The first steps in assessing the impact of a tower design on the surrounding environment is to determine the Landscape Context - the description of the physical features in the area surrounding where the tower is proposed to be built.
There are 8 identifying characteristics which are identified according to the definitions below:
Natural: Landscapes dominated by large areas of native vegetation (tree, shrubs and grasses), unmodified landforms (hills, creeks and cliffs), with an absence of human impact or development.
Agricultural: Modified landscape defined by fields and paddocks, isolated trees and development associated with agricultural practices (sheds, farmhouses, fencing, pipelines, powerlines and roads).
Residential: Developed areas of land comprised of single and double storey dwellings, road boundary treatments (fences, hedges and walls) and formal landscape elements (tree avenues and ornamental gardens).
Open space: Open areas of land associated with development, providing opportunities for unstructured and structured recreation and comprising trees, planting areas, playgrounds and sportsgrounds.
Industrial: Land dominated by warehouses, sheds and other infrastructure associated with manufacturing processes.
Mixed use: Land use associated with urban areas, consisting of a mixture of development forms such as commercial, residential and industrial that vary in size from larger double storey buildings to city scale built form.
Flat: Landscape areas with no apparent change in level.
Undulating: Areas with small variations in land form, including mounds, creek lines, embankments and shallow slopes.
Moderate variation: Pronounced level changes and defined topographic features comprising of hills, valleys, slopes and escarpments.
Steep variations: Major topographic variations with significant level changes creating a landscape punctuated with large hills, steep slopes, escarpments and incised watercourses
Small scale, low density: Single or isolated development within large blocks or areas of land
Medium scale: Single and double storey development within smaller defined landscape areas or blocks
Large scale/industry: Large building mass relative to surrounding land, creating a large building footprint.
City scale:: Increased height and frequency of built form with an absence of open space and dominance of development.
Uniform: The interface between sky and the adjacent roof-lines, tree tops of ridgelines (‘the line between the sky and the ground’) exhibits little variation with few changes in angle, frequency, rhythm or scale.
Variable: The impact of different building forms, tree heights and other elements combine to create a dynamic skyline with continually changing angles, forms and scales.
Open: Locations or sites that have no buildings or infrastructure surrounding the locality creating a panoramic visual character (e.g. parks or fields).
Fragmented boundaries: The presence of some buildings provide screening of, and glimpsed views to, surrounding localities, creating a varied visual character of filtered views (e.g. residential street, school or shopping centre).
Enclosed: The locality or site is predominantly enclosed by the surrounding built form, which defines the containment of the site (e.g. city streets, urban square or plaza)
None: There is a complete absence of vegetation, either trees or shrubs.
Isolated: Constituting individual and small copses (groups) of trees such as field trees or garden trees.
Tree groups: A collection of trees within one area, consistent with street trees, avenues, windbreak tree planting and small woodlands (a 5-10 tree group).
Woodlands and forests: Large areas of exotic, semi-natural and natural vegetation as such forestry plantations and native bush land.
None: No pieces of telecommunication equipment exist in relation to the site or locality.
Isolated: Occasional pieces of equipment are evident within the area, seen as isolated objects.
Groups of elements: A collection of telecommunication equipment that form notable elements in the landscape.
Uniformity (harmony): The colour and colouration of the locality is considered uniform with a single colour, hue or range of colours (e.g. browns) dominating the area.
Mixed (complementary): A variety of colours exist within the locality that are similar in relation to tone (e.g. light colours) or are complementary (e.g. creams and browns).
Mixed: The colours of the area are different and/or discordant creating a variable colouration of the area (e.g. pink, blue and green)
These characteristics provide the ASDF Framework with input s as to the type of environment in which the tower design must exist. The characteristics are then used to establish design guidelines which outline the preferred design choices for the environment.