Finding the Right Landscape Architect is Critical
Whether you’re the property owner, general contractor, or developer, selecting the right landscape architect to draw up plans for your property can have a big impact on the overall success and profitability of your project.
Your landscape architect isn’t just someone to create compliant plans, but also someone you’ll be relying on to ensure the integrity of your project. They have the knowledge and nuanced experience necessary to guide outside space and landscape construction through regulatory mazes, while also optimizing the use of budget, resources, and other intangibles.
To help you select the best landscape architect for your next build, here are five ways they can bring value to your project.
1. Knowledge of Local Code & Ordinances
The right landscape architect will have a deep knowledge of local ordinances and codes. This knowledge helps your project to stay compliant, saving precious time and resources that would otherwise have been spent making build corrections or handling legal delays. Proactive compliance also keeps you on the best possible terms with local authorities and other project stakeholders, leading to an overall smoother development process.
A rule of thumb when it comes to choosing the landscape architect that will best guide your project around local legal pitfalls is to hire a professional that is local to the site. No matter how fancy another architect’s track record might be, the local architect will almost always have a more thorough understanding of the local permitting environment, leading to a more successful outcome.
2. Understanding of Local Ecology
The right landscape architect for your project will have a thorough understanding of how local wildlife, plants, and weather will impact completed landscaping on site.
While a good architect might design a landscape that works within the environment, the best architect for your project will produce a design that preserves, elevates, augments, and integrates perfectly within the local ecological system. Successfully pulling this off will greatly increase efficiency, boost long-term sustainability, and decrease maintenance costs.
Additionally, a truly eco-conscious design can make your project eligible for grants, tax breaks, and other incentives that improve profitability and community sentiment towards your project.
As with local codes and ordinances, it’s always best practice to choose a local landscape architect. A local architect will have the most complete possible knowledge of and interest in local ecology.
3. Resourceful Material Procurement
Your landscape architect can save you money, while also elevating the completed landscape, by incorporating materials that can be sourced locally. This not only decreases shipping costs, but also connects your project’s success to the local economy and even culture.
If your project is being designed with the end-user in mind, incorporating locally sourced and recognizable materials, such as art pieces or a locally quarried stone, can generate an emotionally connected experience that generic materials simply can’t. An emotional connection has been shown to greatly increase the use of a product or space. This means the overall success of your project, measured by actual engagement and use by the end-user, can be greatly impacted just by using locally sourced materials selected by the right landscape architect.
4. An Eye for Style
The design ability of your landscape architect is critical—making the right decision can have a big impact on the longevity of your project’s landscapes. When evaluating landscape architects, be sure to look through their portfolios and speak with them about their design philosophy. The architect you choose needs to be up to the challenge of delivering the right look for your project’s outdoor space.
A skilled landscape architect will be up to date on the latest trends, spanning locally, nationally, and even internationally, while also delivering creativity and a uniqueness to their designs. It’s no easy feat to design something which is not only modern, but also timeless, all while staying within the scope of the project’s brief.
5. Maximize Profit by Hiring the Right Landscape Architect
As we’ve outlined above, choosing the right landscape architect for your project can have a massive impact on the success and profitability of your project, so it’s not a decision to make lightly.
When selecting a landscape architect via bid, as most projects choose or are required to do, it can be tempting to simply select the landscape architect who comes in lowest. However, this approach can backfire when the selected landscape architect doesn’t have the local knowledge, experience, or expertise to properly provide value to your project.
Missed deadlines, local ordinance or code compliance issues, lack of community support, post-bid cost increases, not to mention a visually poor or unsustainable end result, can all be a result of selecting the wrong landscape architect for your development.
Each project is unique, so make sure the landscape architect you select is the one that can bring the most value to your specific project to maximize end profitability, rather than just charge the smallest amount. Use the bidding process as an opportunity to weigh up everything each architect can bring to the table, and set you and your project up for success!