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Architectural Design Lectures

Site Analysis By: Dr. Yasser Mahgoub

Site Analysis

Introduction Site analysis is a vital step in the design process. It involves the evaluation of an existing or potential site in relation to the development program, environmental impact, impacts on the community and adjacent properties, project budget, and schedule.

Introduction The site analysis identifies environmental, program, and development constraints and opportunities. A well-executed site analysis forms the essential foundation for a cost-effective, environmentally sensitive, and rational approach to project development.

Plot Plan Surroundings (roads, neighbors) Plot Dimensions Dimensions from nearest references (roads, reference points) Infrastructure (water, electricity, sewage) Utilities (Utility easement, Under ground, Above ground, Permanent structures, Future)

Wind Seasonal Winds Desirable Winds Undesirable Winds

Wind Seasonal Winds Desirable Winds Undesirable Winds

Views Views from the site: – Views to save. – Views to block Views to the site: – Access – Roads – Aerial – Neighbors

Topography 0-3% flat to gently sloping, possible (surface drainage problems, soil depth is greater here.) 3-8% gently sloping to rolling terrain, soil (concentration in low areas.) 8-15% hilly, often rocky terrain, site (modification cost increase. Soil depth is very limited.)

A climatic analysis of the site shows the designer to what extent air temperature, solar radiation, air movement and relative humidity affect human comfort. It will indicate which climatic features to enhance, and which to mitigate at different times of the year, in order to minimize loads on heating or cooling systems in buildings, and to increase the comfort of people both indoors and outdoors. Climate analysis is also needed to protect the facility from climatic forces such as violent storms and other extremes.

Sun Angles

Microclimate talks about moderating your immediate environment by the placement of materials, trees, building orientation for sun and wind

Doha Wind Rose

Doha Sun Angles





Why a Client May Need These Services

To evaluate development constraints and opportunities for a site. To assess one or more sites as a basis for purchase.

To assess the infrastructure characteristics of a site. To gain information as a basis for a zoning variance.

Knowledge and Skills Required Knowledge of climate, topography, soils, and natural features. Knowledge of site utility distribution systems. Ability to evaluate site access and circulation factors. Understanding of building siting considerations.

Familiarity with planning and zoning ordinances. Ability to analyze multiple factors objectively.

Ability to work with related or specialty disciplines.

Representative Process Tasks Program investigation. Site inventory and analysis. Site evaluation. Report development.

Parking Requirements Parking capacity problems. Traffic issues can be even more troublesome than parking issues.

Parking Requirements

Environmental Assessment Clients become more environmentally aware Regulatory oversight increases Clients want to avoid the expense and health risks that accompany environmental contamination on a site.

CLIENT NEEDS One client may have defined a building program and be in search of a site. Another may have selected a site and he interested in fitting a development program to it. Yet another may have both site and program in hand and be seeking the most efficient, economical, and environmentally sensitive approach SITE to site development.

Site selection Often a client has a development program in mind and is looking for the best site for it. – Survey – Evaluate To identify the best site based on the physical, cultural, and regulatory characteristics of the site and its surroundings. Site's adaptability to and compatibility with the proposed program.


Program definition The client may have control of a site. Determine the development capacity of the site. – Density, – Open space, and – Environmental quality


Site accommodation Client has both a defined program and a selected site. – Maximize the potential of the site for its intended use – Opportunities and limitations.

Program & Site The site and the program should be "right for each other“!


Related services Site design, Geotechnical services, Real estate evaluation, Programming, Site surveys,

Market studies, Economic evaluations, and Land use studies

SKILLS Evaluate the site in terms of: – climate, – topography, – geotechnical and soil characteristics, – utilities,

– natural features and surroundings, – transportation and access, and – historic preservation and landmarks

SKILLS Essentials: – planning and zoning requirements such as parking, building density, use, open space, and

– design controls The political climate

SKILLS Other consultants: – consultants with a planning or real estate background – landscape architects

– civil, power, and geotechnical engineers – traffic engineers or traffic planners – hydrologists

– economic analysts – environmental or wildlife scientists – archaeologists

– historians – real estate attorneys, or – programming specialists.

