Why is Site Analysis so Important?

Today’s Topics:

  • Understanding The Space You Have To Work With
  • The Context Of The Site
  • Sun Patterns

Understanding The Space You Have To Work With

Have you ever started designing a building on a blank canvas?

It can be fun and is a great way to express freedom and creativity.

When you start to include a site and all of the information that comes with it, your design decisions are completely changed.

This kind of information helps make decisions about what part of the site the building should go on, how much space you have to work with.

Having a site for your project and learning how to utilize it as an advantage will greatly impact the way your building enhances a space.

The Context Of The Site

The space that you are designing on almost always has a story of its own to tell.

Learning about the context of the site is another essential part of designing because it can be a tool to help inform your design decisions as well.

There’s potential that in the past another building was there, more trees were planted. It could have been farmland, or it could have been part of a highway.

Then also looking at the buildings that border your site. How are they utilized, and how can that impact your building. Is it a public park, a business center, or a residential neighborhood?

Doing research into the context of your site will help you understand how it can inform your design.

Sun Patterns

The orientation of your site or building in comparison to the sun deserves its own segment.

Having a solar analysis has an a large impact on the building systems and how people interact with the building.

For every direction that you have a building, there is a different way that it can be utilized.

In the mornings the sun rises from the east, and sets in the west. During the summer the sun typically stays more overhead, where in the winter, south facing windows receive a lot of sunlight.

Learning about the cardinal directions in relation to your site informs how you interact with the street, the land around the site, and the building itself.


Thanks for tuning into this week’s blog post, I hope you enjoyed it. Leave a comment about how a site has impacted the building that is on it. As always, Dream Big!

Published by Alonzo Colon

Architecture Student at Virginia Tech

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