Site Assessment & Design

Photo: Bindersbee (public domain)


Our built environment is flooded with glass boxes that could be located anywhere, while many of the most successful and celebrated examples of architecture reflect and respond to unique site features. Whether or not a design team has a say in siting a project, carefully assessing the site should be on every project’s to-do list.

Careful consideration of these factors can inform design and support not only sustainable design objectives but also the basic architecture of the building:

  • onsite climate conditions

  • unique weather patterns

  • solar access

  • water opportunities

  • unique flora and fauna

  • topography

A site assessment early in design can reduce costs, allay potential risks, support the health and well-being of occupants and native habitat, and promote other unique site features.

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    News Analysis

    To test the performance of air barriers in real-world conditions, a new ASTM standard uses an eight-foot-square mockup of an exterior wall.

  • British Columbia Insurers Question Green Roofs

    News Analysis

    Some British Columbia insurers are balking at projects with green roofs, but dialogue about their benefits is helping some projects.

  • Governments See New Accounting Rules for Brownfields

    News Analysis

    A new rule announced by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) will codify the responsibility of local and state governments to disclose their financial liabilities associated with polluted properties.

  • California Builders Pay for Degrading Air Quality

    News Analysis

    California's Central Valley, contender for the nation's worst air quality, will require builders to reduce the smog and particulate matter their projects cause, or pay into offsite air-quality improvement programs.