Site Specific Design


Most homes in America are designed without any consideration to the site and are not orientated to benefit from beautiful views or passive solar possibilities. Conventional homes often appear to have fallen randomly from the sky. We at Greenovision assess all of the site’s attributes and design our homes to fit into the environment rather than fight it. With proper design, a home can both be benefited and protected from natural elements such as sun, wind, rain, snow, trees, slopes, etc. Beautiful attributes such as views, wildlife, and sunlight can be maximized and enjoyed from every part of the home.  Unnatural or unpleasant attributes of the home site such as an ugly neighboring house, a noisy street, or unsightly power lines can be minimized. The home should be an engaging yet sensitive addition to the environment, while honoring the aesthetics of the existing neighborhood or landscape. Every home site has potential beauty and grandeur; it just takes a well-trained and creative eye to unlock the possibilities.

Here are just a few of the site elements we take into account when designing a home:

  1. Solar orientation. In order to design a home that derives solar energy, correct orientation of the home is extremely important.  In Montana, Summer afternoon sun is a concern as a building can overheat and visual glare can occur if West-facing windows and over-hangs are designed incorrectly.
  2. View lines.  One of the most desirable features of a home is having beautiful vistas of the outdoors from within. Each home site has interior view potentials regardless if it is located in a densely urban space or a natural setting. Window locations and heights must be designed correctly in order to derive the most satisfying results.
  3. Wind. Wind directions change throughout the year and can either harm or benefit a home. Winter winds cause chilling drafts, snow drifting, and possibly damage. Summer breezes offer much-needed cooling and can work in the home’s favor by setting up inner pressurization and convective air exchange.winterawn
  4. Trees. Natural foliage can assist in breaking down strong winds, creating shade, and breaking down view lines to and from neighbors. Trees can also sett up natural snow drift lines, which can make entry into a driveway or home either reasonable or ridiculous.
  5. Land contours. Natural land slopes can be used as an asset or can cause drainage problems to a home.  Design of a home through use of modern computer modeling assists the designer in elevation decisions and in reducing excavation costs by minimizing earth removal.

To learn more about the environmental design we practice at Greenovision, please check out our blog post, What is Environmental Design?