After preparing the Design Brief, you will need to find a site that can accommodate the house you want to build. If you already have land, or are undertaking infill development, the site’s characteristics should already be incorporated into the Design Brief, which should consider any constraints or opportunities the site presents.
A Design Statement
is a document that analyses the site and identifies its existing elements and the relationship between them (e.g trees and a steep hill). It contains three parts:
- Site and context analysis: This records elements, e.g slopes or heritage features, of the site and adjacent sites that are relevant to the development.
- Opportunities and constraints analysis: Summarises the most important elements that influence the proposed design.
- Design response (added to the Design Statement at Stage 6, Concept and Preliminary Design): Shows how the proposed concept design has considered and responded to the site and context analysis and to the opportunities and constraints analysis. It includes a concept design, site plans and elevations.
Design Statements are a good tool for designers to record their findings about the site (site analysis) and present them to you in a clear and simple way. You can also research the site and contribute to the site analysis. A simple set of drawings can be used to convey understanding of physical characteristics of the site and an ‘Opportunities and Constraints Analysis’ can summarise key elements that will influence future design decisions.
How site analysis can help achieve your objectives
Ideally, land should be bought after you have defined the needs and requirements of the house you are building. Analysing your site and preparing a Design Statement allows better understanding of the site conditions needed to achieve the best result, and identification of those that may prevent you from achieving your objectives.