“God is in the details.” – Mies van der Rohe
In order to design a detailed master piece you’ll need to research and take an inventory if the site to be used.
Site analysis is one if not the most important step in the design process. In really simple terms it is an inventory of the site which is done by surveying the site to know how to maximize the best features of the site and minimize any unflattering features.
When a project is about to start after receiving your client’s brief the next step is to go to the site to understand the area. This piece is to help you know what to look out for when you go to site.
One of the first things to take note of is the location of the site, where the existing road is, the nearest building and junction to the major road etc. Another major feature to note is the topography of the site referring to the level of slope of the site, checking how flat and plain or how sloppy the site is helps you to plan the location of your structure. while a steeper sloped site will be more challenging, it creates a more interesting view of the structure , such are the things to note when surveying the land.
Noting the orientation of your site is a very important aspect of site analysis, including the sun path, paying close attention to the direction of the wind, where the north-eastern and the south-western wind comes from, this helps in the positioning of the structure taking advantage of the cool south-western wind.
Taking an inventory of the vegetation and natural features on the site; flora and fauna present on the site, location of the trees, other features on the site will include rock formations, water features, swamp etc. Noting which trees to keep/remove. In most cases it is very important to keep large trees to help with shading and filtration of the sun and dust.
Other major things to take note of on the site include soil type and texture, water features, drainage, waste disposal, electricity supply, water supply, existing buildings, land use of surrounding buildings, locally available resources, not forgetting visual lines.
It is very important to note that every site should have a site analysis sheet because no two sites are the same even within a state e.g Lagos the soil conditions in Epe local government is different from Yaba local government so also is the natural vegetation and slope of the land.
Especially in larger projects site inventory and analysis should not be assumed instead, the Architect needs to visit the site to make a note of its features.
References are at the bottom of the page. Please use the comments section to add more to what we as Architects need to look out for on the site and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @thedotmanka and check out our YouTube channel Dot Manka