Jul 2, 2012

Scale of Permanence

Scale of Permanence
Originally adapted from P.A. Yeomans by Dave Jacke

edited by Mark Krawczyk and Daniel Halsey. Version 7/2/12

SouthWoods Homestead Design Workshop,  Victoria, BC

  1. Temperature Range
    1. Seasonal average / highs / lows
    2. Plant hardiness zone(s)
  2. Predicted future climate change status
  3. Annual precipitation
    1. Seasonal distribution
  4. Latitude – Sun Hours
    1. Angle
    2. Intensity
    3. Cloudy vs. Sunny Days
  5. Wind directions
    1. Prevailing, seasonal variations, storm wind directions
  6. Growing degree days (important for ripening nuts)
  7. Average frost-free dates
    1. Chilling hours (important for fruit tree dormancy)
  8. Extreme weather potential: drought, flood, hurricane, tornado, fire
  9. Heating/cooling degree days

  1. Slope (steepness, rise/run in percent)
  2. Slope aspects (direction slopes face relative to sun, see microclimates)
  3. Topographic position (i.e., mid-slope, hill crest, valley floor, etc.)
    1. Keyline, Ridge, Key Point
  4. Bedrock geology: permeability, depth, nutrient content, acidity
  5. Surficial geology: type of parent material, permeability, depth, stoniness,
    1. Soil Type, Percent of Clay, Slit, and Sand.             
  6. Nutrient content, acidity, suitability for various uses, etc.
  7. Estimated seasonal high water table depth
  8. Estimated depth to bedrock, hardpan or impermeable layers of soil
  9. Elevation
  10. Landslide potential

  1. Existing sources of supply: location, quantity, quality, dependability, sustainability, network layout and features (spigots, pipes, filters, etc.)
  2. Watershed boundaries and flow patterns: concentration and dispersion areas, including
  3. Roof runoff patterns, gutters and down spouts
  4. Potential pollution sources: road runoff, chemical runoff from neighbors, etc.
  5. Flooding, ponding and puddling areas
  6. Possible sources of supply: location, quantity, quality, dependability, sustainability, cost  to develop
  7. Location of all on-site and nearby off-site culverts, wells, water lines, sewage lines, septic systems, old wells, etc.
  8. Erosion: existing and potential areas
  1. Activity nodes, storage areas
  2. Functional Spaces
  3. Pedestrian, cart and vehicle access points, current and potential patterns
  4. Materials flows: mulch, compost, produce, firewood, laundry, etc.

Vegetation and Wildlife
  1. Existing plant species: locations, sizes, quantities, patterns, uses, poisonous, invasiveness, weediness, what they indicate about site conditions, etc.
  2. Ecosystem architecture: layers and their density, patterning and diversity, resultant habitat conditions, canopy height, light/shade, character, quality
  3. Habitat types, food/water/shelter availability

  1. Define various microclimate spaces
  2. Sun/shade patterns
  3. Cold air drainage and frost pockets
  4. Soil moisture patterns
  5. Precipitation patterns
  6. Local wind patterns

Buildings and Infrastructure  (This may be moved up in built environment)
  1. Building size, shape, locations doors and windows, exist and possible functions
  2. Permanent pavement and snow piles from plowing it
  3. Power lines (above and below ground) and electric outlets
  4. Outdoor water faucet, septic system, well locations
  5. Location of underground pipes: water and sewer line, footing drain, floor drain and downspout drain lines, tile drains, culverts, other fences and gateways

Zones of Use (Pre-existing)
  1. Property lines, easements, rights-of-way
  2. Existing zones of land and water use
  3. Well protection zones, environmental and other legal limits (e.g. Wetlands regulations, Zoning regulations, building setbacks)
  4. Current uses by neighbors and passersby
  5. Use history and impacts on land, current or future uses

Soil Fertility and Management
  1. Soil types: texture, structure, consistence, profile, drainage
  2. Topsoil fertility: pH, % OM, N, P, K, Ca
  3. Soil toxins: lead, mercury, cadmium, asbestos, etc..
  4. Management history
  5. Soil testing: where to get it done, how to do it

Aesthetics/Experience of Place

Outdoor rooms, walls: define spaces (walls, ceilings, floors), qualities, feelings, functions, features
arrival and entry experience: sequencing, spaces, eye movements, feelings

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