Human Nature School

Level 1 – Site Assessment

What is a Level 1 – Site Assessment?

We like to call the Level 1 the “owners manual” for a piece of property (that we wish came with every piece of land!).

A Level 1 – Site Assessment is a detailed examination of the existing conditions on a piece of land that need to be understood and taken into account when planning future development that is at once regenerative, profitable and beautiful.

A Level 1 – Site Assessment is all the baseline background research and data specific to a piece of land that informs good design – i.e. the site-specific context.

Landowners looking to better understand the innate characteristics of their property and how to build, grow and live on it in ways that enhance and restore ecological function, increase productivity and profitability, decrease maintenance and create beauty.

Conducting a Level 1 – Site Assessment will help you know what you’ve got, as well as provide the critical baseline information needed to make well-informed decisions and develop a master plan for turning your property into a productive, beautiful and increasingly valuable oasis.

Who is a Level 1 – Site Assessment for?

What is included in a Level 1 – Site Assessment?

  • Site visit by both designers, typically 6-8 hours in duration.
  • Detailed L1 Site Assessment Report including:
    • Full Site Work Up:
      • Climate: sun, wind, precipitation, temperature, growing conditions.
      • Geography: topography, watershed mapping, landform as it relates to water flows.
      • Zone and Sector analyses.
      • Soils: Water-holding capacity, infiltration rates, composition, erosion potential, existing vegetation soil chemistry indicators and more.
      • Land History: Past land uses, indigenous people’s history.
    • Detailed write-ups of existing conditions for Water, Access Structures, Living Systems, Boundaries, Energy, Economy and Community (Economy & Community if applicable).
      • Water: Total annual water budget, catchment calculations and potentials, infiltration capacity of the landscape, erosion identification and mitigation recommendations.
      • Access: Existing access patterning, road conditions, recommended improvements for improving efficacy and decreasing maintenance.
      • Shelter & Structures: Audit of existing shelters and structures, precipitation catchment potential, energy efficiency (if desired), recommended elements / considerations for reducing energy use and maintenance costs.
      • Living Systems: Sections on Soil Building & Fertility, Food Production, Biological Erosion Control, Privacy Screens, Shade Plantings, and Forestry.
      • Boundaries: Sections on Security/Privacy and Animal Confinement/Exclusion. Recommendations for improving or modifying according to desired vision.
      • Energy: Assessment of existing energy elements that Move Heat, Move Things or Move Electrons. Recommendations for improving energy efficiency via modifying use patterns, maximizing efficiencies and generation strategies.
    • Hi-resolution photographic scale basemap of the property, with layers detailing Existing Conditions as specified above, and relevant call-outs.
  • Printed copy of the report and 11×17 basemaps (larger, poster-sized .jpeg or PDF files of the basemap available upon request).
  • Virtual presentation of the report upon receipt of the deliverables.

View A Sample L1 – Site Assessment Report HERE

Level 1 Consultancy Portfolio Page

How much does a Level 1 – Site Assessment cost?

$3,000 – $4,500 + travel. Generally 4-6 weeks to report delivery from site visit date.

*Level 1 Site Assessments represent a substantial percentage of the essential groundwork that the 7th Generation Design team conducts when developing a Level 2 Whole Site Design. Should you wish to develop a Level 2 Whole Site Design following a Level 1 Site Assessment the cost of the Level 1 will be deducted from the Level 2.

Reach out and start the conversation with us today.