Chapter 15

Site Analysis: Digital Site Survey

The first step of responsible design is to understand not only the client’s needs, but also the constraints and potential of the building site. Site analysis involves obtaining geographical information, maps, aerial photos, topographic data, building context information, as-built drawings, preliminary code information, and anything you’ll need to make informed design decisions. This preliminary information will enable you to make realistic decisions about what can actually be built.

Obtaining all of this data can be a huge task. SketchUp Pro allows you to grab preliminary 3D data, everything you need to get started sketching, estimating, and designing while you wait for the hard data to show up. In this section, you will learn techniques to gather accurate 2D and 3D site data in a short amount of time. This data will allow you, as a designer, to make informed decisions, saving time and headaches later when real data arrives.

A digital site survey is the process used to create a 2D site plan, 2D/3D contour map, and site sections from Google 3D data without leaving your desk. By converting 3D data into 2D drawings, or sketch backgrounds, you can get started on a project immediately and make informed design decisions. The ability to generate a two-dimensional site plan of just about any building or site allows you to immediately assess project scope and make more accurate estimates of time and work. This process can fit into any designer’s ...

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