The design process typically begins with an initial design consultation and a client-designer interview. The consultation includes a site walk-through and site meeting identifying the project goals, program elements and the desired budget range for the landscape project. The interview helps guide the landscape architect and client through a series of questions intended to identify the client's preferences and priorities. We’ll discuss various possible ideas, goals and your vision for your property as well as what you can expect going forward. The information gathered at this meeting will provide the basis of the design proposal to follow.
Depending on the scope of the project the design process generally incorporates some, if not all, of the steps listed below. For small to moderate size projects the different steps may be combined and/or eliminated altogether.
Base plan preparation: For the design to be accurate, a base plan will need to be prepared. This base plan will usually start with a plot plan or survey. Elements such as existing trees and plant beds, out buildings, will be measured in the field to add to the base plan. The grades or elevation will need to be accessed and there may, or may not, be a need to 'shoot' the grades to identify drainage and grading issues for a accurate design plan.
Concept Schematic Plan / Master Plan: The concept phase of our landscape design project begins with a site inventory and site analysis of existing site features, opportunities and constraints. Using these tools and the information gathered during the interview phase, the designer will create a Conceptual Landscape Master Plan illustrating the landscape architect’s vision for the project. The goal is to produce a quick study of the property identifying alternative ideas and design objectives. When needed sketches, elevations, diagrams will address the various design options while keeping budget considerations for each approach in mind. If necessary a scaled landscape plan showing the major design elements will be drawn. These elements can include paving, water features and pools, fence and gates, walls and steps, patios, walkways, arbors, lighting landscape and plant beds. General layout and material will be indicated, however specific plant species will not be called out at this time. At this point a meeting with the owner is scheduled. At this meeting the design layout and materials are reviewed. Any changes to the design are incorporated into the final plan.
Design Development: Final Plan: Upon approval of the Concept Schematic Plan | Master Plan, the Design Development phase further develops the character and quality of the project. Depending on the complexity of the project, additional illustrated plans, elevations and perspective sketches may be prepared in order to convey the proposed landscape design improvements to the client.The final plan will be drawn up to reflect any changes that occurred from our meeting. This plan has enough information for a cost estimate to be generated from a landscape contractor. At this point the overall design is finished and if the owner wishes, specific landscape elements can be detailed for construction in the construction documents.
Planting Plans: Depending on the project SHD can provide final planting plans and planting specifications for the bidding and installation of landscape projects. Planting plans include individual plant 'call-outs' with a plant list noting quantities and sizes. SHD works with local nurseries and specialty growers to specify and procure mature, high quality plant material for our landscape design projects. Our extensive network of nursery professionals assures us competitive pricing for your projects and enable us to source difficult-to-find and unique trees, plants, and plant materials. We are often requested to hand-select plant material for our clientele.
Construction Documents: Construction documentation varies greatly project to project. Depending on the scope and complexity of the project they may be necessary, and included, as part of the design proposal.
Construction Observation | Administration: For construction of your project SHD can act as your general contractor or help you choose a qualified landscape contractor. In the case of a project being constructed by a landscape contractor, the owner may want the Landscape Architect to observe the construction process. These site visits will insure the project is kept true to the design intent and good construction techniques are being used. Construction observation | administration is typically not part of the design proposal and is separately billed on an hourly basis.