Analysis of site is an essential step in the overall design process. After the completion of a site visit, a detailed site analysis has to be done so as to grasp the features of the site, which will be very important during the design. Here are some of the points which one must pay attention during the site visit as well as during the site analysis.
Site Location, approaches to the site, name at street, the road on which it is located, major junctions, etc should be looked first.
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Site orientation plays an important role in the site analysis. Combining the sun path and wind direction will give good ideas regarding the building design. The orientation with sun path will affect the placement of the interior spaces.
The average monthly temperature of the area should be considered in the design. The sun path will guide us that from where the maximum heat will come. In the warm climate, a design should be in such a way that it reduces the heat inside the building. In cold climate, the design should be in such a way that the sunlight on the building will create maximum warmth as possible inside the building.
04. Wind Direction:
If one wants to design a climatologically responsive building, it is important to consider wind direction which will channelize through the interior spaces. Generally, most of the site location will have some major direction from where the wind will flow. But this will be neither permanent throughout the year and will also vary from place to place depending upon geographical factors.
05. Soil Type & Condition:
There are various types of soil like, sandy soil, clayey soil, laterite, marshy, rocky etc. All have their different properties which will affect the building and its structural design. After finding the safe load bearing capacity of the soil, the structural system and foundation will be designed accordingly. Some soils have peculiar properties. For example, the black cotton soil will expand when it comes in a contact with the water. So, it is important to be aware of these kinds of characteristics so you avoid the future problems.
The topography of the site will depend on the slope of the land, i.e., whether it is a flat or a plain. The sloping site will be more challenging from a design point of view. If a site is sloping, the exact slope can be obtained from the detailed contour map. It is always good to design building along the contour, to reduce unnecessary cutting and filling of the soil.
It is also important to check out the stability of the slope whether the slopes are strong enough to permit construction on it.
07. Vegetation & Natural Features:
The natural vegetation will increase the importance of the site. Any designer will design in harmony with nature. The vegetations consist of the tree, flora, and fauna. Along with the location, tree type, size, diameter or spread of the branch, a spread of leaves and speed of growth, a spread of roots should be considered. These all should be considered in the site map during the site analysis. All these features will vary from tree to tree and from plant to plant.
08. Precipitation & Hydrology:
The amount of rainfall which site receives will give you an idea about the precipitation, which will happen throughout the year. It is also important to study the natural flow of water and existing storm water drainage including upper catchment contributory flow to the site.
During the site visit, one need to identify water bodies like a pond, rivers, lakes, etc. and the location from the site. The size of the water body should be considered, because it may reduce the overall temperature.
Water table should also be considered. If your site is near to the water body, the water table may be very shallow. Shallow water table will affect the stability of the foundation and will create construction problems, particularly of foundations.
Below are the neighborhood characters of the site.
09. Surrounding Land Uses & Buildings:
If the land use around the site is incompatible, it may create an issue in the design. Also, the setbacks and heights of the adjacent building are very important, because it will affect the flow of air and sun light during the design.
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10. Locally Available Resources:
Locally available materials around the site should be studied during site analysis, which can be used in the design. It will give sustainability by reducing transportation energy & cost.
11. Infrastructure Facilities and Services:
Major things which will be considered are the water supply, waste disposal, drainage connection, electricity supply etc. These points are important while planning a zone plan.
12. Prominent Vision Lines / Visual Linkages:
The views from the site as well as view as to the sites are considered carefully while designing. It is a very important element in the process of design.