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• Diagramming is a way to get close to the problem , to

engage it, to absorb it, to restate it in our own terms and
to render it second nature so that we can attend to the
selection and integration of potential solutions.



More easily
see the
between the

Less likely to
miss out on
details or
• Four Steps to
diagramming any site fact

• Develop our own

vocabulary of
diagrammatic forms
• Contextual Analysis may
be applied to situation
of any scale
• model for understanding the network of contextual
causes and effects and how they relate to other aspects
and issues of the project. - The building , the users and
the context.
• The building includes all the interior and exterior physical
manifestations of our design (the walls, floors, ceilings,
structure, mechanical, furniture, lighting, color,
landscaping, paving, doors, windows, hardware
• The users include all those who own, work, maintain,
service the building
• The context includes all the conditions, situations, forces
and pressures that constituted the existing site prior to
the construction of the building.
• Accountability - the building evaluation process needs to
be more systematic and rigorous . Diagramming is a tool
which can assist us in coping with information overload
and in more thoroughly addressing the project
requirements in design.
• Communications: It is important for us to leave decision
tracks that can be retraced and to be able to explain how
we arrived at a particular design proposals. Diagramming
is an effective means of increasing the quality of
communication in our building planning processes.
• Efficiency: We should have tools which can help us to
cause design solutions to occur in relatively short time.
This needs for techniques extends beyond problem
analysis and conceptualization into the synthesis , testing
and refinement of design solutions.
• Issue identification
> We should think about the nature of the project, its needs,
requirements and critical issues.
> The hands-on direct encounter with site from a personal and
sensory point of view gives us another set of clues for choosing
the types of site information that should be addressed in our
contextual analysis.
• Checklist: A prototypical checklist of potential site issues.
 Checklist gives us a sense
of false security.
 It can inhibit our under-
standing of the linkages
between site conditions.
To juxtapose all the issues
dealing with time or
schedule on the time frame
of a typical day and for
different times of the year
Matrix - Flat (two-dimensional) table in which the
elements or entries appear at the intersections of rows
and columns, governed by certain rules.
• Collecting the data – Sources of information may vary
from site to site or from city to city. There will be multiple
sources for each data. A matrix analysis could be done to
designate the various sources for each data.
• Making the diagrams – It is useful to diagram the site
information as we collect it.

• Choose composite or segregated analysis

 Choose the suitable Choose the scale of analysis
referent drawing for each data
• Diagrammatic forms – Must record and express both
visible and invisible forces.
• In either case, the end product of the site analysis phase is a
composite analysis map (sometimes referred to as an
opportunities and constraints sheet).
• This is developed through an overlay process (similar to
McHarg’s planning approach, although greatly simplified)
delineating the most suitable and least suitable areas of the site
for each analysis factor.
• Generally, these areas will reinforce one another. That is, steep
slopes, poor soils, areas of vegetation to be protected, etc. will
fall in the same general locations, although what is suitable for
one type of land use may be unsuitable for another. This is why
it is important to have some idea of the program prior to
completing the site analysis.
• The composite analysis map provides clear justification to
the designer for where the most intensive development should
occur on a site with the minimum environmental impact. It also
highlights particularly positive elements of the site that should
be accentuated in the subsequent design development.
• We some times overly anxious to draw the architectural answers to ill-defined
project questions and reluctant to invest in graphic techniques that help us to
understand the project needs and that stimulate responsive and creative design
• We need to balance are skills at drawing design solutions with our skills at
drawing and visualizing the problems and requirements.
• Our ability to draw needs, requirements and early design concepts is just as
important as our ability to draw final building design solutions and that, in our
diagramming skills profoundly influence the quality of our building designs.






1. Accountability: The criteria for successful buildings are becoming more defined
and the building evaluation process more systematic and rigorous .
- New facts are being produced by the building research community each year
which multiply our professional, legal and moral obligations and responsibilities
in projects.
- Diagramming is a tool which can assist us in coping with information overload
and in more thoroughly addressing the project requirements in design.

2. Communications: It is important for us to leave decision tracks that can be

retraced and to be able to explain how we arrived at a particular design proposals
- Diagramming is an effective means of increasing the quality of communication
in our building planning processes.

