Site Design


Service Overview

The Site Design Group at raSmith has a long history and an excellent reputation of working on private sector development projects locally, regionally, and nationally since the 1970s. With 42 civil design professionals, we have the experience and depth to be a valued partner to our development clients, and we approach our projects with a real estate mindset by turning “unknowns” into “knowns.” We are a team of experienced engineering design consultants comprised of all the disciplines necessary to bring a project from concept through completion in a manner that is beneficial, creative, and cost effective for our clients.

We take responsibility to lead the site design, permitting, and entitlement process to assist our clients in making critical decisions throughout the duration of a project. Our ability to collaborate with architects and contractors and our understanding of site construction enables us to explore a wide variety of solutions to any given development project, big or small, locally or nationally.

Our site design staff provides a continuum of services from due diligence through construction administration. Our in-house resources enable us to tap a wide variety of disciplines, including land surveyinglandscape architecturestructural engineeringtraffic analysisstormwater managementwetland delineationLiDAR (3D laser scanning) and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) servicesraSmith’s applications of civil site design include community, office, residential, sports, recreationalretaileducationalgovernmenthealth careindustrialsenior living, and hospitality facilities.

Why Use raSmith As Your Engineering Design Consultants?

The Site Design Group is a team of experienced designers comprised of all the disciplines necessary to bring a project from concept through completion in a manner that is beneficial, creative, and cost effective for our clients.

We take a multi-step approach to evaluate a client’s project goals to meet their standards — and exceed their expectations.

  • Site planning. We make sure all stakeholders are comfortable with the overall bulk of the proposed development and ability to fit on the undeveloped or redeveloped site. A creative, smart site plan will narrow down the list of likely users/tenants and enable the real estate deal to progress. Critical site planning aspects include:
    • Attention to existing improvements/tenants to remain
    • Environmentally sensitive areas
    • Environmentally hazardous areas
    • Visibility
    • Stormwater requirements
    • Zoning
    • Site access
    • Internal site operations
    • Building fire rating
  • Preliminary site assessment. We determine any potential pitfalls that could undermine the project. A site visit and meeting with authorities having jurisdiction will provide extensive insight as to how the onsite, offsite, and building approval and construction process are interrelated. Additionally, a review of the available geotechnical, title commitments, and environmental reports may also be performed to supplement the process.
  • Due diligence. We confirm the project “unknowns” by collecting development information and performing any remaining agency-specific follow up. At a minimum, the physical due diligence includes:
    • Title
    • Survey
    • Phase 1 ESA
    • Wetland delineation
    • Preliminary traffic report
    • Geotechnical investigation
    • Water supply analysis
  • Entitlements. We prepare construction drawings for building improvements and obtain all necessary construction permits for the building/site entitlements. Extra effort is made to ensure that any changes made to the budget, bid, and awarded contract drawings during the entitlement phase are clear and concise, and that all construction drawings capture agency comments and conditions of approval.
  • Construction start. We secure all necessary non-discretionary approvals in a timely manner to ensure that construction starts promptly.
  • Construction completion. We make sure the facility user can obtain the required certificate of occupancy to complete the interior buildout and ultimately open for business by the grand opening date. By monitoring the building construction progress, we will identify any requirements and notify the team in advance to ensure there are no delays.
  • Operation restriction site plan. We outline the new facility’s operating procedures in a visual, scalable exhibit for facility/operations managers. The plan addresses key items including:
    • Employee parking areas
    • Operation hours
    • Delivery time
    • Delivery route
    • Signage
    • Water quality structure maintenance
    • Lease line
    • Access points
    • Detention pond maintenance
    • Snow storage area
    • Landscape maintenance
    • Outdoor sales
  • Quality control. We also use a multi-step quality control (QC) process, in which every project is reviewed by the assigned engineer, senior engineer, and project manager to ensure accuracy. This QC process and our overall project approach help reduce project unknowns, minimize costs, and maintain the integrity of the design and operations for a successful project.

Service Features

  • Civil engineering
  • Stormwater management
  • Site planning
  • Entitlements & approvals
  • Site due diligence
  • Construction administration
  • Feasibility studies

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