Site planning is one of the most important concepts in urban planning and master planning and design. This is a method of arranging structures on land and shaping the space between them. The plan you create is used to allocate the activities and objects in time and space. Often, it is concerned real estate development with a small cluster of houses, individual buildings and the immediate surroundings, or a community in a single operation.
This post takes a closer look at site planning to answer two main questions, “What is site planning?” and “What are the main stages?” Towards the end, we will also tell you the best software to use for site planning.
Site planning is a process that entails implementing a specific organizational plan for exterior or interior space. To do this, planners or architects create site plans for both grounds of the surrounding homes or enterprises. It might also include the placement of both natural and artificial lighting, positioning the entry/exit points, and other amenities when dealing with built environments/interiors.
However, you need to appreciate that site planning goes beyond creating workable layouts for the targeted space. In addition, you have to ensure the selected space complies with the applicable laws, regulations, and policies, especially those related to zoning and building codes. As you can see, it is very important that you get acquainted with the local laws of the area where your site is located.
The process of site planning can be broken into two-three stages; research phase, analysis phase, and synthesis phase. Here is a closer look at each:
This is the first step in site planning, and it entails defining the problem at hand. The process starts with the client contracting the planner about the construction task to be handled on his site. Therefore, the planner will commence the research to preliminary establish the nature of the project, zoning codes, and policies that might come into play later during implementation.
This is perhaps the most important phase because it involves looking deeper into all concepts of the site and the details used for creating a plan later in phase three. Particularly, the analysis phase requires the site planner to check the following:
The site under consideration should be related to the current streets, specific landmarks, or previously marked points for easy identification. For example, you might want to indicate that “the site is located on Herring street, 600 meters from Barclays Bank, and opposite the National Museum.” Aerial photos and Google Maps can come in handy during the assessment stage. Also, the distances should be provided correctly to make cost calculations in the next phase easy.
You can get information of this type from the planning department of the respective city or municipal authorities. Most issues at this stage mainly require observation to avoid getting into trouble with the law. The main features include street lighting, the condition of the existing buildings, and architectural patterns.
The bulk of the details you need for site planning can be drawn from topographic features and direct observation. For example, you can follow the contour map to learn about the area's drainage or visit to see the current natural features and soil conditions.
The above elements are only a few of what you need to factor. Others include the utilities, climate, and manmade features in the neighborhood. Finally, do not forget to carefully look at the circulation networks of the area through roads, streets, plazas, and alleys.
Once the problem has been identified and the site analyzed well, the last phase is used to provide the solution. This phase involves the schematic design of the site plan, which can further be broken into the following items:
NOTE: A compete site plan extends to the construction phase, occupation, and management. Therefore, you need to work with different stakeholders and provide the right costing for the project.
In addition to having the required qualifications to become a good site planner, it is also important to acquire the right software. One of the top options is Smart Draw software, which greatly simplifies the process of site planning. It combines a comprehensive set off design features and awesome depth of site plan templates and symbols. Because of its ease of use, this software is very appealing to both new and experienced site planning professionals. Other site planning software options you might want to consider include:
As we have demonstrated in this post, site planning is one of the most important processes in architectural projects because they help investors and planners have a grip of the entire project. More importantly, the plan places the building project at the heart of a community/ urban area and ensures it fits well. So, make sure to get all the relevant stakeholders to involve and employ the best software for site planning.
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