3. Efficiency: We should have tools which can help us to cause design solutions to
occur in relatively short time.
- This needs for techniques extends beyond problem analysis and
conceptualization into the synthesis , testing and refinement of design solutions.
Diagramming is a way to get close to the problem , to engage it, to absorb it, to restate
it in our own terms and to render it second nature so that we can attend to the selection
and integration of potential solutions.

Contextual analysis: The study of project property , is a vital prelude to making

sound decisions about optimum site utilization, best on site arrangements of clients
interior and exterior activities and spaces , and most effective ways to respect and
capitalize upon site assets.
CONTEXT- Whole situation , background or environment relevant to some event
or product. The derivation of the word means to ‘ weave together’
• Typical issues in this regard are changing zoning patterns around our site, shifts
in the designation of major minor streets, changing cultural patterns in the
surrounding neighborhood and the construction of significant projects nearby that
impact on our site.

Sites as active Networks :A site is never inert but is an ongoing set of very active
networks that are intertwined in complex relationships.
- Shadow patterns move across our site in a particular way.
- Children may use our site as a short cut to school
- Our site may be used as an informal playground
- There is a trrafic pulse that ebbs and flows through and around the site over the
course of a day
- People may look across our site from their homes to views beyond.
- The contours may carefully route water to a site edge.
- The corner may be used for bus stop.
These are a few of the situations that make any site active.
Consequence Triangle
The ‘ consequence
triangle” is a
convenient model for
understanding the
network of contextual
causes and effects and
how they relate to
other aspects and
issues of the project. -
The building , the
users and the context.

• The building includes all the interior and exterior physical manifestations of our
design such as the walls, floors, ceilings, structure, mechanical, furniture, lighting,
color, landscaping, paving, doors, windows, hardware accessories.
• The users include all those who own, work, maintain, service the building
• The context includes all the conditions, situations, forces and pressures that
constituted the existing site prior to the construction of the building.
• The building also creates consequences within the context. These may include
alteration of wind patterns, contours and drainage pattern, surface absorption of
rainfall , existing foliage, shadow patterns, sunlight reflection and sound
reflections off building surfaces.

The implanting of our building on the site will always result in a remodeling of the
site. Our goal should always be to leave our site better than we found it.

Through contextual Analysis-

-Professional competence
- greater efficiency when designing
- discovering interrelationships between site factors
- maximizing the data triggers for design conceptualization
- avoiding inappropriate design responses to the site
- legal implications of impacts on surrounding property.
Issues about data collecting

• It is important not to do the

analysis ‘ at long range’ but to
actually go to the site and feel it.

• The issue of time must be

applied to all our site

• It is desirable to look at the next

contextual layer of issues
beyond the ones we are

• Our contextual analysis should record what information is ‘hard’ (Non

negotiable) data -involves things like site boundary, legal description, site area
and utility locations. and what is ‘soft ‘ – which deals with site conditions that can
be changed- views,, neighborhood, on site activities noises

• There should be a sense of priority about the information we collect and

Implications for design:

It is useful in discussing the influence of contextual analysis on design to differentiate

between function and context as forces which locate building spaces and activities on
the site.

Function tends to locate building spaces

in an introverted way in that they are
primarily looking inward to each other for
the rationale behind their positions in the
scheme. Context, on the other hand, wants
the space to migrate to different positions
on the site in response to conditions
outside the building.

In context, the attraction is between

spaces and external site conditions.
Usually in a design problem these two
project issues pull and push the spaces to
determine their final placement in the
scheme. They are in a very real sense
competing with each other to determine
the building form.
Some egs. of situations that might cause a space or activity to be placed in the
scheme due to external linkages to context are presented below:

- Activities requiring or desiring a view

- Activities that should be zoned away from noise.

- Activities that should strongly relate to on site

pedestrian circulation patterns.

- Operations needing access to delivery and pick up


- Building entry located to relate to primary

approach direction

- Zoning of parking areas away from view lines to


- Activities needing indirect natural lighting.

- Activities needing direct sunlight.

-Operations needing shelter from high activity

- Activities needing direct access for vehicles.

