Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Natural Awning

In our efforts to create our passive solar house we are taking a few key ideas from our current place. It faces East and has a large front porch and back deck with a big overhang. Both the porch and deck are fantastic and keep the house very cool and shaded in the summer, but it does in the winter too, which isn't a good thing. And when I say cool, its probably 15 degrees cooler in the house than outside....Brrr cold in the winter. Its also hard to have house plants in the winter because there is little sun that penetrates the house.

So with the new house, how do we shade the sun in the summer and achieve this fantastic natural cooling effect but also allow the sun in, in the winter and reap the warm, sunny benefits in the winter...its a challenge and we have been looking  at all kinds of awnings and retractable sun shades. We did see a fantastic awning that is made of a series of flaps that open for sun and close for shade, it was a fantastic design and we loved it. But I do like this natural, willow branch awning. It could easily be removed in the summer. I wonder how long it would last and how hard it would be to make, I am imagining a fantastic use for manzanita!!

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