CHAPTER 6: SITE DESIGN
It is paramount to considering the context in which the center and its
associated play yard are located. The designer must realize that the building
is rarely an object alone. Rather, the primary objective of the site and
exterior design should be to enhance the existing context. This is an
essential good neighbor action for the Federal Government. This aspect of
the design must be addressed at the concept level.
This chapter provides concepts and criteria for site design
6.2 Entry & Circulation
and design of the play yards. It identifies the general types of
outdoor areas required, discusses the relationships of these
areas to other outdoor and indoor spaces, and provides de-
6.2.1 Entry Approach:
tailed criteria for materials, features, furnishings, and equip-
The Center's design should incorporate a point of reference or landmark
ment required in these spaces.
that serves as a welcome and a transition. The center entrance should be
separated from the main entrances to the building and to service areas, if
6.1 Concepts for Site Design
possible. This may be a requirement of the FPS security assessment and
should be coordinated at the beginning of the design process.
The conceptual site design for child care centers must be integrated into
A transition, such as a porch, is desirable at the main entry. This could be
the design of the overall site, including vehicular and pedestrian movement,
combined with a covered walkway to connect with short-term parking, for
parking, entry, service points, and constructed or landscape features. In
protection from inclement weather.
designing the total site, particularly for new construction, reduce the
In cold climates, there must be a canopy (or a recess) at required egress
doors to ensure that doors can completely open without obstruction from
The site must be designed according to general site design principles
snow and ice.
contained in the latest edition of GSA's Facility Standards for the Public
Buildings Service including orientation, grading and landscape form,
Drop-off areas must be arranged so that an adult can remove a child from
aesthetics, construction, plant material selection, lighting, signage, and
the pedestrian side and proceed directly to the center without crossing
amenities. Before the site for the center and its playground are selected,
traffic or crossing in front of or behind vehicles.
the soil must be tested for the presence of dangerous contaminants such
as lead and PCB's. Coordinate with, and follow the direction of the GSA
regional environmental safety personnel to ensure that the site is
Short-term parking should be provided for parents bringing their children to
environmentally safe for children. The site should continue to be monitored,
the center. There must be accommodation for the disabled to park in this
as per the direction of the environmental safety staff, to ensure that it does
area. A sufficient number of parking spaces are needed to allow parents
not become subsequently contaminated, especially by lead. This is
time for brief conversations with teachers while they are in the center (see
particularly a concern in urban areas or where there is a heavy concentration
formula on next page). Short-term parking for the center should be
of automobiles or industrial facilities. Also proposed playground locations
separated from other tenant parking and located as close to the center as
adjacent to old structures which may be painted with lead paint or contain
possible. However, its location must also be consistent with security as
other hazards should be investigated.
defined by the FPS security assessment of the site.
Five conceptual areas of site design relating to child care centers include:
a) Entry and Circulation; b) Parking; c) Service; d) Safety and security; and
e) Play Yards.
PBS-140 - July 2003