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Sun shadow diagrams

Shadow diagrams are generated using survey accurate location and heights of features along with accurate astronomical data in order to precisely determine the location of shadows formed from existing and proposed buildings. These diagrams increasingly are required by Councils to determine the impact on surrounding properties solar access.

Although shadow diagrams are sometimes compiled by other professions, Rygate Surveyors is uniquely placed to use our knowledge, professionalism, attention to detail and skills to measure and calculate the exact location of any current or future shadows that may be required. Where development disputes are dealt with by Courts, Registered Surveyors are often the sole profession upon which the Court will accept plans indicating shadow diagrams.

Rygate Surveyors have extensive experience in preparation of sun shadow diagrams for normal Residential/Commercial developments required by Councils as a part of the documentation of a Development Application and Land and Environment Court hearings. These are normally related to Winter Solstice and Spring/Autumn Equinox for the daylight hours of 9am, 12 noon and 3pm. Councils do however sometimes require sun shadow diagrams to be prepared at hourly intervals depending on their respective codes. The diagrams are prepared following calculations carried out by Rygate Surveyors using published Star/Sun Almanac information of the sun position related to the site, it’s existing and proposed improvements and the shadows cast or to be cast on relevant adjoining properties. The drawings are prepared in CAD format with coloured shading to highlight the extent of additional shadowing at the specified times of day.

The shadow diagrams show the shadows cast in plan view and, where applicable, on walls of adjoining properties as shown in elevation. Councils have requirements that there be limited loss of solar access to private space of adjoining properties and windows in adjoining walls. Considerations and adjustments can be made in the design process to satisfy Council conditions from information obtained from Detail Surveys.

Rygate Surveyors have also carried out comprehensive sun studies in a number of Shopping Centres, for example, to assist in alleviating problems in instances where the glass roofed areas were allowing excessive sunlight penetration into Food Court areas.


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Level 9
89 York Street
Sydney, NSW 2000

Ph: (02) 9262 6800
Fax: (02) 9262 6843