Plotting shade path from trees

How to plot the shade path from trees in the winter time either by simple software or other means.

[question]
I have a question on ways to plot the shade path from trees in the winter time (ie simple software or other means)? I am looking to build a passive design home in Canberra  and have just noticed that a neighbour’s block has a large gum tree and smaller trees due solar north that might affect the sun’s path into the house. I know that in the middle of a winter day the sun’s angle in Canberra is 6 degrees and drops away either side as expected.
[/question]

[answer]
There are several options for estimating the impact of a tree on your solar access. I think the most accurate and simple approach would be SketchUp. This is a 3D modelling tool that describes itself as “intuitive, fun and free for anyone to use”. It easily allows someone to model a building and relevant site conditions and see the resultant shadows.

There is, of course, the old-fashioned way, using a sun path diagram that will give you the
angles of the sun. Manual drawings can then be made to give you an idea of shadowing.

Finally, there is a new app called EcoEasy that can be used on your iPhone or iPad (featured in Sanctuary 20). This has lots of interesting calculators that help you to rate the energy efficiency of your home – or one that you are considering purchasing. – Caroline.
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Cover of Issue 21
You can read more about Plotting shade path from trees in Issue 21 of Sanctuary magazine.

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