The parcel of land the building is situated on includes a variety of site systems which should be inspected and maintained regularly. When purchasing a building it is important to identify the site boundary, physical features, potential encumbrances and easements related to the site. The industry gold standard for this is to obtain or file a request for a land survey that meets American Land Title Association (ALTA) or American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM) requirements. The owner (or their advisors) will then be able to determine what building site systems the owner may develop or need to repair and maintain.
The site systems can be divided into three (3) main categories: the site features, the site infrastructure and the natural environment. The site features are typically considered to be the visible and obvious man-made physical components of the site such as fencing, parking lots, swimming pools, fountains, and auxiliary building structures. The site infrastructure takes a lot of thought on how the site runs smoothly but is not necessarily the most obvious to general building users. Typically, infrastructure system consists of parking and traffic circulation patterns, lighting and irrigation. Finally, the natural environment consists of the green site including topography and landscaping, ground cover and stormwater detention and retention ponds.
The design and layout of a building site is integral to the free flow of traffic, parking, security and usability of amenities in around buildings. Several common site systems such as paving, flatwork, lighting, landscaping and drainage are often overlooked but can be very expensive budget items and should be reviewed carefully. This is especially important when purchasing a building.