Site Analysis

Understanding all the features of a site, using and protecting the best, and minimising the impact of the worst.

Site Analysis checklist

Download the Site Analysis checklist as a PDF


Local authority    
District plan [] Zoning
  [] Restrictions on building and land use
  [] Solar access
  [] Site coverage
  [] Front/side/rear yards
  [] Protected trees
  [] Restrictions on colours, reflectance values and building materials
Land information
memorandum (LIM)
[] Protected buildings and trees
  [] Covenants/encumbrances
  [] Historic buildings
  [] Special characteristics of a site (erosion, flooding)
  [] Existing buildings
  [] Planning information
  [] Drainage information
  [] Zoning
Project information
memorandum (PIM)
[] Similar to a LIM but site-specific
  [] Protection of buildings under the Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act
  [] Local services (water, wastewater)
  [] Land details (ground stability, flooding)
  [] Non-compliance issues
consent/Code Compliance Certificate (CCC)
[] Past consent applications
  [] Past CCC
Aerial photographs/contour
maps of site and surroundings
[] Buildings
  [] Vegetation
  [] Roadways
  [] Services
  [] Contours
Online maps and tools [] Areas at risk of flooding
  [] Areas at risk of liquefaction
  [] Areas at risk from sea level rise
  [] Areas at risk of erosion or landslide
Other documentation [] Development that may be permitted
  [] Services (including water, sewerage and stormwater mains crossing the property)
  [] Roading
Legal information    
Record of Title (Land
Information NZ)
[] Legal description of the property
  [] Caveats
  [] Easements
Deposited plan [] Property boundaries
Covenants [] Restrictions of development
Other information   (may need to be purchased)
Hazard report (Property Insight) [] Known/potential site hazards
Climate data (NIWA) [] Climate data
Sun bearings (Land Information NZ) [] Sun-bearing data
Aerial photographs and
geographic information (local authority, Google Earth, Terralink) of site and surroundings
[] Buildings
  [] Vegetation
  [] Roadways
  [] Services
  [] Contours
Property inspection/site
survey/soil investigation reports
[] Boundary locations
  [] Soil-bearing capacity
  [] Location of underground services
  [] Other site features
Site investigation of
ground conditions (using NZBC B1 Structure B1/VM4 and Appendix A)
[] Soil-bearing capacity

Site visits

What to take [] Equipment
  [] Sketch book
  [] Compass
  [] Smartphone or Camera
  [] Tape measure
  [] Dumpy and staff
  [] Scala penetrometer
  [] Stepladder
What to look for [] Views
  [] Slopes
  [] Stability features (excavations, fill, banks or cliffs)
    Adjacent properties:
  [] Use
  [] What is built (height, scale and style)
  [] Impact of the proposed building on neighbours
  [] Sources of potential noise
  [] Causes of areas of shade
  [] Strength
  [] Directions
  [] Site-specific exposure (cold wind direction and the direction most of the rain comes from)
    Ground conditions:
  [] Soil types
  [] Evidence of drainage paths and watercourses
  [] Evidence of flooding, groundwater, poor soil stability
  [] Potential building locations
  [] Location of boundary pegs
    Location of council and utility services:
  [] Access holes
  [] Water
  [] Sewerage
  [] Stormwater
  [] Power
  [] Telephone
    Site access:
  [] Suitable location
  [] Existing vehicle crossing
  [] Health considerations – cellphone towers, high tension power lines/substations within 300 m of site?
Who to talk to   Neighbours:
  [] Weather
  [] Past major events
  [] Local events
  [] Development proposals
  [] Weather
  [] Other conditions they are familiar with/have experienced
Presentation of information    
• Sketches
• Computer generated model using 3D software such as Google Sketchup Pro, ArchiCAD or Autodesk Revit
• Physical 3D model
[] Views
  [] Wind
  [] Rain directions
  [] Features (trees, banks)
  [] North point
  [] Sun angles

Updated: 25 April 2024