Last edited 02 Mar 2021

Site Planning and Design considerations

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[edit] Introduction

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.

This can be achieved by proper site selection, orientation of buildings on site, integration of vehicle access, control points, physical barriers, landscaping, parking and so on.

[edit] Land Use

Internal and external aspects of the site play a major role in the appropriation of land use to the proposed site.

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.

[edit] Site planning

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.

[edit] Site design

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.

[edit] Layout and form

The site layout provides the starting point, determining the placement and form of buildings, infrastructures, and amenities.

Elements of site layout and form include:

[edit] Building placement

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.

[edit] Building orientation

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 orientation buildings can be open, or it can turn its back, it can be inviting to those outside or it can be as defense wall restricting access to the inside.

[edit] Open space

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.

[edit] Circulation

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.

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