- Integration of form with surrounding contextual


-Relationship of spaces to existing scale and

geometric patterns

- Spaces needing their own controlled exterior


Optimum placement of functions or spaces on the site in response to contextual

pressures may involve any of the 3 approaches.
1. Where Function is considered more critical - we may place the bubble diagram on
the site and allow the spaces to migrate and shift within the bubble so that their
orientations and placements relate to the appropriate site conditions. Here the connecting
lines between the spaces in the bubble are made elastic while still remaining connected to
the space bubbles so that the functional ties are always maintained while we are
searching for a contextually responsive placement of spaces.
2. Where relation to context is judged to be more important than internal functional
efficiency, we may take each function or space and place it in its optimum zone on the
site independently of the other spaces. When all the spaces have been placed (including
exterior spaces) then we may begin to condense our spaces and knit them together with a
circulation system.

Issue identification
1. We should think about the nature of the project, its needs, requirements and
critical issues.
2. The hands-on direct encounter with site from a personal and sensory point of view
gives us another set of clues for choosing the types of site information that should
be addressed in our contextual analysis.
Check list: A prototypical checklist of potential site issues follows :
1. Location
a. Location of the city in the state including relationship to roads, cities, etc.
b. Locations of the site neighbourhood in the city.
c. Location of the site in the neighborhood.
d. Distances and travel times between the site and locations of other related
functions in the city.

2. Neighbourhood context
a. Map of the neighborhood indicating existing and projected property zoning.
b. Existing and projected building uses in the neighborhood.
c. Age or condition of the neighborhood building.
d. Present and future uses of exterior spaces in the neighborhood.
e. Any strong vehicular or pedestrian traffic generating functions in the
f. Existing and projected vehicular. Major and minor streets, routes of service
vehicles such as trash, bus routes and stops.
g. Solid void space relationships.
h. Street lighting patterns
i. Architectural patterns such as roof forms, fenestration, materials, landscaping,
formal porosity, relationship to street, car storage strategies, building height,
sculptural vigor, etc.
j. Neighborhood classifications that might place special restrictions or
responsibilities on our design work such as ‘historic district’.
k. Nearby buildings of particular value or significance.
l. Fragile images or situations that should be preserved.
m. Sun and shade patterns at different times of the year.
n. Major contour and drainage patterns.

3. Size and zoning

a. Dimensions of the boundaries of our site.

b. Dimensions of the street rights of way around our site.
c. Location and dimensions of easements.
d. Present site zoning classification.
e. Font, back and side yard setbacks required by zoning classification.
f. Square feet of buildable area inside setbacks (should also subtract easements)
g. Building height restrictions required by zoning classification.
h. Zoning formula for determining required parking based on the type of the
building to occupy the site.
i. The number of parking spaces required .
j. Any conflicts between what the present zoning classification allows and the
functions we are planning for the site.
k. Zoning classifications that the site would need to be changed to in order to
accommodate all the planned functions.
l. Any projected changes that would alter the dimensional characteristics of the site
such as street widenings or purchase of additional property.

4. Legal
a. Legal description of the property.
b. Covenants and restrictions (site area usage allowed, height restrictions, screening
of mechanical equipment or service yards, restrictions on rooftop elements,
architectural character, design requirements in historic districts, etc.)
c. Name of the property owner.
d. Name of the governmental levels or agencies which have jurisdiction over the
e. Any projected or potential changes in any of the above categories.

5. Natural physical features

a. Topographic contours.
b. Major topographic features such as high points, low points, ridges and valleys,
slopes and flat areas.
c. Drainage patterns on the site including directions of surface drainage
(perpendicular to contours) , major and minor arteries of water collection, major
drainage patterns onto the site from adjacent property and form the site onto
adjacent property and any neighborhood water – related patterns such as via duct
systems or storm sewers.
d. Existing natural features on the site and their value in terms of preservation and
reinforcement versus alteration or removal. On site features - may include trees
( type and size) ,ground cover , rock outcroppings, ground surface texture, holes
or ditches, mounds or unstable areas of the site.
e. Type of soil at different levels below surface and bearing capacity of the soil. Soil
type distribution over site area.
6. Man made Features
a. Size, shape, height and location of any on site buildings. If these are to remain,
the exterior character and interior layout should also be documented. If the
buildings are to be part of the project, must do a detailed building analysis of each
b. Location and type of walls, retaining walls, or fences.
c. Location, size and character of exterior playfields, courts, patios, plazas, drives or
service areas.
d. Where it may be important to our design we should record the paving patterns of
man made surfaces.
e. Locations and size of curb cuts, power poles, fire hydrants or bus stop shelters.
f. Off site man made features may include any of the on site items listed above or
may involve a detailed analysis of the existing architectural character
surrounding our site. This is particularly important in a historic district. Factors
in analyzing the character are scale proportion , roof forms, windows and door
patterns, setbacks, materials, colour textures, open space versus built space,
visual axes, landscapes materials and details.

