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Last edited 09 Feb 2020
Site Planning and Design considerations
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Site planning is the process of thinking and placing the site design elements in order to integrate land use, landscape design (vegetation, landforms, and water), site context aspects and other considerations for the efficiency of site activities, environmental sustainability, achieving balance, reducing risk, facilitating proper building function, aesthetics and so on.
- External features comprise of the characteristics of the surrounding area, construction type, occupancies, and the nature and type of adjacent social and economic activities and so on.
- Internal aspects entail the amount of land available on the site for usage and ability of the site to accommodate and assure safety and security to the users and its components and so on.
The design must balance protection goals and other priorities like open circulation and common spaces in order for it to be resilient in different situations. Zoning, subdivisions, and well-planned unit developments determine urban configurations that impact the economic and social stance of the community as a whole.
Performance-based zoning can allow for greater freedom in land use, as it avoids negative impacts like the concentration of activities in one area, the inflexibility of spaces and rigidity to changes in spatial use. It enables flexibility for both owner and operator, enabling them to make decisions on changes of land use, the level of risk they are willing to accept and strategies to mitigate through land-use countermeasures.
The main goal in planning a site is to enhance the protection of life, property, and operations. Prior to planning a thorough study an analysis should be conducted identifying threats and hazards to support decision making on the measures to the reduction of vulnerability and risk.
For conventional site design, it is better to ensure the presence of more open circulation and common spaces whereas for security-oriented site design such spaces should not be encouraged. A holistic approach site design integrates form and function, achieving a balance among the various design elements and objectives, this helps to raise safety, sustainability performance.
The placement of buildings will depend on site characteristics, occupancy requirements, regulations, and design objectives. It can either be tightly clustered in one area or dispersed across the site. Each building placement pattern has weaknesses and strengths and it is better to evaluate them during the design process.
The orientation of the building on site affects its performance. It impacts the energy efficiency of the building, the security of the occupants, privacy and so on. Orientation can be referred to as the spatial relationship to the site relative to its surroundings, or its orientation to the sun or as horizontal or vertical aspects relative to the ground.
The provision of open space in the site design allows stormwater to percolate back into the ground, it decreases the need for culverts, drainage pipes, and manholes. Open space provides environmental, aesthetic and social amenities.
The design of the movement pattern of the people into, through and out of the site is shaped by the design of its access, circulation and parking layouts. These patterns are generally designed to maximise efficiency while minimising conflicts between pedestrians and vehicles. To achieve this objective, the transportation requirements are studied in relation to how the building will be used. This includes determination of the number and types of access points required, parking volume needed, pedestrian movement patterns and the modes of transport to be used.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Contractor's site layout planning.
- Haul road.
- Laydown area.
- Lighting of construction sites.
- Main construction compound.
- Mobilisation to site: a quality perspective.
- Pre-construction information.
- Safety signs.
- Site area,
- Site facilities.
- Site office.
- Site plan.
- Site storage.
- Temporary site services.
- Temporary works.
- Virtual construction model.
- Welfare facilities.
- Wheel washing system.
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