Orienting the house due South

This past week Adam’s friends Dave and Nancy, who have built their own custom home and blogged about it at http://nancydavebuildhouse.blogspot.com stopped by for a visit. In one of our conversation’s we discussed orienting our homes due South. It struck me that the method I used would be worth sharing since it was fairly creative. I retrieved that neighborhood satellite image from Google maps and imported into Archicad, where I already had created an accurate plot plan based on the original survey. I then measured the angle between Vernon St. and due South. From that, I laid out the four corners of the house in Archicad and measured and triangulated the theoretical distance from the corners of the property to the corners of the house. Although we didn’t have any pins available to us, my neighbor had done an unofficial survey for us so it was easy to transfer the triangulated distances to reality.

This method is only available to those who have straight lines from streets or other structures that show up on a satellite image and are close to the construction site.

Google maps satellite 10 Charles st Aug 2010

You can see that our foundation is perfectly square with the image frame indicating our house is indeed pointing exactly due South.

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