What is Architecture Site Analysis?
Architectural site analysis refers to deep research and understanding of social, climatic, geographical, and legal aspects of any given location. It is often a visual work that utilizes diagrams or graphs, which are then used in the planning process for building any structure or dwelling.
Architecture site analysis is used for all construction projects to help architects make more informed and insightful decisions when designing their structures. It involves various crucial documents that often influence the realities as well as any aesthetic choices being made for a particular project. The analysis also includes deciding on materials to be used in the final construction.
Why Conduct Architecture Site Analysis?
The diagrams or graphs made from a site analysis allow an architect to observe and make a note of the material conditions involved in a given location. For example, architects will be better able to understand the movements of the sun and shadows, different patterns, how the land is used, or the accessibility of the land, that is, if it’s private or public land.
The architecture site analysis conducted is also beneficial to the client involved as they can stay in the loop about the viability of a chosen location or if the structure to be built is financially feasible or not. The process also gives an insight into whether the design to be undertaken will enhance the physical or environmental surroundings of the chosen location, and curate any changes to make the most suitable structure.
Primary Steps Involved in an Architecture Site Analysis
A site analysis allows you to get as much detail as possible about a particular location, which in turn allows architects to design structures optimally. It helps form a better understanding of how a building may fit in the space, how it will look with the surroundings, the impacts, etc. To conduct a successful site analysis, the following steps are necessary to follow:
Step 1 – Research
An architecture analysis involves detailed research not only about the chosen location, but also on historical information available on the site. It helps understand the changes that have taken place and if building a structure will still be feasible or not. Research also includes physical aspects like the surrounding areas, space available, natural light availability, accessibility, and more. One can even take into play the cultural information available so that no significance of the site is lost when the building process begins.
Step 2 – Analysis
It involves sifting through all the information that you have collected during the research process. During analysis, architects try to find relationships or disparities between collected data and create visual diagrams or mind maps for a better presentation of the collected information. One can make use of BIM software for organizing and putting all data into place for further use. A BIM professional course comes in handy when looking to carry out detailed architecture analysis and achieve the best results. Along with this, it is also necessary to keep in mind the end goals of the project and start analyzing with relevant understanding.
Step 3 – Synthesis
It refers to all the data you have accumulated from your research and analysis, and prioritizing them according to their relevance to the project. This further helps the architect to make informed decisions about the concerned structure or building for the design process.
19 Checkpoints for a Thorough Site Analysis Thesis
- General information: This includes all fundamental requirements such as geographical location, boundaries, entry points, location type, and more. These details are most essential for a successful site analysis.
- Neighborhood context: It involves information beyond the chosen location, such as neighborhood buildings, facilities available, distances, the type of buildings – domestic or commercial buildings, etc.
- Site and zoning: This involves understanding the dimensions of the chosen area, if there are any size or height limitations, or if it is suitable for private or commercial use.
- Man-made features: Analyzing all existing buildings, landscaping, materials used, or wall structures involved.
- Natural elements: It involves gathering details about naturally existing features, such as rivers, ponds, forests, rocks, etc. The information helps to tailor the design to match these availability.
- Legal restrictions: It involves collecting information about any legal bindings such as land ownership, building limitations, development plans, and more.
- Accessibility: It requires the collection of information with respect to roads, vehicular access, pedestrian access, possible new routes, and more.
- Utilities: Collecting data with regards to electricity availability, water pipelines, drainage systems, gas lines, and other attachments required for a property. It also involves taking into consideration different materials used.
- Climate: Collection of information with respect to climate changes such as rainfall levels, snow, the direction of winds, temperature fluctuations, and more.
- Cultural: Understanding the social, psychological, or behavioral aspects of the chosen location. It also involves, in relation, collecting data on the population, employment levels, income, etc.
- Ecology: This involves collecting data on any protected zones, protected wildlife or plantlife, impacts of construction, and more in the surrounding areas to the chosen site.
- Natural calamities: It requires collecting data on the possibilities of natural disasters such as earthquakes, landslides, hurricanes, or anything else. The information helps determine the feasibility of the construction project.
- Hazards: Collection of information with regards to unfinished buildings, broken roads, disturbed wire or pipelines, and more that may cause an inconvenience before, during, and after the construction process.
- Public transport availability: Making note of the different public transport available nearby, such as trains, buses, taxis, or more.
- Views: Collecting information on any positive or negative viewpoints available from the chosen site and analyzing how it may feel at the completion of the project.
- Privacy: If the project is a private building, it is necessary to collect information on available privacy or privacy-enhancing features for the structure.
- Development controls: Collect data on any development restrictions in the surrounding areas or regulations to be followed during construction.
- Noise levels: Gathering information on noise limits of the surrounding areas to determine if construction may be feasible, or if it will disturb noise pollution levels.
- Security: Collecting information to determine if the chosen site is secure, or open to potential threats like theft, vandalism, etc.
An architecture site analysis helps you gain a deeper understanding of a chosen location and work on the most feasible ways to make the project successful. There are different factors that go into a successful analysis, hence it is necessary to always keep a checklist in hand. It will help you gather all the relevant details required and allow you to achieve a thorough site analysis thesis.
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