex is a composite of Nunn Clay Loam nad Urban Land. On this site the complex is entirely the Nunn Loam which has been described earlier.
The final type is the Denver Kutch Complex is composed of b0% Denver, 2$%
Kutch and 20% Urban Land. On the site the complex is represented by the Kutch soils.
The Kutch soil is moderately deep and well drained. Typically, the surface layer is neutral, clay loam about 3 inches deep. The upper 8 inches of the topsoil is neutral,to mildly alkaline clay. The lower 15 inches is moderately alkaline clay and heavy clay loam overlying soft interbedded shale at a depth of 26 inches.
Permeability of the Kutch soil is slow. Available water capacity is high. Runoff is medium and water erosion moderate.
Vegetation for the most part on the site is sparse. The land was apparently once used for grazing and has been severely overgrazed. Native grasses predominate; species found on the site include western wheatgrass, green needlegrass, blue gramma and Griffith wheatgrass. Scattered yuccas are found on the hill to the south of Meadow Lake along with mullein and bull thistle.
Stands of plains cottonwoods, typically, are found near the lake and along the north fork of the irrigation ditch. The coton-woods range from forty to sixty feet in height; the largest have a breast diameter of three feet. Mixed with the cottonwoods are boxelders and russian olives. The only other significant vegetation found on the site is a stand of black locusts occupying the southeast corner. These locusts range from twenty-five to thirty-five feet high. Though some selective pruning will be necessary for continued healthy growth and appearance, for the most part every effort will be made to preserve the existing foliage.
LOCAL & SOLAR INFLUENCE
The site is favored with several visual amenities. At this point, there is no development directly to the west and southwest; the site affords an attractive view of the mountains from a number of different locations. A particularly pleasing vista is obtained from several of the higher points of elevation, but even lower points offer unobstructed mountain views.
The most notable internal view is toward Meadow Lake. Again, the view is quite pleasing from a number of different locations within the site. The view of the lake is


enhanced by the stands of cottonwoods and willows which encircle its south edge, in addition, the cottonwoods and willows along the north fork of the irrigation canal are quite pleasing. Perhaps the only unattractive view associated with the site is the external view towards 64th Avenue to the north. However, this problem can be alleviated by effective setbacks and buffering.
Every site has its own micro-climate, and the site in question is no exception (fig. V-9). The overwhelming climatic influence, however, can be considered regional in nature. The climate of the Denver Region is typical of a semi-arid, high altitude zone: mild and sunny with a brief period of extreme hot or cold temperatures. The agreeable climate the region experiences results from the low reative humidity and the shelter of the Rocky Mountains.
Denver's weather is influenced by air masses from four very distinct sources: frigid arctic air from Canada, warm moist air from the Gulf of Mexico, warm dry air from Mexico and mild Pacific air altered by its passage over the mountains.
Winter is, predictably, the coldest of the four seasons with an average minimum temperature of 32 degrees F. The mountains tend to moderate the severity of the winters. Cold air from the the northwest is often held against the mountains and fails to reach the Denver Region. Warmer air, from the west, in the form of Chinook winds fre^-quently produces unseaonably warm weather. Additionally, the cold arctic air from r Canada that spreads over the central plains often fails to reach the higher altiude of the region.
As can be seen from the climatic summary (fig.V-10), winter is the driest season of the year with only about ten percent of the annual precipitation. The majority of precipitation occurs as snowfall. Although there is significant cloudiness associated with the snowfall, skies are frequently clear and the average percent of sunshine is quite close to the annual average of seventy percent.
Spring is the most cloudy, wet and windy of the seasons, with almost forty percent of the annual snowfall occuring during this time. The increased snowfall is the product of the cold arctic air from Canada meeting warm moist air from the Gulf of Mexico. While spring brings a large amount of snow, it does not accumulate for long periods as it is melted by periods of warm weather. This fact is reflected in the average spring temperature of 47 degrees.
The weather patterns of summer are as dynamic as those of spring. Mornings are frequently clear and relatively cool. The intense summer sun warms the air during the morning and early afternoon. Although summer temperatures do exceed 100 degrees, these hot stretches are relatively infrequent. Even when the daytime temperatures are high, the air cools significantly during the evening, This diurnal temperature swing is characteristic of arid and semi-arid climates.
In many respects, autumn is the most pleasant of the seasons. The warm temperatures of the summer have subsided and the cool temperatures of winter have yet to begin. Autumn also brings the largest percentage of sunshine of all the seasons.


