Importance of SIR

A Brief Guide to SIR and Its Importance

The site investigation report, often referred to as SIR, is one of the more important steps in the commercial development process.  It offers a glimpse into the property, allowing the developer to decide if it’s the correct location for the project.


Site investigation is the process of collecting information on the proposed location; providing a complete and thorough analysis.

Site investigation reports help answer questions like “can the site be developed”, “what are the development restrictions”, “what is the timeframe for permitting”, and “how much will this cost”. 

A few items that can be included in an SIR: site history, planning and zoning, soil report, liquor license, signage, and utilities.


Site investigation goes through a 5-step process; desk study, site reconnaissance, site exploration, testing and reporting.   

“The process can be relatively straightforward or detail oriented,” says Chris Clayton, project manager at Commercial Site Design, whose experience includes Cook Out, Wendy’s, Hardee’s, and Taco Bell.  “It depends on the project and the location.”  

To provide an accurate picture of the property, project manager works with land surveyors and other professionals to do site reconnaissance and exploration.

After the research is complete, the project manager provides a detailed report outlining his/her findings and provides solutions to issues that might affect the development of the site.


Having a proper SIR allows clients and engineers to work together to resolve any issues that might slow down construction or eventually become a bigger problem.

On a recent project, one of Commercial Site Design’s quick-serve restaurant (QSR) clients wanted to build a location in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. 

Commercial Site Design performed an SIR on the client’s potential site and found a major issue with the location; a long-term creep of the retaining-wall soil was causing sinking of the land.  

Commercial Site Design provided a solution that allowed the client to build on the site.

By being proactive and doing a site investigation, Commercial Site Design and its QSR client were able to resolve an issue that could have potentially caused financial issues and structural damage.  

To have a successful development that minimizes issues, it is important to get accurate data before the construction process.  In a study by Florida International University, insufficient data collection, surveys, and site’s topography were among the top reasons for delays in construction.    

If you have concerns about a project or want to talk more about site investigation reports, Commercial Site Design can help.  Email Commercial Site Design at