#ElementalDesign Advice 04 SITE SELECTION
“When choosing your site, ensure you undertake a holistic site analysis & understand all the opportunities and constraints.” – Talina Edwards
You might have a site, it might be your existing home, or you might be on the search for a new one. Whichever the case, it’s really important to gain a through understanding of all the pros/cons – as these will all affect what you are able to build on the site. Rarely is there a “perfect” site – there are always restrictions of some kind – such as easements, or perhaps limited northerly aspect, or steep sloping land, or neighbours really close, heritage overlays, or a bushfire prone area…. don’t see these as obstacles! They are all just part of the big picture, and the sooner you know about these restrictions, the easier it is to design with them in mind and find a solution.
Architects LOVE this problem-solving stage…I think we like a challenge! But this is where good design comes in! If we know all the parameters to work with, then we can focus on taking advantage of all the awesome features about your unique site – instead of battling against them.
If you’re starting out on your building journey, you need to know about YOU first! (We wrote about this here if you missed it.)
To get to know your site, ideally you’ll need to consider the following:
- COMMUNITY AMENITIES? Close to trains/shops/schools/sports/leisure/hospitals, etc.
- SITE SIZE? And shape, boundaries and beyond
- LOCATION? Orientation? North, South, East, West
- CLIMATE? Weather patterns, seasons. Sun, wind, rain, snow?
- TERRAIN? Slope, rocks, hills, flat
- VEGETATION? Trees & natural features
- VIEWS? Neighbouring properties in all directions, desirable and undesirable views
- SERVICES? Power, gas, water, sewer, etc.
- ACCESS? Road, driveway, construction vehicles, cars, CFA access, bike, pedestrians, public-transport
- SENSES? What can you see, hear, smell, touch, taste?
- YOUR TITLE? Restrictive covenants/easements
- UNDERGROUND? Soil classification, mines, sewer/stormwater pipes, etc.
- PERMITS? Planning Permit Zoning and Overlays, Building Permit regulations and restrictions
If that sounds overwhelming, don’t worry – your architect can help you with this process! I offer a preliminary ‘Site Review’ consultation to chat about this and to help you navigate where you are headed with your project. You can find out more here.
Do you have a site, or are you trying to find one? Have you thought about all these aspects when it comes to analysing your site? Let me know in the comments below!
Talina Edwards Architecture: elemental design is a Ballarat-based studio, with a passion for sustainable design, green buildings and healthy homes.Click here to ensure you won’t miss out on our news!