• Site buildings on high ground to preserve

wetlands, capture breezes, avoid insects,

and provide potable well water.

Figure of Raised boardwalks connecting  buildings

And figure of Access to raised level utilizing grade and boardwalk


• Locate buildings at the edges of clearings

to capture breezes and shade.

Figure of Lower structure in cooler

climate, retaining ventilation


Figure of Higher, raised structures

in warmer climate capturing breezes


• Separate functions into connected or related


• Clear vegetation around buildings for ventilation

and to protect from insects and fire.

• Place hard surfaces (“aprons”) around the

bases of buildings to minimize mud splash.


Figure of site Characteristics including:

• Structure located at

edge of vegetation

• Area around

structure cleared

for airflow

• South entry

with shade


Figure of more site Characteristics including:

• Breezeway


• Separation of

buildings for

breezes and

fire protection


Figure of Ground cover cleared and

structure raised for ventilation


Figure of Structure placed well above

and away from stream

to avoid flooding and insects


Figure of Outdoor courtyard spaces

and upper level porches SO




• Use simple geometry and forms.

• Make buildings more vertical, with smaller

footprints, to catch breezes and to promote


• Add simple forms when expanding.

• Connect buildings through covered breezeways.

• Subtract volumes from the perimeter to

create breezeways (as in a dogtrot house).

• Use slender framing and exposed structure

to promote a “light” appearance.



Figure of Structures that are

predominately 1-1/4 to 2 levels

(high volumes)


Figure of Additive, simple forms

And Subtractive forms (voids)


Figure of a Side porch


Figure of Subtractive openings:

• Center removed

• Corner removed


Figure of Porches that are continuous,

not incidental


Figure of a Subtractive opening in a building: a traditional “dogtrot”, Open to Breezes.



Roof elements include the roof itself,

overhangs (eaves), dormers, skylights, and

other features that penetrate the roof.

• Use simple roof forms such as shed, gable,

or hipped.

• Minimize intersections of these forms that

create “valleys” that can cause leaks.

• Design roof pitches to range from 7:12 to


• Use broad overhangs to provide protection

from sun and rain.

• Avoid gutters, but include a dripline trench

of gravel or cobbles.

• Make gable-style dormers from simple

forms to provide ventilation and light

without complicating the roofline.



Figure of Broad overhangs:

• Wall is protected from

sun and driving rain

• No gutters

• Dripline trench


Figure of Simple dormers providing

Ventilation and light


Figure of Hipped and gable roofs that predominate.

Valleys and complex roof forms are minimized.


Figure of Simple, hipped roof, with broad overhangs.



• Coastal buildings should sit very lightly on

the land.

• Walls can meet the ground without a base.

• Basements are often not suitable.

• Lower Piedmont buildings may include bases

made from a different material from the siding.


Figure of Building that is light on the land



• Expose or plaster brick walls with stucco

or “tabby” (a mixture of lime, sand, and

oyster shells).

• Use horizontal wood siding, as with lap siding.


Figure of Wall materials that yield

a horizontal expression


Figure of a building with Wood on the upper story and

Tabby, brick, or stucco on the base



• Create a welcoming entrance that conveys a

sense of arrival (for example, with a porch).

• Create porches either by extending the roof

or by subtracting wall space.

• Provide good ventilation with traditional side


• Use larger window openings for public buildings.

• Use sidelights to provide visual access and

to daylight the entry.

• Install operable windows when possible.

• Screen windows and doors.

• Avoid heat-trapping fixed panes in dormers

or gables.

• Remove obstructions (such as vegetation)

in front of windows.

• Create lintels that can be expressed rather

than flush to the wall.

• Make shutters functional, such as louvered

shutters that block the sun while providing


• Encourage cross-ventilation by placing louvered

vents or windows directly across from each other.


Figure of a way to minimize Solid walls


Figure of window detail with

• Window recessed in wall

• Decorative lintels and

• Louvered shutters


Figure of Expression of the “open structure” showing

• Extended overhangs and

• Walls retracting


Figure of Open doors and walls Opposing windows

Allowing for cross ventilation


Figure of Porches as important transition spaces with:

• Extended roof and

• Subtracted walls



• Expose post and beam and other structure

when suitable. Exposing structure reduces

the volume of building materials needed.

• Use small-dimension posts and beams to

create structures that appear to be light

and airy.

• Use lighter, relatively narrow structures

and materials to complement the tall,

slender trees found in coastal forests.

• Minimize cladding that creates cavities

that can trap moisture and insects.


Figure of an Exposed structure



• Use natural, indigenous, or locally produced

materials when possible.

• Select durable, low-maintenance materials.

• Express local craft and artistry in public


• Use synthetic materials that resemble natural

materials, are durable, and match the ROS


• Use metal roofs in areas where they were used


• Use materials that yield horizontal expression,

such as clapboard siding.


Figure of Tall, thin vegetation Yielding a Light structure and materials



• Derive color schemes from native vegetation,

landforms, and local culture.

• Create a color scheme to be used throughout

a forest. Use darker colors within the forest

canopy and lighter colors in open, sunny areas.

• Construct light-colored buildings that reflect

heat and stay cooler.

• Use bright accent colors that can be derived

from flowers, lichens, or cultural influences.

• Make roof colors light but nonreflective.

• Use light colors for exposed structural

elements (posts, beams, and trusses) so they

do not appear “heavy.”


Figure of Colors such as:

• Light grays and tans of tree bark

and sands

• Greens of palm and pine

• Accents in the pastels, corals and

• Red clay of the Lower Piedmont




Chapter 4.3 Table of Contents

Reader’s Guide