PROCESS The size of the site, its anticipated use, and the programming requirements will have a major effect on the scope of work for site analysis services. The site location, configuration, topography, and access and the complexity of adjacency, utility and environmental issues related to the site are other key factors.

Steps to Perform the Service Program investigation. The building program is investigated with respect to: – The selected or optional building footprints; – area required for parking, – circulation,

– open spaces and – other program elements – special constraints, opportunities or requirements such as security, easements, preserving natural habitat, wetlands, and the like.

Steps to Perform the Service Site inventory and analysis. The physical, cultural, and regulatory characteristics of the site are initially explored. The site evaluation checklist identifies factors that maybe considered.

Some of these factors can be assessed by collecting and analyzing information; others are best addressed by walking the site and traversing its environs.

Steps to Perform the Service Site inventory and analysis. A preliminary assessment of whether a location and site have the potential to accommodate the building program is made. Priority issues - those (such as environmental contamination) that may preempt further investigation -are identified.

Steps to Perform the Service Site inventory and analysis. A site analysis plan is developed.

When this has been approved by the client, consultants may be hired to further explore issues that require analysis beyond the capabilities of the core project team.

Steps to Perform the Service Site evaluation. At this point, thorough assessments are conducted when necessary to develop the site analysis plan.

These may include physical testing of aspects of the site, its improvements, and adjoining properties.

Steps to Perform the Service Report development. The site analysis report normally includes: – – – – –

property maps, geotechnical maps and findings, site analysis recommendations, a clear statement of the impact of the findings and recommendations on the proposed building program.

Regulatory approvals normally required during or immediately following the site analysis phase include zoning, environmental impact, and highway and transportation.

Topography •The scale of the survey map varies from 1:250 (1"=20') to 1:2500 (1"=200') depending on the size of the property and the detail of the site analysis. •The contour intervals may be from 1' t 5' (30cm to 150cm) or greater depending on the scale of the base map and the topographic variations. Site Analysis

Site Grading

Soil Types

Soil Types

Soil Problems

Parking Requirements Parking area requirement= Required number of parking spaces X Area per car

Area per car = 30 to 40 m2 (325 to 450 square feet)

Design Division

Revision Area per car = 30 to 40 m2 (325 to 450 square feet)

Design Division

Revision Parking area requirement= Required number of parking spaces X Area per car

Building footprint The site coverage for a building. 3 variables: The total gross area of the building. Net-to-gross area ration generally ranges from 60% to 95%.

The Number of floors. Set by programmatic requirements, site area, and zoning requirements.

The configuration of the building. The building footprint on the site may vary from the average floor area.

Zoning Requirements FAR: Floor/Area Ration FAR is the ratio of total allowable building area (square meter or feet) to the total area of the site. Ex. A site with a total area of 30,000 square meter and a mandated maximum FAR of 2:1 yields on an allowable building area of 60,000 square meter.

Site Analysis

Zoning Requirements Building Coverage Building Coverage is the percent of the site that is allowed to be covered by the building footprint. Ex. A site with a total area of 30,000 square meter and a mandated maximum Building Coverage of 50% allows a maximum building footprint of 15,000 square meter.

Site Analysis

Zoning Requirements Building Height Building Height is the maximum allowable height for any building on a site. This may be measured from the first floor elevation or, the average grade around the base of the building

Site Analysis

Geotechnical/soils Reports

Affect the economics of development. Obtained from soil surveys. Require the assistance of a soil engineer for interpretation.

Site Analysis

Geotechnical/soil Reports Soil Reports, part of a soils surveys, contain: Depth of bedrock (if any) Elevation of water table (if any) variability and flow direction Bearing capacity of the soil Expansive nature of soils Location of fault lines (if any) Soils types Optimum moisture content for compaction Percolation rate (penetration) Contamination from hazardous wastes (if any) Site Analysis

Geotechnical/soil Reports

Implications: Engineered fill Building form Foundation and structural design Erosion potential Drainage Runoff

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Thank you Dr. Yasser Mahgoub

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