7. Circulation
a. On site sidewalks, paths and other pedestrian movement patterns including users,
purposes schedule of use and volume of use.
b. Off site pedestrian movement patterns using the same characteristiscs mentioned
for on site movement.
c. Evaluation of the pedestrian pattern’s importance.
d. On site or adjacent vehicular movement patterns including type of traffic and peak
loads. Also included should be intermittent traffic such as parades, festivals, concerts,
fire truck routes, etc
e. Off site or neighbourhood vehicular movement issues such as traffic generators as
well as the other traffic characteristics outlined under on site traffic. Adjacent or
nearby parking areas that may be used for off site car storage. Off-site traffic patterns
should also include the relation of the site to the public transportation routes, stops at
or near the site, probable directions of dispersal of traffic from our building. Traffic
analysis should document future projections to the extent they can be made.
Locations of probable or optimum access to our site for each type of pedestrian and
vehicular traffic that will use the new building or move through the site.
g. Time – Travel time to walk, to cross the site, time it takes to walk between
classes at a school) to or from related locations in the site.

8. Utilities:
a. Location , capacity and conveyance form (type of pipe, Etc) of power, gas ,
sewer, telephone and water utilities.- above or below grade . Location of power
b. Where utility lines stops short of our site boundaries, their distances from our site
should be given.
c. Record the locations or edges on our site that seems to offer the best connections
opportunities. This may be due to the capacities of the utility lines, contour
conditions on our site in relation to sewer, the need to minimize on site utility
runs, being able to collect utility runs, bringing utilities in at the back of the site
or dealing with site barriers or difficult soil conditions.

9. Sensory :

a. Views from the site including position on the site where the views are not
blocked, what the views are of , whether the views are not blocked, what the
views are of, whether the views positive or negative, the angles within which the
views can be found, whether the views can be found , whether the views changes
over time and the likelihood of view continuance for the long term.
b. Views to points of interest on the site from within the site boundaries. The
angles within which the views can be found and whether the objects of the views
changes over time.
c. Views to the site from areas outside the site boundaries , including streets,
walks, other building and vistas. Includes when the site is first seen, angles within
which it is seen, most dramatic views of the property .
d. Views through our site from position outside our property. Involves- the
objects of views and the various position of where the views occur , the livelihood
of the view targets as well as the view path remaining open over the time.
e. Locations, generators, schedules, and intensities of any significant noise on or
around the site. This analysis should include likelihood of continuance over the
long term.
f. Locations, generators, schedules and intensities of any significant odors , smoke
or other air borne pollution on or around the site over time.

10. Human and cultural :

a. Documentation of neighbourhood cultural, psychological , behavioral and

sociological aspects. Potential information includes population density, age,
family size, ethnic patterns, employment patterns, income, recreational
preferences and informal activities or events such as the festivals, parades or
b. Negative neighbourhood patterns such as vandalism and other criminal activities.
c. Neighborhood attitudes about project that is about to be designed and built on the
d. Neighborhood attitudes about what is positive and what is negative in the
e. Relative permanence of the neighborhood population.
f. Neighborhood trends in terms of all the factors mentioned above.

11. Climate:
a. Temperature variation over the months of the year including the maximum highs
and lows and the maximum and average day- night temperature swing for the
days of each month.
b. Humidity variation over the months of the year including maximum, minimum,
and averages for each month and for a typical day of each month.
c. Rainfall variation over the months of the year in inches. Should include the
maximum rainfall that can be expected in any one day.
d. Snowfall variation over the months of the year in inches.
e. Prevailing wind directions for the months of the year including velocity in feet per
minute or miles per hour and variations that can be expected over the course of
the day and night. Include the maximum wind velocity that can be expected.
f. Sun path at the summer and winter solstice( high point and low point) including
altitude and azimuth at particular times of the day for summer and winter.
g. Energy related data such as degree days or BTU’s of sunlight falling on the site.
h. Potential natural catastrophes such as earthquakes, hurricanes and tornadoes. May
include documentation of earthquake zone that our site lies within and history of
natural catastrophes in the area.

