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What Is the Relationship Between a Site Plan & a Site Layout: Similarities & Differences?

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The site layout is usually a part of the site plan. Contractors must plan all aspects of the construction process so they do not experience conflicts between two aspects, such as the placement of a building and the route supply trucks must travel to reach it. The site layout is the part of the construction plan that focuses mostly on the physical space of the construction site.

Planning Stages

The site layout is usually drawn up during the early planning stages of a construction project, to avoid increasing travel times needed to move people and resources to and from facilities and to avoid conflicts between different parts of the construction process. However, contractors often neglect to include the site layout in the initial planning.


The site layout is the space allocated for storing materials, workspace, access areas for emergency services and areas where people and machinery circulate. The layout must be set up so the contractors can get the right machinery to the best position. The materials must be stored in a way that makes them easily accessible while not getting in the way of the overall site circulation.


The site plan is the series of procedures the construction contractors plan to follow to construct the building. It must include all the supplies the contractors need, as well as the specific activities that must be completed to successfully construct the project. The final construction carried out by the contractors is the realization of the plans created by the engineers and architects. All of these factors cannot be coordinated effectively without a site layout.

Site Conditions

Before beginning the project, the workers must understand the conditions the particular components will be placed under. For example, the specifications of a roof in the arctic will be different than in the desert. Also, the construction plan must factor in conditions that will influence the construction process, such as local laws, labor availability and weather forecasts. The site plan changes depending on advances in technology and changes in market demand. For example, some supplies become cheaper or more expensive depending on their demand. Conditions can also influence the site layout. For example, weather can make certain areas of the site unusable, forcing contractors to operate in other parts of the site.

Graphical Representation

The site plan has an arrow that indicates north, so the contractors understand where each object in the plan is located in relation to the actual job site. The site plan must also include the scale of the drawing. Property lines must be clearly identified in the plan so the contractors know the boundaries of where they can operate. The plan must also include adjacent streets and any easements. Computer Aided Drafting is usually used to plan the site layout by creating visual representations of the construction site, so the contractors can determine whether anything will get in the way of the overall construction process.


Chuck Robert specializes in nutrition, marketing, nonprofit organizations and travel. He has been writing since 2007, serving as a ghostwriter and contributing to online publications. Robert holds a Master of Arts with a dual specialization in literature and composition from Purdue University.