If you are planning to build, be it a residential home, a commercial building or an industrial complex, part of the due diligence required demands that you undertake a pre-construction site analysis. A pre-construction site analysis is a comprehensive process, and depending on the size of your project, it may take some time to complete. However, it's a very important step that should never be overlooked. Read on to learn more.
What does a site analysis involve?
A pre-construction site analysis involves several processes. They are:
- Topography surveys – Here, an analysis is undertaken to determine what the lay of the land looks like in terms of the climate, vegetation, terrain, natural features such as hills, etc.
- Surveying & mapping – This entails determining factors such as how big the land is, the boundaries of the property and the build (if different from those of the property), the specific dimensions of the site, etc.
- Environmental testing – Here, environmental consults are brought in to study the environment around the site. This entails carrying out tests on the soil, water, vegetation, and air.
- Financial planning – The builder and contractors come together to analyse the cost of the build after factoring in the findings of the above processes. Factors considered here include logistics, labour, and cost of materials.
What are the benefits of a site analysis?
A site analysis has numerous implications on a construction project. Basically, the overall goal is to understand the site better and to prepare accordingly. The benefits of this process will touch on:
- Safety – Change the build plan to make the site safer for the proposed structure(s) and the workers who will be involved.
- Environment – Take the necessary steps to remediate any pollution and to avoid affecting the environment around you negatively.
- Build design – Adapt the building design to the environment, not just for aesthetics, but also in relation to the site's needs e.g. soil drainage, low bedrock, salty air, high winds, etc.
- Build time frame – Reconsider the build time frame, the build site, and the building materials once you have understood the specific needs of the site.
When is the right time to carry out a site analysis?
A site analysis has to be timed right for it to have maximum effect and maximum benefits for you. The right time to carry one out is before the build starts; before any concrete plans have been decided upon as these may later have to be revised after the process. In that regard, carry out a site analysis during the initial design and planning stage, right after idea conceptualization.
A site analysis consultant can further advise you on specifics depending on where the site is, the nature of the build and the scale of the project.