Last edited 02 Nov 2016

Site plan

Typical site plan.png

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, of planning applications. In most cases, site plans will be drawn up by the client’s architect 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’).

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