I set my site location to the Stanford Dish in Stanford, CA. This site typically has a dry climate varying from mid 40 degrees Fahrenheit to mid 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The site does not have any surrounding buildings and is mostly dry vegetation. However, the hilly terrain will need to be considered.
Google Earth image:
Psychrometric Chart for Stanford, CA:
Another interesting note I found was that the area of Stanford, CA gets cloud coverage often. This could pose a potential challenges to solar PV in the area and influenced my decision to prioritize designs that have a lower EUI value:
Throughout this process, I tried to explore many conceptual models.
I explored the effects of solar PV potential on different forms with the emphasis being on the roof design. I experimented how the total solar PV changes according to the orientation of the building in the location. Part of my original design idea implemented the use of an outdoor exhibition space so I experimented with several forms. I think the direction I am headed toward is having a green house along with the main building. After experimenting with several designs in the Module 4 practice exercises, I found a model design that I liked and proved to have a lower energy use index. I applied the same concepts into creating the initial model of the main site:
One of my design goals is to have zero net site energy so solar energy seems promising based on the psychometric chart and a design that takes advantage of having surface area directly towards the sun. In the future, I would angle this model more based on the topography of the Stanford Dish.
In the following models, I started drafting concept greenhouse spaces. They are different from a standard building in that they will not be using any energy during the day, and can have passive heating for plants that will be in the design.
My initial model was a sphere and found that the sunlight is unevenly distributed on the surface area:
The side of this design receives more sunlight which might not be optimal for a greenhouse so I chose not to proceed further:
The main building has a significantly mean lower EUI than the greenhouse sphere design. I will continue optimizing the greenhouse design:
I placed an initial model on the site to get an idea of what orientation will work best as I develop my concept to the terrain in future modules: