Summary of factors affecting site selection
The most important factors community groups and families should consider in choosing a site for their building are:
• whether the soil will support the weight of the building;
• whether the site is drained well-enough to prevent water damage;
• whether the site is large enough to accommodate their immediate and future needs;
• whether the site is easily accessible for construction and use of the building;
• whether the site is comfortable, safe, and healthful.
In most cases, builders have to compromise between these concerns. Choosing the best site among several less-than-ideal possibilities is often difficult and complex. It is always best to get experienced advice, whenever there is any doubt. Contractors, engineers, or architects in the area can help make the options clear, especially in terms of cost and labor.
One Final Caution. In many areas, local regulations will influence what can be built, where it can be built, and how it can be built. Building and zoning codes, permits, licenses, and accepted practices vary widely from country to country and locality to locality. To avoid wasted or illegal effort, the field worker should help family or community members learn their restrictions and obligations during the basic planning and design process. This should always be done before settling on a definite site for construction.