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JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC YR
31 33 37 a7 58 66 73 72 62 52 39 32 MEAN TEMPERATURE f F3
17 20 2a 33 aa 52 58 57 08 37 25 19 AVERAGE MINIMUM TEMPERATURE £FJ
-25 -25 -8 7 22 30 03 Ol 29 3 -7 -16 EXTREME MINIMUM TEMPERATURE CF3
44 a7 50 61 71 80 88 j 86 78 67 50 | 06 AVERAGE MAXIMUM TEMPERATURE lFj
72 76 83 85 81 102 102 ioa 97 87 76 73 EXTREME MAXIMUM TEMPERATURE tF3
.5 .8 1.3 1.6 2.6 1.7 1.9 i.a 1.3 1.1 .8 .5 15.5 AVERAGE PRECIPITATION t")
7 io 15 S 1 .1 O .1 2 5 8 6 62 AVERAGE SNOWFALL £*')
55 58 60 60 61 50 50 09 ao aa 53 53 53 MEAN CLOUD COVER tlo3
72 71 70 66 65 71 71 72 70 73 66 68 71 AVERAGE SUNSHINE (lo3
sa sa 53 ai 50 50 50 05 06 09 56 66 AVERAGE RELATIVE HUMIDITY floJ
CLIMATIC SUMMARY: DENVER
V10


Two aspects of climate are particularly important to this project: wind patterns and solar radiation. Both have considerable impact on the micro-climate of the site. The general wind patterns of the region indicate that over thirty percent of the annual wind comes from the south. This is generally warmer air from Mexico. In addition, a significant amount comes from Canada which is generally cold arctic air. The wind patterns provide important information for the site planning process because this knowledge is necessary for proper unit orientation to avoid the cooling effects of the wind. Once proper unit orientation is achieved, further mitigating measures can be achieved by buffer plantings and berming.
The most important climatic factor, which will be examined more in depth, is the effect of solar radiation on the site. Specifically,the path of the sun across the sky must be determined in order to allow desirable solar radiation to enter structures in the winter and to block unwanted solar gain in the summer.
An analysis of the sites' potential for receiving solar radiation is examined in figure V- 9. By examining the existing slope conditions for solar radiation capacity it is possible to ascertain the the potentials of the site. This examination clearly indicates that approximately one-half to three-quarters of the site falls under the ideal to good range. Other measures may be taken in the form of site engineering to achieve an even higher acceptability rate.
Another significant feature which relates to solar heating is the effect of existing shadows on the site. Clearly areas within shadow range from trees will receive no direct solar radiation. Knowledge of shadow locations and their extent of shading is indicated by the analysis map. This information is important in relating to unit site planning and effective passive solar design. The formula for ascertaining shadow length for trees and other structures will be examined in the solar principles section.
COMPOSITE
As is true with any site analysis, the most important part is the comprehensive asses-ment which can be seen in the composite map (fig.V-11). This summary analysis should illustrate the interrelationship of the spatial, and the cultural conditions of the site. The builable zones should be identified, as well as the ecologically sensitive areas, the undesirable areas for development, and possible elements that may require more evaluation.
The composite map indicates the sections which contain a soil constraint which could require expensive engineering solutions.
Also, difficult topograghy and ecologically sensitive zones as indicated will have to be taken into account. The composite indicates certain site planning considerations in the form of preserving the best solar access for homesite development and designing to buffer abutting land uses.


