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Passive Energy Controls

Jeffrey Crussell Associates assists clients in better understanding the need for a well-designed and well-managed microclimate. When designing or updating landscape or hardscape areas it is important to consider the sun, shade, wind, rain, snow, moisture, and dryness of your region. A nearby body of water will also affect your microclimate through humidity and air temperature changes.

Reducing Heat Gain

Reflective surfaces such as concrete, gravel and adjacent structures have an impact on your microclimate and can cause solar heat gain within your structure throughout the day. Reducing the impact from these surfaces with landscaping can help save energy as well as reduce the impact to southern, eastern and western exposed windows and interior furnishing.


Selecting and maintaining the proper plant material can significantly reduce the amount of thermal radiation generated from hardscape surfaces and cools the air prior to reaching the walls and windows of your building. Cool air settles near the ground and air temperatures directly under trees can be as much as 25 degrees cooler than air temperatures at nearby street and driveways.


Shading and evapotranspiration from trees can reduce surrounding air temperatures as much as 10 percent. Predicting the size, shape and seasonal movement of shadows cast from these trees is critical to understand in order to prevent unwanted coverage of a proposed renewable PV system. Jeffrey Crussell Associates assists you in understanding these microclimate requirements and helps you reduce your annual energy costs by efficient design and plant material selection.