When designing your commercial construction project, landscaping may not be at the forefront of your vision or planning. It is one aspect that is often not thought of when planning a commercial construction project. Most owners like you, focus on creating a space that will increase productivity and one that fits into your budget. However, landscaping is a critical part of any development project. It is a requirement by local ordinance, can be a significant part of the budget, and will entail annual maintenance. Designing your landscaping properly can save on costs, reduce maintenance, and provide curbside appeal.
The following are a few reasons why Landscaping is required:
- Contributes aesthetics
- Increases development quality, the stability of property values
- Promotes public health and welfare
- Preserves quality mature trees
- Minimizes negative impacts of stormwater runoff
Consider these 5 items when designing your landscaping plan:
When designing a landscaping plan there are several considerations to take into account, including the location of overhead and underground utilities. Certain species of landscaping grow tall, others grow wide or may have deep root structures. Evergreen trees provide landscaping buffers. If planted too close together they can overcrowd an area. This can cause the trees to compete for water and as a result, they do not survive. Be sure to ask your landscape architect or contractor about species, sizes, and locations prior to approving a landscape plan.
There are many different species of trees, shrubs, and perennials. Not all species are suitable for certain geographic areas. The United States and Canada are divided into 11 hardiness zones based on the average annual minimum temperature. Southeast Michigan is considered zone 5. Evaluation of a plant’s suitability in your particular zone is critical to the plant’s survival. It is also crucial for protecting your investment.
Native and Non-Native Plants
Plants native to a geographic area are most likely suitable for the extreme temperature fluctuations and drought conditions in an area. Native plants typically have deeper root structures to maintain access to water in drought conditions in the summer and tolerate freezing temperatures in the winter. Non-native plants can also thrive in landscaping designs. You will want to consider the tolerance of the plant species to avoid overwatering and replacing because of low survival rates.
Soils vary from property to property. In one location there may be sandy soils that evergreen trees will thrive in, while in other locations the soils are clay and evergreen trees can struggle to survive. Soil amendments are an option and can provide more suitable soils for landscaping or infiltration. Additional costs will apply when making adjustments to the soil. Evaluate soils when determining where to place buildings, stormwater facilities, and landscaping.
When designing a landscape plan maintenance can sometimes be overlooked, as it is not a requirement. Once the landscaping is installed there are watering needs, irrigation systems that require maintenance, weeding, fertilizing, mulching, trimming, and mowing. Plan for an annual evaluation of the plants’ health and replace plants as needed. Reducing areas that require weekly mowing and watering can reduce costs, although it may increase the cost of weeding, mulching, and trimming.
Every government entity has different requirements, so be sure to work with your consultant to develop a landscape plan suitable for your unique needs.