- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 23 Aug 2019
A site plan is a large scale drawing that shows the full extent of the site for an existing or proposed development. Site plans, along with location plans, may be necessary for planning applications. In most cases, site plans will be drawn up following a series of desk studies and site investigations.
Typically, depending on the size of the project, site plans are likely to be at a scale of 1 : 500 or 1 : 200. However, for very small projects, larger scales may be used, and for large projects smaller scales, or even several drawings, perhaps pulled together on one very small scale plan.
The information shown on a site plan will vary depending on the size and nature of the project, however, certain information is likely to appear on most site plans:
- Title block, giving the project name, drawing type, author, revision number, status, scale used, and so on.
- Notes highlighting changes from previous revisions.
- Directional orientation. This could be a compass or a north-pointing arrow.
- Key dimensions.
- Key materials.
- Site boundaries and delineation of adjacent properties, including where necessary, adjoining or adjacent structures, and surrounding streets.
- The location of the building or buildings in relation to their surroundings.
- Trees, tree protection orders, and the main elements of the landscape.
- Parking areas with dimensions or capacities, traffic flows, and signage.
- Roads, footpaths, ramps, paved areas, and so on.
- Easements such as right-of-ways, right of support, and so on.
Site plans might also include information about:
- Buildings to be demolished or removed.
- The general extent of earthworks, included, cutting and filling, the provision of retaining walls, and so on.
- The general layout of external services, including drainage, water, gas, electricity, telephone, manhole covers, and so on.
- The layout of external lighting.
- Fencing, walls and gates.
- The location of miscellaneous external components such as; bollards, fire hydrants, signage, litter bins, and so on.
Where the site is complex, some of this information might be shown on additional specialist site plans, such as; structural site plans, site history, site lines, services site plans, landscape drawings, access and traffic flows, ground conditions and geology, and so on. Site plans may be accompanied by site sections, showing the topography of the site.
With the adoption of building information modelling (BIM), site plans are likely to form an integral part of the project information model and may be prepared in 3D, perhaps based on a point cloud survey or as light detection and ranging (LIDAR, a combination of the words ‘light’ and ‘radar’).
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- 3D laser survey.
- Architectural reprography.
- As-built drawings and record drawings.
- Block plan.
- Concept drawing.
- Condition survey.
- Development appraisal.
- Ecological survey.
- Ground conditions.
- How to layout a building.
- Laser scanning.
- Lighting of construction sites.
- Location plan.
- Pre-construction information.
- Restrictive covenants.
- Rights of way.
- Scale drawing.
- Site appraisals.
- Site information.
- Site layout plan for construction.
- Site survey.
- Soil survey.
- Technical due diligence.
- Types of drawings for building design.
 External references
Featured articles and news
The Architects Registration Board.
How BSRIA monitored the performance of new homes.
How to research a building when there are no primary sources.
A re-thatching project has supported a critically endangered skill.
What inspired the Metabolist movement in architecture?
A radical transformation of three agricultural barns.
How to evict a tenant
The top 10 priorities for health and wellbeing.
Why some clients make BREEAM a contractual requirement.
Raising the roof in Southwark.
The difference between consultant switch and novation.