Landscape Architecture Adds Value
Invest in your property and quality of life
Why should you select a Landscape Architect for your project? A landscape architect provides services in four primary areas:
- Land assessment
- Site planning
- Construction document preparation
- Project coordination and management
In most states, the practice of landscape architecture is regulated and may only be practiced by a licensed landscape architect. The primary focus of licensing is the requirement to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public by considering the interests of the public as well as the interests of individual clients and contractors. A landscape architect:
- must meet stringent formal education requirements from an accredited college or university.
- must complete a period of practical experience under the supervision of a licensed landscape architect.
- must successfully complete a comprehensive licensing examination.
- is bound by a code of ethics and professional conduct rules.
You will also encounter various other members of the landscape community. They include landscape designers, nurseries, general landscape contractors, and specialty landscape contractors (lighting, irrigation, ponds, etc.). They may all become part of your project team, but the landscape architect should be the team's primary designer and leader. Landscape designers are qualified to design gardens and plantings, not provide site engineering, master planning or construction and structural design details. They are not licensed and regulated, and are not subject to the rigorous education and training required of landscape architects. A landscape contractor specializes in construction and installation—not the design process.
Before you make a decision regarding who you will trust with your vision and your investment, make sure that your designer:
- Is truly a professional—verify that they are registered/licensed to practice landscape architecture. Ask about their education, experience, professional associations and continuing professional development. Many jurisdictions require landscape plans and details to be sealed/stamped by a licensed landscape architect.
- Has the knowledge and experience to provide the design services and results that they promise—review portfolios and check references.
- Focuses on site assessment and technical details—discuss the critical aspects of site engineering and the designer's technical capabilities. A project designed without proper site analysis and engineering can cause significant problems for the contractors as well as future site problems. Remember, the devil is in the details.
- Will be able to see your project through to completion. Are they experienced and capable to provide project administrative and management services? Can they provide construction details and technical support to the contractors? Will you be available and capable to manage the project yourself?
- Is properly insured—they should carry both general and professional liability insurance.
Using the services of a landscape architect ensures that your project will be completed in a professional and creative manner.
Find out more about the profession of Landscape Architecture from the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA); the Council of Landscape Architecture Review Boards (CLARB); and the Landscape Architecture Foundation.