Sunday, 3 February 2008

SIDEBAR TO TORONTO STAR CONDO SHADOW STORY

PROS AND CONS
Made in the shade

» Shadows can be healthy. Toronto City Council has a shade policy committee, which is expected to issue a report by summer. The committee has heard from the board of health, which is in favour of increasing shade in "areas where children are most likely to be in attendance."

» The shade policy committee reports that from 2002 to 2004, 238 Toronto residents died from skin cancers. Of these, 186 were attributed to malignant melanoma. Shade, especially in public areas, helps protect people from the harmful ultra violet rays.

» The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that in the summer, about one-third of a home's heat enters through the roof. This ages shingles, blisters paint and robs a house of moisture.

» Some experts say shade can reduce homeowners' air conditioning costs up to 30 per cent.

» Some garden plants thrive in the shadows. Begonias, hosta, lobelia and Japanese anemones like shade.

The sunny side

» City of Toronto planning staff require developers to submit reports on the expected shadow effects of proposed buildings, in addition to other documentation. The city is working on formal guidelines regarding shadoweffects from new buildings.

San Francisco, Seattle and Boston have regulations in place that govern emerging shadows from proposed new buildings.

» A New York Times article reports that "The sunny sides of busy avenues are always more crowded with pedestrians on winter days."

» In winter, direct sunlight melts snow and helps cut heating and lighting costs for homes.

» Some people feel physically and mentally better when there is more light in their life. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which causes symptoms of depression and fatigue, is linked to a chemical imbalance resulting from a decrease in sunlight hours.

» Most grasses need four to six hours of direct sunlight to produce for healthy-looking lawns.

Stephen Weir

2 comments:

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