MEADOW


Planning a development for solar access follows much along the same course as any conventional development. The difference lies in the assesment of both the availability of sunlight and shadow factors on the site.
In order to comprehend and become responsive to the effects of solar radiation on the design of the site, it is necessary to know the sun's position in the sky at any given moment. Obviously, the more sunlight a surface receives will greatly enhance the potential for utilizing solar energy. The amount or intensity of sunlight on any given site depends on the proximity to perpendicular of that object to the sun. The more directly overhead the sun is, the greater its intensity; the more tilted the sun is from perpendicular, the less intense the rays become. Because the earth is tilted on its axis, the altitude of the sun at a given location depends on three factors: the time of day, the latitude and the season.
Even though the sun's position changes from season to season, and latitude to latitude, its position for any given time can be calculated by two measurements. These measurements or coordinates are called azimuth and altitude (fig. V-12). Altitude is the angle measured between the horizon and the position of the sun above the horizon. Solar azimuth
is the angle along the horizon of the position of the sun, measured to the east or west of true south. It is expressed as a negative value to the east and as a positive value to the west. The solar azimuth is greater in the summer than in the winter because the sun rises and sets farther north in summer.
Once the azimuth and altitude angles are calculated, the sun can be located at any position in the sky. By connecting the points of location of the sun at different times of the day the suns path can be drawn for that day. The sun's path is graphically represented in figure V-12 for Denver at ^-0 degrees north latitude during the summer solstice and the winter solstice. The winter sun rises on this date at an azimuth of -59 degrees and sets at +59degrees with a high altitude of 27 degrees. The summer sun rises at an azimuth of -121 and sets at +121 degrees attaining a maximum altitude of 73 degrees. The solar chart (fig.V-13) is a vertical projection of the sun's path as viewed from earth for various times of the year. It could be said that this chart is an earth-based view of the sun's movement across the sky and allows the calculation of the sun's position for a given date and time.
Knowledge of the sun's path across the sky is crucial to proper site planning for maximizing solar radiation on a structure. By superimposing the sun paths over a building it is possible to realize the necessary orientation of the surface receiving solar radiation (fig. V-1*0 .
Once a designer has dealt with solar access for the project* by determining the overall effect on the site, it must then be considered in terms of a more individual unit known as solar skyspace (fig. V- 15).
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MEADOW
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40 NORTH LATITUDE
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Solar skyspace is that portion of the sky which must remain unobstructed for a passive solar building or collector to operate efficiently. Solar skyspace for most situations is determined by the sun's position at the winter solstice (Dec.21), when solar altitude and azimuth angles are smallest and shadows are largest.
As a general rule, 12 degrees altitude can be used as a cutoff point for solar skyspace. Roughly 80% of the sun's energy is received when the sun is at or above 12 degrees altitude. The sun is in this position between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. for most latitudes at mid-winter. This altitude corresponds to 45 to 50 degrees azimuth either side of south. In most of the United States, below 45 degrees north latitude, 45 degree azimuths are used to describe skyspace.
Therefore, the eastern and western boundaries of the skyspace should be defined by 45 degree azimuth angles. The altitude of the sun on Dec. 21 and June 21 form the upper and lower boundaries of the skyspace in most cases. The upper boundary is not as important as the lower, this lower boundary is formed by the sun's path at its lowest point; on Dec. 21 when the problem with shadows is greatest.
In summary, solar skyspace is defined by the path of the sun on December 21 between 45 degrees east and west of south. When planning a development, any large object capable of casting a significant shadow should be located so that it does not intrude upon the skyspace of the object requiring solar access. By combining the level of solar access with the skyspace, a designer can keep areas free from obstruction
The next stage of analysis in designing for solar access involves the interrelationship of building form, landscape, and shadow patterns.
The relationship of building design to solar access for the community is a critical one. Because the number of site design options for solar energy use is relatively limited, it is essential that solar energy planners are fully aware of these restrictions. Ideally, the site planner should be part of the total design team from the onset of the project, influencing decisions and recommending development layout and landscaping. Where this ideal can not be met, the site planner should accept the building design intact and design the project so as to accomodate the solar energy objectives.
Building height and roof pattern are two extremely important facets in arranging the site plan. The amount of height reduction to protect solar access depends on the shadow lengths created by latitude, topography, and the sun's position in the sky. Proposed building heights can be incrementally reduced until the shadow pattern or projection fits within the lot and road width needed or else these dimensions can be adjusted to accomodate the building provided. This facet will be further analyzed by reviewing the shadow plan formula in this section.
Orientation of structures is an important factor in solar access. Buildings should be oriented so as to have their large roof areas situated to receive solar radiation from the south Buildings should be sited with the longest dimension running east-west. Figure V-l6 emphasizes this situation. A 45 dgree variation from east-west is acceptable, and a maximum of 22.5 degrees is better for proper gain.


SOLAR SKYSPACE
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PLAIN!
MEADOW
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BUILDING ORIENTATION V-1B
As we have already seen, in order to assure solar access for a community there must be concise planning for sun angles and proper unit orientation. Another important step lies in the analyzation of the shadow patterns created by buildings and other structures.
Shadow pattern anlysis involves the process of laying out the shadow pattern that buildings and landscape create during the period of maximum solar use. This analysis is essentially a drafting shortcut that can be applied to projects using passively heated buildings that require south wall access.
Buildings and trees can be abstracted into a number of poles, which correspond to the height of the structure or tree, and shadow lengths can then be projected for each pole. The composite drawing for each pole represents the total shadow cast for each object. Shadow patterns can be standardized for buildings and vegetation, provided that the terrain are relatively uniform and the structures somewhat uniform.

