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A thorough Site Analysis is essential to the planning of how to make the most efficient use of energy flows and how to plan the zones, gardens, and infrastructure in a way that makes the most sense. The following links provide more detailed information on Systems, Sectors, Zones, Resources, Constraints – and how these influence the project site (as in business, a SWOT analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and strengths). From our Site Analysis, we can best determine what multi-functional elements to place where to be able to harness or block wild energies, to gain maximum benefit from the sun, capture water, or use slope to our advantage, and to determine the optimum placement of zones to take advantage of connecting elements within them. A Site Analysis begins with a little research and a whole lot of observation:
General Description: The property, its size and location, a general description of the climate, various aspects of the property, a description of the stakeholders and their overall vision, a general idea of their financial situation and approach to achieving their goals, and what challenges there might be along the way.
Climate: Specific details on temperatures, precipitation, humidity, wind
The Solar Sector: Where is the sun at any given time of year, how does it change, what is illuminated, and what remains in the shadows?
Hydrology and Water Sources: Water – our life source. Where does it come from, is there enough, and what we can do to make the best use of it?
Topography, Soils, and Land Use: Characterization of soils and why they are the way they are, traditional and modern land uses, land-use restrictions, and topography of the land.
Animals: Coyotes, deer, raccoons, moles, weasels, bats, owls, hawks, eagles, hummingbirds, snakes, frogs, toads, butterflies, dragonflies, bumblebees, wasps – so many animals! What ones are out there, who comes, who goes, where do they travel, and how long do they stay? And is there room for any of the domestic variety?
Other Considerations: Zoning rules, noise and air pollution, fire hazards, resources, advantages and disadvantages – additional things to consider in project planning and sector analyses
Sector Map: A graphic visualization of all of the above.
Zones 1-5: From the house and most utilized areas to the outskirts left for wildlife – here is how the areas are defined.