The Site Planning Process Crucial to a Successful Design

13 11 2008

I really valued the lesson in site planning on November 6.  I appreciate that the infromation presented to us is very relevant and it is something we will have to refer back to and build upon in order to put it into practice one day.  Also the information learned in class are given in manageable quantities that promote us to research certain topics to fuel a full understanding.

I did find some alternative points on site planning and design and the importance of it.  It came from an article online called Site Planning and Design which I thought was a very origional and eye-catching title!  It contrasts a few theories on the steps in the design process. The main steps are:

1.  Comission

2.  Research

3.  Analysis

4.  Synthesis

5.  Construction

6.  Operation

http://www.rri.wvu.edu/WebBook/McBride/images/figure2.jpg

Basically, site planning is an art, and there are guideleines that one must follow in order to ensure a succesful design on a particular site.  Some of the things that influence the planning include the location of the site along with the existing conditions.  This breaks down into sub-attributes of the site: topography and slopes, geology and soils, vegetation, hydrology and drainage, microclimate, views, existing structures, and leagal constraints.  All these factors must be obtained from different sources wether it be directly from the site, from quadrangle maps, or soil surveys for example.

A main problem that designers run into is suitability vs sustainability.

1.  Main Entry:
suit·able           Listen to the pronunciation of suitable
Pronunciation:
\ˈsü-tə-bəl\
Function:
adjective
Date:
1581
1obsolete : similar , matching2 a: adapted to a use or purpose <suitable for kitchen use> b: satisfying propriety : proper <suitable dress> c: able , qualified <a suitable candidate for the job> 

synonyms see fit

 

suit·abil·i·ty           Listen to the pronunciation of suitability \ˌsü-tə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun
suit·able·ness noun
suit·ably           Listen to the pronunciation of suitably \-blē\ adverb
2. Main Entry: 

sus·tain·able           Listen to the pronunciation of sustainable
Pronunciation:
\sə-ˈstā-nə-bəl\
Function:
adjective
Date:
circa 1727
1: capable of being sustained2 a: of, relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged <sustainable techniques> <sustainable agriculture> b: of or relating to a lifestyle involving the use of sustainable methods <sustainable society>
sus·tain·abil·i·ty           Listen to the pronunciation of sustainability \-ˌstā-nə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun
sus·tain·ably           Listen to the pronunciation of sustainably \-ˈstā-nə-blē\ adverb

Translated to the site, landscape architects, planners, and engineers try to find a balance between accessabilty throught existing infastructure, while taking into account sustainable building options.  This can be challenging because the phases of the design process must present more opportunities than constraints while keeping the requirements of the client intact.

-Vikki Drapeau

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