We cannot allow our site analysis to become a mindless filling of data bins.
March 2011

slope Analysis, grading process, grading criteria, functional and
aesthetic considerations

Ar.Ebin Horrison
Department of Architecture
Sathyabama University
The layout and grading scheme of a site
we modify the surface of the land to should consider
meet the requirements of a design and 1. minimize the need for large cuts and fills.
2. the designer begins to mitigate the impact
of the development.
constrains 3. The design should retain as much of the
• Topography original terrain and character of the site as
• Drainage is feasible.
• Vegetation
• Soil 4. By grading smaller areas individually, the
amounts of time and area of exposure and
disturbance are minimized.

Functional Constrains Economic

• Restrictive Conditions
• Activities & Uses
 Two ways - by removing earth
(cutting) or by adding earth (filling).
The greatest economy results when
the amount of earth cut is
approximately equal to the amount

 Grading plans - indicate cut or fill -

new, solid contour lines(Proposal),
shown dashed(existing contours)

 A proposed contour that moves in the

direction of a lower contour line
indicates fill. Conversely, a proposed
contour that moves in the direction of
a higher contour line indicates cut
 Development of attractive, suitable and economical building

 Provision of safe, convenient and functional

access to all areas for use and maintenance

 Disposal of surface runoff from the site area

without erosion or sedimentation, or its
collection as needed

 Diversion of surface and subsurface flow

away from buildings and parameters to prevent
undue saturation of the sub-grade that could
damage structures and weaken pavements

 Preservation of the natural character of the site by minimum

disturbance of existing ground forms and meeting of satisfactory
ground levels for existing tress to be saved

 Optimum on-site balance of cut and fill: stockpiling for reuse of

existing topsoil suitable for the establishment of ground cover or
 Avoidance of filled areas that will add to the depth or

 Avoidance of earth banks requiring costly erosion control

measures, except where these are needed in place of costly
retaining walls

 Avoidance of wavy profiles in streets and walks and of steps

in walks

 Keeping finished grades as high as practicable where rock

will be encountered close to the surface, thus reducing the
cost of utility trenching and other excavation for improving
growing conditions for vegetation

 Avoidance of runoff water over roadways. Ice forms during

freezing weather and a hazardous driving situation results
Level Areas
 A level area can be created in one of the following three

1. By cutting into the slope 2. By filling out from the slope

3. By a combination of cutting and filling
 One can move parallel to the contours, which is level but
requires extensive grading because of its length

 Perpendicular to the contours, which results in the steepest

path but requires less grading.

 Normally, circulation paths are graded somewhere between

perpendicular and parallel to the contours.
 Before laying out a path, one must determine its required width
and the maximum allowable steepness. (generally 1:20 i.e. 9%)

 The slope of the path should be as uniform as possible. This

means that contour lines along the path’s route will be more or
less evenly spaced. It is usually best to locate paths in valleys or
along stream beds and avoid placing them on steep slopes.

 Highways commonly run long distances around a mountain,

rather than going directly over or through it and creating
extensive grading or tunneling problems.
The Balanced Site
 Most economical grading plan - minimum of earthwork and
the amounts of cut and fill are in balance.

 To design a balanced site, needs geotechnical information regarding

- Soil’s character
- bearing capacity of the soil
- bulking factor = vol. after excavation / vol. before excavation ( to
determine vol. of material after excavation)
- depth and character of the bedrock.
Site Grading Process
 a conceptual grading plan that attempts to balance the site
by locating the structures or program elements to maximize
the site.

 The grading plan undergoes a series of iterations, each one

bringing a greater level of detail to the design until the
grading plan is final.

 Grading plans use contours,

notes, and a variety of special
symbols to describe what must
be done to reshape the land
into the desired forms.
 The principal aim of all grading work is to make
the land appropriate for its purpose and to preserve
a stable system.

