July 21

8 Stages of Architectural Site Analysis



Architecture and construction are not just about drawing plans and designing buildings. There is a lot more that goes into a construction project before planning and design. Preliminary work must be done before the real work starts.  Architectural site analysis is a preliminary phase of the architectural design process that studies the geographical, historical, legal, and infrastructural context of a specific site.

Before the Construction Begins

An architectural site analysis is needed to understand the environment around your building. The site analysis is quite important regarding the physical constraints of the project.  It helps you draw up plans and create views of your building as if it were completed.  The research helps determine the possibilities of building on a site and whether it is financially and practically viable.

The site analysis for building projects helps architects, developers, contractors, and clients make key construction decisions during the pre-concept stage. It consists of the following stages:

1. Site Evaluation

Key parameters are studied by land surveyors by visiting the site and using tools to gather information. Such parameters include:

  • Site location
  • Type of land
  • Surface elevation
  • Nature of soil
  • Availability of water and power
  • Electrical energy
  • Climate conditions
  • Connectivity by road, rail, and air
  • Site neighborhood
  • Utility lines
  • Telecommunication availability
  • The social infrastructure in and around the site

2. Market Analysis and Demographics

Depending on the type of project,  an in-depth analysis of the market and evaluation of the demographics of the area is completed. These help in understanding the highlights of the town, the population, literacy rate, and socio-economic classification.

3. City Regulations

Developers, architects, and contractors must consider and understand the local government’s zoning guidelines and limitations set by the municipality. This helps architects understand and plan the possibilities available within the legal bounds set by the city.

4. Drawings and Master Planning

Based on the site evaluations and other analyses, the site master plan and building drawings are made at this stage. Land use planning shows how the land will be used and is included in the report. The plans show the building structure and layout, number of towers, number of floors, landscaping, amenities,  and other design elements of the project. 2D and 3D diagrams can be included to show the potential of the development.

5. Financial Analysis

Financial projections are made based on the area of the project, estimates of raw materials required, labor costs, operation costs, taxes, and depreciation.

6. Feasibility Study Report

Based on the architectural site analysis, a site feasibility study report is done. The report includes all the data gathered about the site and the surrounding area. Other features include zoning details, land use development in compliance with local rules, technicalities of the structure, cost analysis, and more.

7. Project Recommendations

Projections and forecasts are made based on the findings of the architectural site analysis. A project schedule is proposed with suggested project components.

8. Application and Approvals

Once the site elements are finalized, architectural firms and developers apply for necessary approvals, seek in-person appointments, and create drawings for the application.

Benefits of an Architectural Site Analysis

Give your clients the information they need to feel confident about a site. A site analysis is advantageous to your team for the following reasons:

Maximizes ROI for Clients

Clients can check the viability of the project before investing any real money. Site analyses can also address any constraints or issues at the beginning stages of the project, which can help avoid any issues later.

Make Informed Decisions

Everyone involved in the project gets an overview of the structure, which lets them make informed decisions before any construction work begins.

Save Time

An architectural site analysis helps save time for everyone involved in visualizing the project.

Avoid Legal Problems

When the preliminary plans and designs are presented to the local municipality, the authorities can give your team feedback on the information from the site analysis. It can prevent any legal entanglements with the project and the developers during and after the project.

New Opportunities

An architectural site analysis can sometimes open new ways to maximize the site’s possibilities. Its in-depth look at a project lets you see other opportunities that could be gained.

Get the Info You Need

An architectural site analysis is extremely important in assisting clients to decide whether to move forward with a design. At Pickett, Ray, and Silver, we can assist with the preliminary stages of surveying to provide vital data for your project. Contact us today to get started on your next development.


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