As figure V- 17 relates, it is essentially a six step process in analyzing the patterns. The first step is to identify the major building types and their dimensions, these dimensions should then be abstracted into a number of poles. The shadow length chart should now be consulted to ascertain the extent of projection for a given slope and time of day. After the lengths are ascribed by projecting lines these lines should be connected to form the entire patern from morning until sunset. The final step involves creating a template for the housing type, whether it be attached or deatached housing, this template can then be arranged on the site to achieve proper planning for solar access for all structures.
While the shadow pattern technique is the most accurate representation of how much space a shadow covers, it should be applied for broad scale analysis in an entire development. The shadow projection distance can be used to determine the minimum spacing for rows of structures situated north and south of each other (fig. V-18).
As a general rule the greater the shadow lengt the farther north the shadow length projection distance. The same factors that affect shadow length- north/south slopes, latitude, and azimuth angles- also affect the north shadow projection distance.
This same process needs to be applied to landscape planning for the development. By determining the heights of various trees, their shadow lengths can be delineated and arranged on the site plan. Since some shading is necessary in the summer, it is equally important to know the sunlight penetration for deciduous plant material (fig. V-19).
14


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*| ORGANIZE ROOF HEIGHTS, PEAKS R BLDG. DEPTHS,
40 NORTH LATITUDE
N NE E SE S
SLOPE AM NOON PM AM NOON PM AM NOON PM AM NOON PM AM NOON PM
0% 4.8 2.0 4.8 4 8 2.0 4.8 4 8 2.0 4 8 4 8 2.0 4.8 4.8 2.0 4.8
5% 5.7 2.2 5.7 4.8 2.2 6.2 4.1 2.0 5.7 3 8 1.9 4.8 4.1 1.8 4.1
10% 7.2 2.5 7.2 4.8 2.3 9.1 3.6 2.0 7.2 3.2 1.8 4 8 3.6 1.7 3 6
15% 9.6 2.9 9.6 4.8 2.6 16.6 3.2 2.0 9.1 2.8 1.7 4.8 3.2 1.6 3.2
20% 14.5 3.4 14.5 4.8 2.8 97.5 2.8 2.0 14.5 2.4 1.6 4.8 2.8 1.5 2.8
& CONSULT SHADOW LENGTH CHART.
3 ABSTRACT
SHADOW PATTERNS )
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Site planning is a process requiring the manipulation of many variables. It involves the location, placement, and relationship of all the varying site elements. The site elements include the house; private, semiprivate and public open spaces; pedestrian pathways; roadways and parking; service facilities; etc. Three basic elements, however must be continuously interrelated: user, site and home. Many alternative solutions may emerge from this process. Each solution should be considered an a rational assessment of each solution is the primary responsibility of the site planner. The process must not only account for existing conditions, but must also anticipate future owner needs. Throughout the site planning process the site planner must make rational and creative decisions interpreting both quantitative and qualitative information.
A preliminary checklist for planned unit development site planning has been devised and found in figure V-21.
The site planner needs a knowledge and insight into all aspects of residential development finance, marketing, user needs, builder codes, architecture, construction and management.The site planner should work with other professionals in a team role.
This team should develop a plan or range of alternatives for determining the best use and arrangement of the site.
This is the most typical method, and involves site analysis, development concepts, testing and evaluation, design development and supervision of the actual site development. The process is a complex one and involves the interaction of many different individuals and disciplines. A diagram, such as figure V-20, will help greatly in organizing the various participants in any major land development project.
The site planners responsibilities include those to the developer, the users, the existing neighborhood context, and the local jurisdiction in which the project is located. Since all developers are rightfully interested in returning a profit on their investment, the site planner should produce an arrangement with cost effectiveness and marketing appeal. The planner needs to be able to guide projects through the planning, approval and construction phases as quickly and efficiently as possible. The needs of future residents must be of paramount importance in the site planning process. Quality of living experience at an affordable cost is the prime consideration. The responsibility to neighboring bodies implies that the necessary knowledge of existing scale, thematic quality and fit, joining the existing circulation system,and buffering are just a few of the issues involved. The impact of the development on city services and facilities must be examined. This will assure both existing and future residents the community will not be overburdened or the necessary services interrupted.
Overall, the site planning function must establish optimum conditions in which the presenl becomes the future.


