Course Title: Undertake site survey and analysis to inform design process

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2015

Course Code: BUIL6324

Course Title: Undertake site survey and analysis to inform design process

School: 320T Architecture & Design

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6136 - Advanced Diploma of Building Design (Architectural)

Course Contact : Catherine Ciavarella

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4819

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nino G Lucci


Work Phone: 9925 4034

Office Hours: Monday to Thursday - 9:30am til 5:30pm

Nominal Hours: 40

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

This unit of competency specifies the outcomes required to undertake a site survey and a site analysis for residential and commercial building projects. It includes the use of basic measuring and levelling equipment, recording and interpretation of data, and evaluation of, and compliance with relevant legislation.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VU21587 Undertake site survey and analysis to inform design process


1. Prepare to carry out a measured survey


Performance Criteria:

1.1 Relevant information and documentation is collected prior
to undertaking survey.
1.2 On site OHS hazards are identified, controls implemented
and appropriate documentation completed, according to
workplace safety procedures.
1.3 Levelling equipment is identified and inspected for damage,
wear and serviceability.


3. Measure and record linear distances on site using basic surveying equipment

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Distances are measured accurately using basic surveying equipment.
3.2 Overall distances are accurately calculated from field data.


5. Plot contours and cut and fill

Performance Criteria:

5.1 Spot level values are used to interpolate contour lines which
are plotted accurately in plan.
5.2 Cut and fill batters are calculated and accurately plotted in
plan and section.


6. Produce measured drawings and documentation

Performance Criteria:

6.1 Measured drawings are developed from site survey and site
analysis data.
6.2 Measured drawings are produced to scale, accurately
depicting site and building elements, and within accepted
time frames and to industry standards.
6.3 Relevant documentation is completed in compliance with the
applicable local government authority.



2. Undertake a site analysis and record site and building information

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Relationship of site to adjoining properties and surrounding
environment is identified and recorded to establish the
context of the development.
2.2 Physical charactertics and local climate conditions of the
site are noted and recorded for consideration in the design of
the building.
2.3 Field sketches are produced which accurately record site and
building elements in plan, elevation and section.
2.4 Field sketch data is transferable to accurate, scaled measured
drawing format.
2.5 Digital images of relevant site and building elements are
taken, where required, to assist in the development of
accurate scaled measured drawings.


4. Set up and use levelling devices to determine horizontal and vertical angles

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Basic tests on levelling devices' accuracy/adjustment are
performed to manufacturer specifications and temporary
adjustments to set up levelling devices are carried out
according to standard operating procedures.
4.2 Levelling devices are used to accurately determine (read)
both horizontal and vertical angles.
4.3 Levelling devices are used to accurately set out horizontal
4.4 Site is set out to specifications using a typical levelling
device and tape.
4.5 Results are recorded according to workplace procedures.

Learning Outcomes

This unit of competency supports the attainment of the skills and knowledge required by building designers to undertake a site survey and a site analysis for building projects within the context of relevant legislation, the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and Australian Standards.

Details of Learning Activities

Learning activities will take place in a studio, workshop or classroom using industry standard tools and resources. You will complete exercises and industry style projects. You will also be required to undertake independent study.

In class activities may include:

• lectures

• class exercises to review discussions/lectures
• practical demonstrations
• group discussion

• studio practice

Out of class activities may include:

• site visits (observations)

Teaching Schedule

Session WeekSession descriptionAssessment
Class 01• General introduction to the subject. Distribution and discussion on Subject Guides / Syllabus Outlines and timetables.

• Relevant information and document collection.

 Students participate in lecture and take notes

 Site Visit to RMIT Alumni
Court in preparation for Task 01

Class 02• Introduction to surveying equipment.
• Measuring distances with tape measures.
• Site Investigation and Existing Conditions Checklist
• Sketching, Measure and photographing the site

RMIT Alumni Court Observe site, look for
missing features (trees, benches, marquee etc) measure sizes & locations,

Prepare information from sketches, photos and measurements

Class 03• Property Investigation / Titles. Restrictions, covenants / easements etc.
• Certificate of Title Titles. Restrictions, covenants / easements etc.
• Care of equipment discussed.
 Titles and site plans. Land Vic, photography, existing conditions drawings
Class 04• Review and refine the interpretation of survey drawings
• Students will be asked to gather information
 Draw up missing features (trees, benches, marquee etc) and add to drawing at correct scale
Class 05• Review site plan & elevations 
Class 06

• Measure up your back yard at home, so that you have sufficient information to draw up a floor plan & elevationsfor next week class

 Site analysis / field data gathering

 Students will be asked to gather information on the physical characteristics of their back yard and obtaining photographic recordsSite analysis / field data assessment


Sketch in proportion and photograph

BIOMORPHIC Task 02 – measure and record on previous sketches

Class 07• Anaylise data from site measure and record

Measure and record on previous sketches

Class 08• Continued tutorial Prepare plan and elevation formal drawings
Class 09• Prepare to document a site plan drawing Prepare to document site plan drawing for House 001 project - Task 03
Class 10 • Continued tutorial 
Class 11 • Levelling lecture
• Introduction to surveying equipment.
• Set-up devices
• Adjust equipment
• Hands on use of survey equipment.

