Functions of a Landscape Architect

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Functions of a Landscape Architect

The American Institute of Architects, founded in 1857 with 88,000 current members, has laid out an explanation of the services an Architect can provide for owners. Most people focus on "Design Services" via "Architectural Design Documentation" but there is usually a lot more required. Note that some of these items do not apply to residential construction but it is important to understand that an Architect is a potentially valuable resource and that as you choose one, you should consider which of these functions are important to you. As builders (BW does not employ architects), we can give you a second opinion on the the more technical items we believe you'll need to ensure project coherence and permitting approvals.

Take a look at the matrix below:

source: https://info.aia.org/blast_images/mrkt/brochure_wtw_yaya.pdf

source: https://info.aia.org/blast_images/mrkt/brochure_wtw_yaya.pdf

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Love your Landscape Designer!

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Love your Landscape Designer!

All of our work involves a Landscape Architect or Designer. This professional is hired by the client and is usually external to Bluewagon (Bluewagon is not a design/build firm).  These pro's are necessary to help with initial design as well as on-going issues and decisions.

However, some clients believe that once a design is complete, and construction is about to commence, that the architect or designer is no longer needed.  In most instances, it is a mistake to believe design is complete once construction begins. Despite the notion of a fully baked plan being in hand, there are a lot of work-in-progress decisions to be made and a lot of issues that a Designer/Architect is best equipped to solve.  It's not unusual for new field constraints to emerge or for clients to re-prioritize scope.  Further, although you think you are buying only design, you are also buying construction methodology and, in many cases, a coordinator of civil, structural, and geotechnical engineering.  Minimizing your Architect's or Designer's time will probably not save you money and may result in a incoherent aesthetic upon completion. 

So the reasons to hire an Architect/Designer and to retain them throughout construction are as follows:

  1. Initial Design, Plan, and Budget prioritization
  2. Hire and coordinate engineers or otherwise address technical problems 
  3. Create construction ready documents and plans
  4. Solve work-in-progress issues that arise in the field 
  5. Chose materials still undecided or subject to new budget priorities
  6. Inspect construction and advocate for quality
  7. Interface with engineers and permitting officials (if applicable)

If all else fails, call Spock :)

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Saving Diversity

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Saving Diversity

Seed banks exist all over the world. However, some very significant ones have been subject to political strife and subsequent destruction. Think Iraq and Afghanistan. 

The Norwegian government opened the Svalbard Global Seed Vault to protect the genetic diversity of the planet. The mass production of food has threatened this diversity - a diversity that may be critical under differing environmental conditions. 860,000 seeds and counting. A smart and inexpensive hedge against our past and present mistakes. 

More in this TED talk

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