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DATA
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history of devel. base mapping site analysis housing needs demograghics economic base existing/future land use
trans. facilities
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STRATEGIES
* sell
* develop
* donate mm
* joint venture
dedicate
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1 * environment study STRATEGY
1 * noise preliminary r i
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INVENTORY ning concepts S 4*
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* owner needs '* economic/market
climate
MARKET
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* industrial
* recreation
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* COMMUNITY LOCATION
in areas of compatible land use and contiguous environment,
X ft in locations with adequate utility and road/circulation support.
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0 and services.
0 ^
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* COMMUNITY DESIGN
tt to encourage clustering of homes for visual effect, tt by organizing the support systems of utilities, streets, walks and lighting.
tzt by providing adequate and properly located community facilities and open spaces.
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JO tt optimum attractiveness of community setting by providing variation
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in the placement of homes for visual appeal and resident use. tt by utilizing the topography and the natural vegetation and the provision of effective landscaping throughout, tt by providing a coordinated system of common elements, including signage, lighting, and accessory features, tt by recognizing and capitalizing on the unique natural features
of the site ie; vegetation, water and geographies.
0) ft proper organization of land uses such as the sensible use relationship between living areas and community use areas, tt by creating a street hierarchy system that is functional and logical for the community setting.
XX by providing community facilities such as community buildings, recreation areas, and common vehicular storage areas that are appropriate for the needs of the residents.
* INDIVIDUAL SITE DESIGN
tt provide functional relationship between land uses: outdoor living spaces,-parking, storage and utility connections, tt create privacy by providing minimal visual and noise intrusion into the site.
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LAND USE
SITE PLANNING
The site planning of any development includes the organization of the various site design options as they relate to the particular theme for development. With this particular project the theme involves the arrangement of units to maximize solar access opportunities. This implies several aspects of site design which are necessary to assure optimum layout. These site design elements have been isolated and illustrated in the form of a matrix (fig.V-22). This matrix lists site design options for solar access and rates them according to their effectiveness in energy conservation, cost effectiveness and solar potential.
Because planned unit development offers the greatest flexiblity in terms of site planning, it is considered an optimum community design. Aspect or the direction a slope is facing is imperative to assure solar gain.
The design of streets on an east-west access allows for maximum solar gain for units and by narrowing the width there can be significant cost reduction in construction. Optimum lot layout also requires east-west access to provide maximum gain in winter and mimi-mum gain in summer. Building siting also relates to this as well as siting taller structures to the north for shadow control.
After site design options have been established concept planning may begin. This usually takes the form of the arrangement of land use types and an evaluation of the impacts on the site and its context.
With the project site in question, two concepts were generated (fig.V-23). Concept A includes the placemnt of a higher density townhome development in the northern portion of the site. This would facilitate less traffic through the site by keeping the majority of the traffic to the main entry area. Since the effective design af any community involves the integration of several housing types (fig.V-24), a section of single family housing was located in the central section to maximize accessibility to the park for children and another section of single family would correspond to the existing land use in east and southeast portior A final lower density townhome section is planned for the southwest section to further round out housing variety and marketabity of the site to a variety of home buyers. The overall densii of this concept is higher than necessary as directed by the land use plan, therefore a downgrading of the density would be necessary before approval.
Concept B also includes a variety of land use. A portion of the site in the northeast corner has been designated commercial office to be contiguous with the proposed use on the next site. Again, a higher townhome density development has been planned for the northwest section with adequate buffering betwwen adjacent areas and 6^-th Avenue. Single family is situated in the central portion and the area the mid-east. This will help keep density to a manageable size and assure fit into the existing single family context.


