What is an architectural site plan?
A site plan is a really important part of any set of architectural drawings. The site plan will often show information like existing and proposed buildings, access, landscaping, site boundaries and much more. There are, however, different types of site plans. So in this post we will look at what site plans are used for and what information is included in them.
What are architectural site plans used for?
A site plan can be used as part of a planning application, to demonstrate where the proposed site is located, and provide details of the proposed building boundaries and neighbouring land. After planning, an architectural site plan will start to contain more detailed information that is required for construction and will become part of a construction drawing set or detailed design package.
When you apply for planning permission, the local authority has a standard requirement of drawings that provide information about the proposals. If you are submitting a relatively normal planning application, a Location Plan and Block Plan will most likely be required. A site plan can also be included in this. A location plan is based on an ordnance survey map, usually at a scale of 1:1250 on an A4 piece of paper. The location plan will show the proposed site, with a red boundary around it. It will also show the scale, a north point and any relevant buildings and roads that make it clear where the proposed site is located.
The image below demonstrates a Site Location Plan.
A block plan (sometimes called a site plan) is a drawing that shows a bit more information than the location plan, usually at a scale of 1:500. The block plan also shows the scale, north point and existing buildings, but it will often include some dimensions to boundaries from existing and proposed buildings, rights of way, position of trees, hard surfaced areas and any proposed fencing or walls.
The following images show the location plan and block plan combined into one drawing.
You may also include a site plan at a larger scale of 1:200, which will allow for more information to be shown and more detail.
What do you include on an architectural site plan?
The following list sets out tips on what to include in a site plan, and some general requirements. All of these elements will not always need to be included but this can serve as a checklist to go through as you produce your site plans.
- Title of project, site and any other relevant details (ie planning drawing etc)
- North point
- Scale of drawing
- Site boundary (usually in red)
- Key dimensions
- Any relevant materials
- Landscaping and tree locations (including any tree protection orders)
- Roads, and access to the site
- Footpaths, rights of way, easements
- Any buildings to be demolished or removed
- Any existing landscaping/fencing/walls to be removed
- Services (drainage, water, electricity, gas etc – usually included at construction stage)
- Any external lighting requirements
- Gates, fences
- Bin store
- Cycle storage
- Fire access point
On larger projects you may have multiple site plans for different parts of the project. So the drainage information may be on one single site plan if it is detailed and complicated. Likewise, you may create a single access site plan, demonstrating how both cars, cyclists and pedestrians access and use the site. It is common to have a separate landscaping plan with more detailed information about both hard and soft landscaping and any other relevant details.
As always, if there is something I have missed that you think should be included in this checklist, just let me know! Comment below or send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hope you find this useful – if there are any other areas of architectural drawing that you need help with that I haven’t written about already – just get in touch!
All images from local authority websites. If you are the owner of any of the images and would like to be credited to your website, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
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