The shadow knows, heh heh heh

Dark shadows are of the common concerns about proposed high rise buildings: “How will it affect my house?”  Or, as more commonly expressed: “It will block all my light all day!”

Earlier this week I heard an interesting factoid from a major developer, who said his proposed tower, a fairly thin one of 7500 sq ft floor plate, would not cast a shadow on any one place for more than one hour a day. Hmm, certainly sounds disarming. I wonder if there is any fine print? [of course, additional towers will collectively throw more shadows, as will slab-shaped buildings, or a a tall building right beside you].

One of the joys of summer is having the kid home from university. Having a personal Photoshop expert and all round geek handy is fine by me. So in telling the tale of the fast moving shadow, while I bbq’d some sausages, he whipped out the ever-present laptop, opened Sketchup, and created four shadow stories for the proposed high rise office towers at 801 Albert Street (subject of a post last week). The tower height in the video is accurate.

To remind you, here are the proposed towers, the tallest office buildings in Ottawa:

And here is the standard, static shadow study as submitted to the City:

And here is the quick little video that shows the movement of the shadows through the day at four key dates on the calendar:

We played with the time bar on Sketchup, and based on our visual inspection (while trying not to drip sausage juice or ketchup onto the keyboard) it did indeed seem that no point was in the shade for more than an hour. Hmm.