The finished grade should have positive drainage,

stable slopes, balanced cut and fill, and pleasant
and harmonious visual forms.

Grading operations begin by removing the topsoil,

which is stored on the site and later reused over the
modified ground forms.

Grade stakes are then placed at intervals in the

subsoil to indicate the required new levels.
Grade stakes are located at all critical points, such as peaks,
valleys, roads, walls, and other points of grade change.

Grading machines then cut or fill the earth to the staked

levels and shape it into the desired configuration. Among the
machines employed for this purpose are bulldozers,
scrapers, graders, power shovels, rollers, and scarifiers.

With the extensive range of machinery available today it is

rarely necessary to do any expensive hand shoveling.
Important general rules of grading:
1. Do not extend grading beyond the property lines.

2. Strip and save all topsoil prior to grading.

3. Avoid the destruction of valuable existing vegetation.

4. Attempt to balance all cut and fill.

5. Avoid flat grades that create drainage pockets.

6. Avoid erosion by grading slopes within their natural angle of


7. Be certain finish grades enable water to flow away from all


8. Avoid grading solutions that rely on expensive retaining

walls, steps, or other construction.
Problems faced in Grading:
 Loss of topsoil. It takes hundreds of years of natural
decomposition of organic material to produce a thin layer of
topsoil. Since it is absolutely essential to plant life, topsoil
must be retained.

 Loss of vegetation. Vegetation replenishes the oxygen,

moderates the climate, and helps control erosion. All mature
plants, therefore, must be preserved.

 Altered drainage patterns. Modified runoff patterns can

cause erosion and contamination of downstream waterways.
New drainage patterns must be carefully planned.

 Unstable earth. Grading earth that is unstable can produce

slides, slippage, and cave-ins. Work done at one location can
affect other sites, even if relatively distant.
 Aesthetic damage. Grading that alters existing site qualities
may destroy the uniqueness of an entire area. Designers
should remain sensitive to existing conditions.

 Unique conditions. Some areas are excessively steep or

contain extensive rock outcroppings; others provide a natural
habitat for wildlife. Such areas, if possible, should be left in
their natural state and not graded or developed in any way.
Methods of Expressing Slope Slope is expressed in terms of a percentage,
a proportional ratio, or a degree of slope
Percentage (of Slope):
Percentage of slope =
number of meters (feet) rise in 100
m (100 ft) of horizontal distance,
typically referred to as rise/run.
If the slope rises 2 m (2 ft) in 100 m
(100 ft), it is considered a 2 percent
slope. The percentage of slope can
be calculated by the following
formula :by the following formula :
Proportion (of Slope) :
Slope can also be expressed as a ratio of the
horizontal distance to the vertical rise, such
as three to one (3 :1) . The ratio method is
used typically for slopes 4 :1 (25%) or

Degree (of Slope):

Slope is expressed in degrees only on large-
scale earth-moving projects such as strip-
mining and other extractive operations.
Spot elevations – Elevations of elevation of any point on an
point on map/ chart from accurately drawn contour plan
reference datum may be determined by

- establish limits of slope interpolation.

- to locate contour lines, and to Interpolation is the process of
provide detail for establishing computing intermediate value
control points that cannot be between two related value
obtained via contour lines.

Point A lies about 7/10th the distance

from contour 53 to contour 54; thus, A
has an approximate elevation of 53 .7 .
Interpolation assumes, of course, that
slopes are uniform, which in many
cases is not true in reality. Therefore,
interpolated figures are approximations
and should not be relied on as much
as surveyed spot elevations for crucial

A ridge is simply a raised elongated landform.

A valley is an elongated depression that forms
the space between two ridges.

