An in-depth site analysis of a property is a valuable tool to help inform the design process of a home. Unfortunately, it is a step that is often given little consideration or skipped entirely. That is a shame, because it can open new possibilities, offer opportunities, expose vulnerabilities, and help avoid mistakes.
No two building sites are the same. There are so many variables to consider. Is the property level or sloped? What is the vegetation like? Are there any wet areas? What direction does it face? How big is it? Are there zoning regulations that impact what portion of the site is buildable, or even what size home can be built there? Is it in a rural, suburban, or urban setting? What is the neighborhood like? Are there views to either take advantage of or minimize? What is the climate? Where do the prevailing winds come from? Are there any special features? All of these factors contribute to the uniqueness of each site, and if properly considered can help make the most of the location.
Considering the specific site is especially useful in green home design. Sun angles, wind direction, topography, temperature variation (both diurnal and seasonal), and vegetation – especially mature trees – are all factors that can have an enormous impact on the energy efficiency of a home. Properly considered, a custom home design can make the most of these elements while minimizing their disadvantages.