Saturday, July 14, 2007

Details of our land

One of the first things that my brother (the architect) did for us is to utilize the official survey of the land to generate computer images of the layout of the site. The site itself has two main areas: buildable area and wetland (which you cannot build anything on by law). The buildable area is adjacent to the street and consists of roughly 1/3 of the site. The majority of the rest is wetland, and it's just beautiful. The wetland is great because not only does it provide some spectacular views, it really separates the property from any future lots to the East and ensures that we'll always have the views we see today. The wetland is fairly impassable in Summer, as the tall grasses and vegetation reach up to my arms. But in Spring, Fall, and Winter you can actually walk around in there, and I'm sure the kids will love it for "exploring."

Without further adieu, here's the official survey and computer generated images (click any of the images to enlarge):

Images 5 and 6 need a little explaining. We met with my brother over Christmas 2006, just after closing on the land, to establish the "program." The program is the number of rooms in the house, the types of rooms, and their first guess square footage. The program can also include general spatial arrangements of the rooms in relation to each other. Our first pass was "if we could have each room be the size we wanted, independent of cost, what would each be?" After going through that, my brother put the room sizes (shaped as squares and rectangles for now) next to each other so that we could visually see if one was too big in relation to another (image 5, below). This would start the process of cutting down the sizes to something that was more workable. Image 6 shows the rooms laid out on the land, as if the whole house was one story, just to see how it fit on the suggested building site.

The other cool aspect of the computer renderings is that they show site elevations, so you can see how the buildable area is higher than the wetland, and slopes towards the wetland. The suggested building site (called the "pad" area, in gray in image 7, below) is on the North side of the buildable area, and after walking the property with my brother, it is the place that offers the best views. So we'll likely go with the suggested building site as the actual building site. The computer renderings show the suggested building site as perfectly level so that you can see the slope from West to East. Images 7-9 show the computer rendered site elevations:

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