Thus, planning is the process of particularizing and, ultimately, of harmonizing the demands of environment, use, and economy. This process has a cultural as well as a utilitarian value, for in creating a plan for any social activity the architect inevitably influences the way in which that activity is performed.
The architect usually begins to work when the site and the type and cost of a building have been determined.
The arrangement of the axes of buildings and their parts is a device for controlling the effects of sun, wind, and rainfall. The sun is regular in its course; it favours the southern and neglects the northern exposures of buildings in the Northern Hemisphere, so that it may be captured for heat or evaded for coolness by turning the axis of a plan toward or away from it.