Finding True South

Finding true south

The house will be properly oriented in order to benefit from full exposure to the sun. The longer axis of our house (the house is a long rectangular building) will be situated so its west to east walls face due south to allow the low winter sun to shine into the house and heat it. In the summer, when the sun is higher in the sky, we will have specially calculated eaves that will shade the windows so the sun will not shine into the house. All of this depends on the house being sited properly.
 
This weekend, we went out to the site to find true south. In this area of eastern Ontario, true south is about 13 degrees different than magnetic south.  We could have simply adjusted with a compass, but a little research confirmed it was very easy to find true south by using the sun.   We had to be at the land at precisely 11:44 am (and 33 seconds) which was solar noon.  At solar noon, we lined up some stakes that fell in the shadow of a larger stake.  Once we had this line staked we made a quick call to my dad (who is pretty good at math) to confirm that Pythagoras’ Theorem would help us triangulate the perpendicular walls.  But that is a job for another day …    
 
Then we cut the grass and had a picnic. Beautiful weather for November 4th.
 
Rachel
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