Practice levelling


Class 12 • Hands on use of survey equipment & measuring distances.
• Use levelling devices to obtain contours.
• Plot contours and levels.
• Prepare cut and fill drawings and documentation
 Levelling and recording
Class 13 • Prepare drawings and documentation from information obtained from site levelling and recording sessionRMIT COURTYARDS – Add levels to drawings and complete - Task 04
Class 14 • Review Session

 Submit completed surveys folio for assessment.

 Please note: While your teacher will cover all the material in this schedule, the weekly order is subject to change depending on class needs and availability of speakers and resources.

For detailed outline of the teaching schedule and course structure and current updates, you are advised to also refer to myRMIT.

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems and access to specialised facilities and relevant software. You will also have access of the library resources.

Overview of Assessment

This unit of competency could be assessed in the workplace or a close simulation of the workplace environment, provided that simulated or project-based assessment techniques fully replicate design drafting workplace conditions, materials, activities, responsibilities and procedures. Holistic or project-based assessment with other related units is recommended.

A person who demonstrates competency in this unit must be able to provide evidence of the ability to:
• comply with organisational policies and procedures, including OHS
• undertake a site survey and site analysis for residential building and/or commercial building projects, in compliance with the applicable local
government authority, relevant legislation and the Building Code of Australia (BCA)
• Produce measured drawings and other documentation detailing site information as determined by the project brief, organisational procedures and in compliance with the applicable local government authority.

Assessment Tasks

Task 01 RMIT Alumni Court Project - value 25%

Students will be required to take photographs of the Alumni Court, prepare sketches of existing features and obtain measurements in order to complete - as autocad drawings of  "existing conditions". 

Task 02 Biomorphic Project - value 25%

Students are to obtain site measurements and conduct a site analysis of their home and adjoining properties and prepare autocad drawings to scale of the information obtained in their survey. 

Task 03 House 001 Project - value 25%

Students are to prepare a full dimensioned and notated site plan for the House 001 project.

The above four (4) Tasks are to be combined and presented as a single PDF file to form a complete folio of all sketches / photos / drawings etc with a designed COVER page including your name and contents of the folio

Task 04 RMIT Courtyards Project - value 25%

Student are to obtain and record site levels, using level instruments of features in the RMIT Alumni courtyard. They are required to add the reduced levels and information on drawings that have already been produced in Task 01.

Assessment Matrix

An assessment matrix demonstrating alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant Unit of Competency is available from the course contact person (stated above).


Description Mark Result Range
High distinction HD H 80 - 100
Distinction DI D 70 - 79
Credit CR C 60 - 69
Pass PA P 50 - 59
Pass ( pass or fail subjects only ) PX P
Fail NN N <50

Other Information

Academic Progress:
At the end of each academic period individual student progress will be reviewed by the Student Academic Progress Review Committee and students will be advised of their eligibility for progression.

Student Charter:
The Student Charter, in association with the University’s statutes and law, indicates what the University and its students can expect from each other. The University’s mission is to create and disseminate knowledge to meet the needs of industry and the community and to foster in students the skills and passion to contribute to and engage with the world.

Student Responsibilities:
In undertaking this course students are required to be responsible for:
•The time management of the course work in order to complete all work requirements satisfactorily and on time.
•RMIT encourages students to attend all scheduled classes to optimise academic success.
•To ascertain what content or assessment has been missed, and gather the information prior to next class.
•To be proactive in mastering the academic material of the course by challenging, questioning and extending course outcomes.
•To be responsible for the maintenance of a non-disruptive and scholastic attitude in the learning environment.
See RMIT Academic progress information, responsibilities and support for current students:;ID=nzasms4pljer

Extension of Time for Submission of Assessable work Procedure:
Students must refer to the RMIT policy for eligibility and procedures.;ID=7usdbki1fjf31;STATUS=A?QRY=extension%20of%20time%20form&STYPE=ENTIRE

Equitable Assessment:
Students must refer to the RMIT policy for eligibility and procedures.;ID=id0959jyz9mx

Special Consideration:
Students must refer to the RMIT policy for eligibility and procedures.;ID=qkssnx1c5r0y

Assessment Principles:
Final assessment decisions can be reviewed and or appealed.
See RMIT Assessment Policies:

Employability skills:
Employability skills describe non-technical skills and competencies that are an important part of effective and successful participation in the workplace.
The following Employability Skills are an inherent part of this course:
Communication, Teamwork, Problem solving, Initiative and enterprise, Planning and organising, Self management, Learning and Technology.

Refer to the RMIT policy on plagiarism which is reference under Academic Integrity atRMIT;ID=kw02ylsd8z3n;STATUS=A?QRY=Plagiarism%20-%20student%20information&STYPE=ENTIRE

Course Overview: Access Course Overview