Design Architecture What Ever Happened to Roof Overhangs? By Lloyd Alter Design Editor University of Toronto Lloyd Alter is Design Editor for Treehugger and teaches Sustainable Design at Ryerson University in Toronto. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Lloyd Alter Updated October 11, 2018 © Steve Maylone. Steve Maylone Share Twitter Pinterest Email Design Tiny Homes Architecture Interior Design Green Design Urban Design © Steve Maylone The lovely and modern green Matchbox House in Australia by the Bureau for Architecture and Urbanism is all over the blogs these days. It is a lovely thing, but it reminded me of a comment made when I showed SoHo Architecture's House Bru 1.25 earlier: © Soho ArchitekturWhat ever happened to roof overhangs? Now it is true that in both of these houses, the walls are clad in the same material as the roofs. Water getting on them isn't going to do too much damage. © Sean Breithaupt + Yvette Monohan In Peter Legge's absolutely stunning Connemara project in Ireland, where it rains a lot, the architect has gon to great lengths to integrate a trough into the roof design so that here doesn't have to be anything hanging out, but goes for the no-overhang look even though stone walls could use some protection and shelter. Roof overhangs do an important job, in keeping water and snow away from the walls and windows; the more the merrier. © Dominic Labbe In Quebec, where there is a lot of snow and roofs are steep, they even do a belle curve at the bottom of the roof so that the overhang actually hangs out enough to give some protection. Home Power/Screen capture Roof overhangs don't only protect the walls, but they are very useful in green building; if you design them properly they keep the sun out in summer and let it shine in during winter. They are an important part of passive design. There is no reason not to have them on modern houses; it just seems to be an architectural meme that is going around. I am not sure that it's a good idea.