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NORTH-SOUTH
TALLEST TO NORTH
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MEADOW
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GLOSSARY OF HOUSING TYPES
attached
Detached Attached

one story two story split level
garage
carport
detached
JED
unique types patio, modular, etc.
duplex
triplex
quadplex
townhouses
Styles
1
{Traditional j j^ContemporaryJ
one story two story combinations w/no garage/carport
one story two story combinations w/no garage/carport
one story two story combinations w/no garage/carport
one story two story combinations w/no garage/carport
MEADOW
LAKE
WEST
HOUSING
Haw11
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The southern section of the site is designated townhome area as this is the most appropriate area to maximize orientation for solar access. This area was chosen to site plan for the townhome units that were designed for solar heating as prescribed by the Writer Corporation.
A portion of the site in both concept plans was dedicated for park development. This was necessary to insure adequate recreational oportunity for residents of the community and the office complex. The standard requir-ments of pool, clubhouse and court amenities will be provided for in keeping with the requirements of the Writer Corp. for communities of this size and nature.
The next stage of the site planning effort involves a more detailed approach to design of the alioted land uses. This allows a more thorough examination of unit arrangement and site details. At this time an analysis of the townhome (fig.V-25) unit designed by Steve Risley in terms of its shadow projections was arranged on the site in the south townhome area. This analysis can be seen in figure V-26. Though austere in design,this plan was devised following the guidelines for passive solar access. The units are arranged in clusters of four and six to achieve some variety and an adequate buffer zone between each row of units will assure solar accessiblity. The single family lots are also designed to allow solar access and street orientation arranged to facilitate the proper siting.
The concept plans were then designed to reveal the arangement of roads units, landscaping, and recreational uses so as to afford a more detailed study. Figure V-27 delineates Concept A in more detailed form. The northeast town-
home area was designed to have townhome clusters of two, three and four units. These are also arranged for south wall solar access Detached garages and pedestrian pathways can be noted in the detailed figure V-28, along with a conceptual plan for the commercial office site. Adequate landscaping both for buffering between uses and visual appearance is provided. The recreation area is detailed in figure V-29 to show pedestrian link-up and maximum use of the existing amenities of both the lake and the canals. The single family area shown to the west incorporates cul-de-sac arrangements for more privacy and, again, though austere in design, this nonetheless facilitates solar access for all.
The final concept B is further examined in terms of site design potential (fig.V-30).
This plan delineates a more creative approach to the townhome parcel in the north section. Detail V-31 reveals townhome clusters designee to receive solar access and utilize courtyard effects for privacy and greater community appeal. A further representation of these units and the staggered effect of site planing can be seen in figure V-32. It should be noted that there are methods avilable, sucl" as staggering which allow attractive community design in spite of the restrictions of solar access planning.
Further examination of site plan B depicts zero lot line design of the single family section. This concept allows more creative lot arrangement and eliminates the wasteful side yards. The southwesterly townhome portion utilizes the concept of detached garages, which allow more interesting clustering of units.


bibliography:
MEADOW


American Planning Association, Site Planning for Solar Access, HUD Wash. D.C., May TL98O Berry, Roger G., Climatic Environment of the East Slope of the Front Range, INSTAAR, 1972 Carpenter, Walker, Lamphear, Plants in the Landscape, Freemen & Co., 1975 Denver Planning Office, Planning with Climate and Solar Energy, Denver, 1980 Hansen, Chronic and Matelock, Climatology of the Front Range U.S. Government 1979 Lynch, Kevin, Site Planning! MIT Press, Cambridge 1975 Mazria, Passive Solar Energy Book, Rodale Press 1979 McHarg, Ian Design with Nature, Doubleday, New York 1971
National Assoc, of Home Builders, Cost Effective Site Planning, NAHB Wash.,D.C., 1976
Olgyay, Victor, Design with Climate, Princeton University Press, 1973
Ridgeway, James, Energy-Efficient Community Planning JG Press, Inc., 1979
Robinette, Ed., Landscape Planning for Energy Conservation, Envirnmental Press 1977
Untermann and Small, Site Planning for Cluster Development, Van Nostrand, 1977
Wright, David, Natural Solar Architecture- A Passive Primer, Van Nostrand, New York, 1978



* NORTH SHADOW PROJECTION:
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PEAKED ROOF
SOUTH WALL ACCESS LIMITED BY 35 H .
SOUTH WALL PROTECTED BY SB H.
p
CONTOUR HOUSING
BUILDING FORM
V-1B
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DECEMBER TREE SHADOWS
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* CROWN HEIGHT & BREADTH SHADOW
X = BENEFICIAL SUMMER SHADE Y= [DETRIMENTAL WIMTER "
* BARE BRANCH PENETRATION
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* ANALYSIS *
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SITE CONDITIONS
SITE COMPOSITE

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- SOLAR RESEARCH
- LANO USE
ARCHITECTURAL
MARKET NEEO
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