Identify sustainable opportunities across the community through a detailed analysis of environmental elements. Identifying these elements at the beginning of the design process will improve the prospects for implementation of sustainable measures during the Design Charrette.
Perform a detailed site analysis early in the design process using the following tools. The analysis must be completed prior to the Design Charrette and all maps should be 1inch = 60ft scale minimum.
A. Aerial & Description of Land Uses
Aerial photograph should show existing on-site or platted off-site land uses at a minimum of ½- mile from property boundary. This map should be scaled and keyed to describe all existing onsite land uses, including:
- Existing residential land densities, existing structures or impervious surfaces
- Existing Vegetative coverage description
- Unique landscapes or features (for example: stands of mature trees, specific forest types, and dominant landscape species and status - mature, degraded, tree farm, etc.
B. Public Realm delineation and analysis
Analyze how nearby buildings address the public realm. This analyses must at minimum include building heights, forms and setbacks, parking locations, height to width ratios of buildings and streets, and pedestrian accommodations.
C. Walkability Analysis Public Realm delineation and analysis
Utilizing current public infrastructure complete a walkshed inspection by walking from likely primary entryway location of project site to at least 3 nearby amenities. Document with photos or video the difficulties encountered along route and how they will be mitigated (e.g., earning off-site street improvement credits) or avoided on ECC project.
D. Historic, Cultural and Archaeological Resources
Verification that the site does not conflict with areas that local agencies identified as potential historic, cultural or archaeological resources.
E. Topography and Slope Analysis
Topography map should show topography of site at appropriate vertical interval. A slope analysis is an overlay to the topographic map which indicates areas of slope greater than 15%, 20% and 25%.
F. Hydrology Report
Hydrology report following generally-accepted engineering practices, including an analysis of major and minor drainage ways, associated buffers, and existing drainage issues within the basin.
G. Tree Survey
Tree survey should indicate the size and location of all trees (diameter at breast height =6 inches or greater).
H. Vegetative Coverage Survey
This analysis can use the aerial as a base to overlays that identify stands of mature trees (diameter at breast height = 6 inches or greater), specific forest types, dominant existing landscape species and status (mature, degraded, tree farm, etc.), or other unique features of the site such as mountain ridges and valleys. Clearly identify any High Priority Preservation Areas.
I. Soil Series
In the USGS map of soils, highlight highly-erodible soils, hydric soils typically associated with wetlands, or other areas requiring soil remediation.
Sensitive Wildlife Habitat Mapping
Consult with the state Natural Heritage Program or Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Division to determine the likelihood of federally-threatened or endangered species existing on the site.
- If it is determined that species are likely to exist on site, hire a qualified biologist to conduct a site analysis and produce a Habitat Conservation Plan per the Endangered Species Act.
- If it is determined that no federally-threatened or endangered species exist on site, hire a qualified biologist, work with a conservation non-governmental organization, or work with a local or state agency to produce a Habitat Map of any additional wildlife habitats found on site. This map should include—at a minimum—locations and descriptions of wildlife habitats on site, any conservation buffers recommended for protection of the habitat on-site and a clearly identification of High Priority Preservation Areas.
Use the Habitat Conservation Plan or Habitat Map produced from this analysis to inform site design.
J. Viewshed Analysis
On an aerial photograph or early conceptual design, indicate major viewsheds into the site from adjacent land and public right-of-ways. Provide a brief narrative for each viewshed, describing the quality of that view and how it will change from the existing site to the proposed development. Describe opportunities for minimizing negative viewshed impacts; for example, using higher-quality building materials in the viewshed, enhancing terminating vistas, preserving or restoring buffers, and preserving natural ridgelines in mountain areas.
On an aerial photograph or early conceptual design, indicate major viewsheds out of the site from internal public spaces and roads and describe their positive or negative attributes.
Solar Access Analysis
In addition to the elevation study and slope analysis, identify the percentage of site sloping in each cardinal plane. Southern slopes are ideal for solar access and the design of the buildings and site layout should reflect the orientation of the site’s natural slopes.
Prevailing Wind Patterns
Provide a diagram indicating the direction, frequency of occurrence and typical wind speeds affecting the site. Additional Resources See the EarthCraft Communities Site Analysis Packet example provided to the project team by the TA.
- Each site analysis report document. All maps should be 1inch = 60ft scale minimum.