The contour pattern is similar for both the ridge

and valley; therefore, it is important to note the
direction of slope.
Consistent with the preceding
CONTOUR LINES point, water flows perpendicular to
contour lines.
By definition, all points on the same
contour line are at the same elevation. For the same scale and contour
interval, the steepness of slope
Every contour line is a continuous line, increases as the map distance
which forms a closed figure, either within or between contour lines decreases.
beyond the limits of the map or drawing
Equally spaced contour lines
Two or more contour lines are required to indicate a constant, or uniform,
indicate three-dimensional form and slope.
direction of slope
Contour lines never cross except
where there is an overhanging cliff,
natural bridge, or other similar

In the natural landscape, contour

lines never divide or split. However,
this is not necessarily true at the
interface between the natural and
built landscape,
Grading of outdoor areas is aimed at
controlling surface storm water runoff
while providing safe and efficient GRADING
pedestrian and vehicular movement.
(TSS Landscape – Pg. 320-16 to
Essentially, all surfaces should have some 320 – 28)
slope, or pitch, for proper drainage . Earth fill against buildings

may be desirable for insulation or

aesthetic reasons.

soil and related moisture may cause

decay and/or promote the growth of
insects that may damage or destroy
some of the materials used in the
construction of the building.

The exterior surfacing and structural

system of a building determine the
height to which fill may be brought up
against a structure.

Road ways
The standards for streets and local access
roads in residential, institutional,
commercial, and industrial areas are
determined by local city or county
standards Roadway design consists of
two major phases:

• Alignment of the road-giving it

horizontal and vertical direction

• Grading the adjacent landscape to the

road edge. The designer of a roadway
should go beyond merely satisfying the
engineering requirements and see the
user as an active player to be
choreographed through the landscape.
The following criteria should be considered during the grading phase of the roadway :

Remove extra soils to Use roadside mounds to Blend the new slopes with the
expose potential vistas screen undesirable views existing terrain
Velocities should be reduced for depths
of flow under 150 mm (6 in) per second
and for water which may transport
abrasive materials .
Culverts and Headwalls:
The grading scheme and the
design of the headwall for a culvert
must be totally integrated

Fig shows how steep slopes used for earth

berms or mounds can be graded
Swales and Ditches:
Typically, swales are shallow, have a
parabolic cross section, and are very wide,
while ditches are deeper and have a
narrower ---- Velocity 6 ft per second


Angle of repose
managed with great care, using
one or more of the following
techniques :

5% to avoid grading, cutting, or filling

2:1 above the root zone of a tree .

If filling around an existing tree

cannot be avoided, then the tree
must be protected

to create a flat area and at the

same time, retain slope
Erosion Control by Grading.
Soil Slippage:

The minimum
and maximum
required for
15% access and
parking areas
are often the
determinants for
the grading plan
of a site .

 Housing Development
 Commercial Project
 Institutional Project
 Indicates the practice of new facility location, both for
business and government
 Involves measuring the needs of a project against the
potential merits of a site
Initial Steps
Prior to site selection, Project concept has to be
•Site requirements – Location, proximity to
service, price etc.
•Configuration – size, counts, building types etc

Possible setbacks
•Inadequate inventory of available sites
•shortage of funding
•competition from other investors
Primary Components of Site
 Establishing site selection criteria
• Scale
• Building type and construction
• Location
• Acquisition or lease costs
• Zoning considerations
• Community acceptance
• Engaging in the site
Housing Development
 Scale/ size
• Level of need for housing
• Capacity of management
to develop/ manage
• Contextual – height/
density of surrounding
• degree of community support
• maximum allowed development area
• Housing type/ Construction approach

Housing type – Depends on neighborhood

> Scattered site, one and two family houses
for low density neighborhood
> Multi units for high density
Construction Approach –
> New construction – Vacant sites
available, buildings for demolition,
> Rehabilitation – sites
with empty, partial or
fully occupied buildings
> Challenges, Cost and
Inevitable delays of
tenant relocation –
setbacks of relocation
• LOCATION Access to job
training/ offices
within reason-
Public able commuting
Defensible distance
Space – Low
rise and open Security
design ->
hidden space
Depending on
Target Population

Quality day care Community Crisis intervention,

Day Care
to support based Service Parenting Program,
working parents health clinics
• Acquisition/ Lease Cost

Acquisition Lease
• Zoning Considerations
• Local zoning
can frustrate • Identify
efforts to get areas of
local right
approval Local zoning

Match • Can cause
Variance delay/
• Work with difficult
city • Edge for
planning competitors
• Community Acceptance

