What Every Layperson Should Understand About Engineering A New Landscape

Whether you're a homeowner, a city council member, or a commercial entrepreneur, if you're initiating the design of a new landscape, understanding some of the terminology and planning basics can help you make informed and smart contributions during the process. Most laypeople hire civil engineers and other landscaping professionals to handle anything involved in outdoor overhauls and therefore don't get involved in the logistics of planning, but understanding the basics can allow you to participate in designing something that fully meets your particular needs. So whether you want to reclaim territory, optimize symbiotic components of design, or change existing topography, there are a few things you should know about engineering any outdoor addition.  

There Are Many Players

Knowing the different players in landscape architecture can help you hire consultants or contractors that specialize in a field relative to planning and development. Though a landscaper is a well-known example of an individual capable of shaping a new outdoor addition, there are a few other people you should concern yourself when you're still in the infancy stages of design:

  • Architects: There are both structural and landscape architects to consult if you are interested in having the best idea of where living and non-living additions should be located. Architects help design around what you have and what you're interested in including in your design, and they can give you an idea of how best to meet the demands of historical accuracy and vegetation placement.
  • Civil Engineers: Civil engineers are a powerhouse of design strength, owing to extensive education and training in incorporating architectural, geological, and infrastructure into a design. Civil engineers, like those from Morris-Depew Associates Inc, must take everything into consideration when designing, including utility inclusions, urban atmosphere, beneficial locations for stable foundations (as well as future growth), and maintenance considerations.
  • Planners: Planners have distinct training, but not in architectural or engineering design. Instead, planners are versed in the needs of urban growth and development, or societal engineering on a broad scale. If you're designing a large outdoor inclusion, one that affects neighboring territories or a corporate landscape that should meet certain planning requirements, consulting with a planner can help you on the way.

There Are Many Variables

Understand that soil samples, ground structure, underlying resources, and reclamation can affect how a landscape is designed. You should also know that your requests and these variables go hand-in-hand, as both are crucial to implementing a landscape design that will work for your budgetary and design needs. Before you opt for designing what you envision, you need to ask an engineer what the geology, topography, available resources (like groundwater), and reclamation of land entail. Reclamation can be necessary in areas that have been damaged by previous engineering attempts, as well as areas that are unsuitable for required inclusions, like basins, fields, or structural additions.