Solar Access: Using the Environment in Building Design

Zoning Practice — April 2010

By Mary-Margaret Jenior, AICP


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More new buildings are energy efficient that at any time in our history. Yet most do little to use the environment in order to reach their real performance potential. About 40 percent of our end-use energy demand and over two-thirds of electricity demand is for buildings.

A significant portion of that demand can be met using the sun if we learn to design and renovate buildings to take advantage of access to solar energy. Further, buildings now produce about 40 percent of U.S carbon emissions, another reason to take advantage of solar power.

This issue of Zoning Practice highlights the elements of solar building design and discusses how communities can use land use controls to promote and protect solar access.


Page Count
Date Published
April 1, 2010
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American Planning Association

About the Author

Mary-Margaret Jenior, AICP