Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My New Project

Site Evaluation

If you have a survey of your property, make several letter sized photocopies.   If not draw a rough sketch of the location of your home on the property (we will measure & determine the location of relevant structures in the next step).  We want to start thinking about the overall property as a type of community,  enabling us to see how elements function together so we can use this information to design with functionality and sustainability.  Aesthetics is equally important but if its not functional and its not going to last there's nooooooooo point...its a waste of time & money!  

First step to any design is to do a site evaluation which involves walking around the property and taking note of: 
  • existing plants and their condition
  • sun & wind exposure
  • shape of terrain 
  • drainage problems
  • views (focal & unsightly)  
  • utilities - gas, hydro, wells, septic, overhead/underground (possible location)  wires
  • existing functional areas - parking, walkways, compost, fences etc
  • which entrances into the house are used and by who
  • noise levels
  • how the areas are being used presently
  • possible micro climates
  • likes & dislikes about property
  • amount of precipitation areas get
  • type of soil
  • views from inside the residence
This is not a complete list but gives you an idea of how to look at your property.  You may know all these things about your property and wonder why you have to write all this information down but when you get to the design phase you will appreciate having this information available in front of you!   You might also find it beneficial to make several drawings ie one just for plants one for sun/wind exposure & soil type etc. 

Next step - measuring important site elements.....