A Comparative Analysis of Three Story Buildings


The comparative analysis was presented to the ABR and HLC in 2005 for potential use by Architects. The Boards authorized the use of this technical guide to assist in the preparation of supplemental studies on size, bulk and scale. We could add the following introduction on the use of this technical guide.

A study titled "A Comparative Analysis of Three Story Buildings for Downtown Santa Barbara with Respect to Size, Bulk and Scale" is available for use by building designers and architects. It was completed by William Mahan, AIAE, with some assistance and review from Planning Staff. The study analyzes eight local buildings constructed in downtown Santa Barbara for the purpose of comparing height, length, elevation, perspective floor-to-floor heights, and relative scale of architectural elements.

The purpose of this analysis is to provide visual and comparative tools that can be used to evaluate proposed new building designs. These tools include Setback Evaluation Analysis, Vertical Envelope Analysis, Elevation Area Analysis, and Perspective Analysis.

The proposed size, mass, bulk, and scale of buildings (in particular those that are three or more stories high) are scrutinized by the general public and it is important that all the tools available be utilized to allow review bodies to make their decisions based on ordinances and plans in force.