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“Davis, California may be turning into one of the most innovative towns in North America in its current search for new solutions to low-energy community design.”
  - Robert Thayer, 1977

The climate in Davis is Mediterranean, with hot days (often above 100 degrees Fahrenheit) and cool nights.  Winters are mild and temperatures below freezing are rare; fog and rain can persist for weeks at a time.

Natural Heating/Cooling

Village Homes has been called a “laboratory for solar energy technology.”  Solar approaches to natural heating and cooling range from mechanical to passive systems.  In passive designs, most windows face south and have overhangs that both shade the summer sun and allow the sun to enter the home in the winter. 

Solar Hot Water Systems

In most cases, solar hot water systems can meet 100% of a home’s hot water needs during the summer months and 50% or more during the coldest months of winter.


All streets run east-west and all lots are oriented north-south.  The north-south orientation allows houses to accommodate solar panels on their southern sides. The design also allows south-facing windows to be shaded in the summer by overhangs and deciduous vegetation.






Image Sources:
1. Anne Whiston Spirn 1990
3. Corbett and Corbett 2000, 37
4. Friedman 2007, 265