Outsider Fair Share/ Scale/ Contextual

Organization Saturation Impact Design

Neighborhood Neighborhood Sensitive to

Scale undue
leadership - saturated – neighborhood
impact on
decline Impacted context - scale
sponsorship communities

Oppose Assess Respect scale,

unknown, saturation Eg. Large historic
seek out well legitimate? project in low quality,
regarded Shift to less residential setbacks,
community saturated density area architectural
based partners areas style
Private Open
Neighborhood Zoning

Access to parking
required Pleasant for requirements,
supportive tenants height and
services density

Eg. Mental community
Health – cannot concerns of Avoid zoning
be within tenants variance – avoid
community, yet congregating in legal challenges
needed front of the
 Site Elements categorized into 3 major categories

Construct Land Use
ion Cost Factors



> Size of Site – Building footprint, Parking Space,

Playground area

> Proximity to Population to be Served – Safe Walking

distance or easy accessibility by public transport

> Proximity to Future Expansion of Community – 20 years

down the line, still population centers/ residential areas

> Proximity to Important Existing Facilities – Shared

services like food services, swimming pools, stadiums etc.
> Site Topography – Fairly level with some topographic relief

> Road Access - Minor arterials/ collectors preferred to high

volume roadways

> Visibility, conflict of driveways – Entry to drive void of curves,

slopes and other obstacles to vision

> Safe Routes to School for Pedestrians and Bicycles –Safe

walking routes enable students within short distance to walk or
cycle safely

> Roadway Capacity, Safety Needs – School generate traffic,

requires turning movement – wide roads and turning options
> Aesthetic Value – Vegetation, topography, views and
surroundings – subjective yet preferred

> Sun Orientation – take full advantage of sun angles,

playground to receive normal sunlight, north facing
slopes preferred

> Protection from Elements - Wind protection, driving rain

important for both indoor and outdoor educational activities

> Site Drainage – Sites with good drainage easier to develop and

> Proximity to Natural Hazards – Safe from natural disasters

(mud slides) as well as health (garbage/ sewage dumps) and safety
hazards (cliffs, water bodies)
> Zoning/Land Use – Compatible with current/ projected zoning
delay for permit

> Proximity to Fire Response Equipment – May or may not

effect rural areas site, but proximity an advantage in urban areas

> Flooding - Site should not be located within a flood plain

> Existing Site Development – Vacant sites preferred.

Demolition/ relocation - alternatives

> Access to Outdoor Recreation/Learning – Complimentary

parks/ recreation resources – extension of the classroom
> Noise – Incompatible noise detrimental to education delivery

> Potential for Hazardous Materials – Past use free of

industrial use and hazardous storage

Construction Cost Factors

> Soil/ Foundation Conditions
> Availability of Water Utilities
> Availability of Sewer Utilities
> Availability of Electric Power
> Availability of Fuel Storage/Distribution
> Roadway Capacity, Safety Needs
> Ease of Transporting Construction Materials

> Site Availability

> Site Cost

> Site Drainage

> Proximity to Natural Hazards

> Site Erosion

> Existing Site Development

> Potential for Hazardous Materials

Maintenance/ Operating Cost Factors
> Safe Routes to School for Pedestrians and Bicycles

> Site Drainage

> Site Erosion

> Sun Orientation

> Protection from Elements

> Proximity to Natural Hazards

> Alternative Energy Sources – solar/ wind energy

Commercial Projects
> Location:
The value of building depends upon its location – it should be on the
main road and in the center of the region.

> Climate of Region:

strength and stability of building depends upon climate. Commercial
buildings expensive from economic points of view - constructed
according to the safety requirements

> Availability of Raw materials:

require more construction materials. Before the construction, make
sure that raw materials are available near by – cost effective
> Cost and time frame:
depends upon the location and the availability of Raw

> Populations of the region:

to meet the need of the local population. Must be
constructed in the region having sufficient population
to restore its cost.

> Visibility – Maximum visibility to store front

> Signage – Check for any restrictions pertaining to signage

> Pedestrian/ Vehicular traffic

> Parking

> Co – tenancy – Goods of similar kind closely located to

encourage cross shopping

> Income – Depending on the type of goods, target income group

to be fixed – HIG, LIG or Middle

> Competition – Retailers should have an idea of where

competitors are likely to locate, so potential tenants will have