|“The quality of site design represents a significant federal investment and should, wherever possible, make a positive contribution to the surrounding urban, suburban, or rural landscape in terms of conservation, community design and improvement efforts, local economic development and planning, and environmentally responsible practices."
P-100, Facilities Standards for the Public Building Service
The primary audience for this Site Selection Guide is GSA’s real estate and design professionals and the customer agencies. A secondary audience for this guide comprises the many stakeholders in the site acquisition process, including other members of the government, as well as GSA’s partners. This guide will be used by individuals possessing a wide range of site acquisition, site selection, and design knowledge.
GSA has broad discretion in selecting sites for public buildings under 40 U.S.C. § 3304. This guide provides an outline for the entire site selection process. It is a menu of best site selection practices, GSA experience, and recommendations. Suggestions include who the participants should be, what roles they play, when the various activities of the process occur, and where the requirements can be found. GSA recognizes that every site selection is unique and that the required activities vary for every project.
This guide encourages best practices for site selection in order to ensure completeness and consistency nationwide, to address the needs of the customer and the community, and to work toward a healthy environment. It is based on the premise that site selection is the first step toward responsible development. Most important, the Site Selection Guide is a tool for finding the most appropriate sites from economic, programmatic, and policy perspectives.
|“The choice and development of the building site should be considered the first step of the design process. This choice should be made in cooperation with local agencies. Special attention should be paid to the general ensemble of streets and public places of which federal buildings will form a part. Where possible, buildings should be located so as to permit a generous development of landscape."
Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D–NY) deceased
Benefits of Using the Site Selection Guide
By following the steps and suggestions in this guide, the user can:
- Ensure that the selected site is viable for the intended federal facility;
- Reduce the risk of unanticipated difficulties and their impact in terms of schedule and expense;
- Manage expectations among participants and increase understanding of the site selection process; and
- Encourage innovation and creativity in the site selection process while incorporating existing precedents and industry wide best practices.
Tools and Resources
This guide includes useful tools and resources, such as simplified process charts, comprehensive checklists, project examples, sample worksheets, and examples, to illustrate the recommendations and suggestions. The following are some of the innovations in the guide:
- Roles and responsibilities chart for GSA team members and contractors;
- Checklists of evaluation criteria;
- Strategies for interactions and communications with customer agencies and community stakeholders;
- Summary of major federal laws, executive orders, regulations, and GSA directives;
- List of resources for site selection expertise, including GSA website sources and professional associations;
- Summary of the NEPA process as it relates to the site selection process; and a
- Troubleshooting guide that contains the answers to frequently asked questions about the site selection process.