Building Site Considerations – Adding Value
The importance of a well thought out, and properly prepared building site is one of the most overlooked components of any building project. Designing and preparing a site properly is critical to how the building performs and functions. Below are some critical items to consider and share with the potential customer. Use this guide to set yourself apart from your competitors and to position your company as the local building experts
-Will the building line up with existing structures, drives, or roads?
-Door and driveway locations, this one is a big deal.
-How will location effect flow of traffic, machinery, deliveries, and people?
-Where will the water go? Consider downspout locations and drainage.
-Consider future expansion and parking areas.
-Where will utilities enter the building? Electric, water, sewer.
-What are the setback requirements from the road and property lines?
2.Height of Finished Concrete Floor
-Determine floor thickness prior to identifying grade height. (4"- 6"etc.)
-Clearly identify the F.F. and floor thickness and relay to all contractors.
-Establish finished floor height and set a permanent, visible benchmark.
-How does the F.F. relate to other drives and building heights?
-Will there be concrete approaches to the doors? Sidewalks?
-Allow for water runoff and proper drainage of the building perimeter
3.Access to and around the Site
-What type of vehicles will be entering and using the driveways?
-Are the road and drive wide enough?
-Culvert required at the entrance?
-Are there obstructions? Utility poles, underground items, trees.
-Is there enough room to turn around? Semis? Tractors? Trailers?
-Where will the building material be staged for construction?
4.Fundamentals of site preparation
-Remove sod and humus from site to avoid decomposition and settlement.
-A layer of course stone will reduce capillary action and interior moisture.
-Apply appropriate fill-in compacted layers, 6"-8" at a time.
-Cap the site with a layer of compacted course stone to minimize washout and capillary action. This will aid in reducing moisture inside the building.
-IBC 2000, Sec 1803.3 states: (5% slope is required for a minimum of 10') that is 6" of slope in 10' away from the building in all directions.
5.Implications of improper or poorly prepared building site
-A poorly prepared site can cause erosion and caved-in fill around holes.
-Improper site drainage will cause site to remain wet and muddy.
-Muddy & wet sites increase labor & machinery costs.
-Once a muddy site has been rutted up by machinery, it can be difficult and expensive to correct for future gravel or concrete floor.
-A good gravel site will keep the building clean during construction.
-Keep crew morale high by providing them will ideal working conditions. Even the best crews in our industry struggle when the site is poor.
-A wet or muddy site will cause delays in the completion of the building.
It is up to you as the building expert to convey the importance of a properly prepared building site to the customer. The entire project will be affected by the site conditions both during and after the completion of the building.
We always recommend using a professional excavator for site preparation. Developing a network of competent contractors will only increase your opportunities and rate of success.