Engineering Site Plan - Types & Features

A site plan is a comprehensive representation of the building and the complete boundary in which the building lies. It is developed for new and existing structures either for new construction or for renovation. The site plan is a large scaled drawing. The full extent of the site is displayed on a site plan as shown in the figure-1 below.

Site plan is drawn to appropriate scales. Generally a scale of 1:500 or 1:200 is used to draw site plan.
Important Features of Site Plan in Construction
  • Site plan shows a visual representation of arrangement of the buildings, parking, drives and landscaping details. All those important details that surrounds and are related to the development project are shown on a site plan.
  • Site plan is a combination of construction drawings that is the basis on which the builder or the contractor makes improvements on the property.
  • Site plan is the standard document that is checked by the legal authorities for the legal building structure rules and regulations of the region.
  • A site plan is hence developed based on the standard rules and regulations provided by the building codes of the region.
  • A site plan is prepared by a personnel who is either a licensed engineer, design consultant , land surveyor or architect.
  • Site plan is carried out by conduction site analysis.

What is the Purpose of a Site Plan?

The main purpose of site plan are:
  • To represent¬† how the land is utilised and the details of surrounding area.
  • To submit the document of reference to the zoning or government administrator to check and approve for construction of the project. The administrator checks whether the proposed building or structure meets the standards of the respective zone or the region.
  • The administrator checks whether the proposed structure meets and serves public facilities like roads, water, emergency services, sewage disposals, schools, etc.
  • To protect the landowners by complying with the government procedures. If not it moves to lawsuits and complaints.

When is a Site Plan Required?

The site plan is required in the following circumstances:
  • To construct, reconstruct, erect, enlarge, or renovate a structure.¬†
  • To show changes in the use of land ( Farming use is excluded)
  • To show a change in occupancy for all uses

What are the Types of Site Plans?

Mainly there are three types of site plans:
  1. Normal Plan
  2. Major Plan
  3. Minor Plan

1. Normal Site Plan

The Altering or building of a structure designated as a single-family dwelling requires a normal site plan. A normal site plan shows
  • The actual dimensions of the plot
  • The dimension between the structures, structures, and all the lot lines
  • The location of the septic tank, wells, and distance between the septic tank and wells.
  • The structure is existing or new
  • The size of the structure or building to be erected
  • The location of easements
  • Any extra information as demanded by the area or zonal code or zoning administrator.

2. Major or Minor Site Plan

This is a site plan developed for developing land for multi-family dwelling units, commercial units, high-tech, industries, or a residential subdivision.

Development of Site Plan

The site plan is prepared by performing a few analyses and planning. They are:
  1. Site Analysis
  2. Site Plan Building Blocks
  3. Site Planning
  4. Transportation Planning
  5. Urban Planning

1. Site Analysis

Site analysis is the complete analysis of the site done prior to site planning. It is an analysis done to research, analyze and synthesize the site. It deals with the study of boundaries of engineering, economics, landscaping, architecture, and urban planning.

2. Site Plan Building Blocks

The following information is represented on a site plan:
  • The property lines of the site under consideration
  • The existing and proposed buildings are represented with their outlines
  • The distances between all the buildings ( Planned and existing) within the site area under consideration
  • The distance between the buildings and the property lines. This is also called a setback.
  • Parking lots and parking spaces are represented
  • Driveways, surrounding streets, landscape details, ground sign location, water utility, drainage, and electricity connection details.

3. Site Planning

Site planning is the process of checking the potential of the site to incorporate the above-mentioned site plan building blocks. It starts with site analysis. The information regarding the topography of the site ( slope, soil, hydrology, vegetation), ownership, orientation, water availability, etc is assessed first. Which is then mapped together. 

The architect or engineer designs a structure depending on whether the space selected is poor or better for development. Hence, site planning is the proper arrangement of the buildings, roads, utilities, topography, water features, and vegetation to obtain the desired site.

4. Transportation and Urban Planning

Transportation planning involves the planning steps for streets, highways, bike lanes, and public transport lines. Urban planning is the plan for aspects of the built and social environment of places.

Also Read:
  1. Reconnaissance Survey and Index Sketch in Chain Surveying
  2. What is well-conditioned and Ill Conditioned Triangles

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