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Landscape Design: Get Managers Involved

landscape design, irrigation systems, hardscapes, turf

This is Chris Matt, Associate Editor of Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today’s tip is grounds managers’ involvement in landscape design.

Ideally, grounds managers would be involved throughout the landscape design and construction phases. But if managers encounter resistance to their involvement, they need to be ready to give concrete examples of poor designs from the past, actual dollars spent to remedy those faults, and options that would have prevented the problem.

Organizations often bring in landscape architects who might be unfamiliar with local conditions. Managers should look at the design and voice possible concerns about the following items:
• garbage or recycling vehicle access
• the ability to remove snow without damaging plants or hardscapes
• possible problems with building overhangs and plants drying out during winter without irrigation
• and plants located too close to lights or sidewalks, resulting in frequent pruning.

Managers also need to make sure the irrigation design and components line up with facilities’ long-term irrigation goals. A review of tree and shrub planting details, sod specifications and conditions, and mulch requirements will help determine if they are appropriate for the area.

Changes in specifications are easier in the design phase and relatively inexpensive to make. Some revisions during design will mean higher construction costs, but managers can counter them with a cost-saving change, which exists on almost every project.

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