Design Project Site Observations and Maps


So far for my design project, I have shared with you some history of my property in Making a Start and the project vision in Creating An Example.  In this post, I am publishing the Site Observations documentation I created as phase 1 of the design project.  This covers the backyard conditions, some resources on the property, problems, soil conditions, the edibles, water status, views and privacy, the life inside and outside the property, and local climate data.

I tend to take photos of any project my husband and I undertake and I find this really valuable in assessing conditions and progress.  These days, I just use my camera phone as my photography is more about recording moments in time rather than for the art of photography.

Design Project Site Observations

I am also sharing with you the Property Maps presentation that captures the property base map and zones and sectors maps.

Design Project Property maps

The base maps show my journey with SketchUp, which handily allows the user to grab relevant sections of Google Earth and use the program tools to draw over the top.  I found this really helpful for the most part as the property is irregularly shaped and technology can make the mapping work quicker than DIY base mapping with extensive measurements.  One drawback of using a Google Earth image is that for my property, the photo is several years old and doesn’t reflect the current look of the property.  That makes drawing over the top potentially misleading as a viewer would naturally understand the photo more than the drawing over the top.  Therefore for clarity’s sake, I moved on to using the drawing and not the Google Earth image and that should be much easier to understand.

To note: the front yard is not in the scope of this project, and so I have not populated the drawing with plants and shapes there.  I also provided a sort of zoomed in image of the base map to focus on the backyard and then did rough zones and sectors maps using the tools in PowerPoint.

Essentially, the zones map shows that the property consists of zone 0 (the house) and zone 1, which is frequently visited, mulched, has a compost bin, and will have rainwater catchment down the track.  The activities described for zone 2, which is less frequently visited, would apply to a bigger property with a more rural lifestyle (orchards, outdoor animals), and not for this site.

The sectors map shows the summer and winter sun, which I sourced from a solar angles map, the winds from the Bureau of Meterology climate data, and I have added in a noise/pollution sector as the property backs onto a main road with 4 lanes of traffic.

There are so many details to cover for the site observations, aren’t there?

Coming soon – I will share my process for the design project and more project documentation…