OUR PROCESS Whether we are working on a small residential yard or a larger institutional campus, the process is generally the same:
FIRST CONTACT We will have an initial consultation, a phone call or meeting, during which we have a conversation with the client about their project including location, size, initial ideas, uses, budget, and timeline. Larger projects that may be associated with the government may provide a document that includes important information about the project and those who are involved. It is important to consider at this time if their are special restrictions on the project site such as wetlands.
After the client has provided the information the landscape architect will prepare a proposal outlining the scope of the work, deliverables, who will assist in the design of the project (architecture, engineer, surveying, arborist, horticulturalist, water feature consultant, lighting designer, etc.), an outline of the possible timeline, and a fee structure. We typically will set our projects up as hourly not to exceed a maximum, unless there is an amended proposal prepared for additional work outside of the scope.
RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS After we have received a signed contract, we will begin to review the project. This includes reviewing notes from the initial consultation, discussing the project with relevant professionals to ensure a clear understanding of ideas and scopes. Research government requirements, wetland restrictions, local flora, concerns of invasives, adjacent neighbors or properties, etc. We will visit the site to take a site inventory and analysis usually using a survey plan (provided by client or surveyor). We walk the site to have a clear understanding of architecture, vegetation, terrain, current use patterns, site orientation, sun, shade, noise, wind, water, soil, etc.
CONCEPTUAL DESIGN This is where the fun begins ! The goal of this phase is to provide the client with a clear understanding of the proposed design concept: spatial arrangements of all site components, massing of plants, program and use of areas, any grading necessary to maintain water management and drainage and overall aesthetic. Projects of varying scales have varying output at this point. No matter what the scale of the project there is likely a number of options and some reiterations and then a final concept drawing. Client and / or community involvement contributes to how much time this phase of the project takes. The agreed upon proposal will outline what is expected. The ability of the client or client audience to understand a design in plan may lead to further development of the idea in different formats (perspective sketch views, 3d models, precedent images, material boards etc). It is during this phase of the project that documents required for planning approval (town permitting, historic district commission, environmental review, etc. would take place.
DESIGN DEVELOPMENT The initial concept is developed to provide the client with a greater understanding of the design. The ideas are developed in more detail to ensure that the concept design is achievable and will meet the clients needs.
CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENTATION Plans, sections, schedules, construction details, quantities and a specification for landscape construction companies to price and build the project are prepared.
CONSTRUCTION ADMINISTRATION The client may request that the landscape architect manage the project which can include full site supervision or can be several inspections and approval of construction, approvals of payments, approvals of variations.