LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN beautifies our built environment and helps define a place, whether it’s a public roadway, a shopping center, a school, a church, or any other type of development. Just about every type of community improvement includes a landscaping component as mandated by local building codes.
Many times, pavements are impacted by the design and maintenance of the adjacent landscaping. For example, PEI has identified countless instances of underlying tree roots causing pavement to crack or buckle, which ultimately allows moisture to infiltrate the base and subgrade. Overwatering, caused by irrigation runoff, is another common problem that leads to premature raveling and degradation of pavement surfaces.
Landscape design also can have a positive effect on site pavement and can even be a tool to address ecological or environmental concerns. For example, proper selection and spacing of trees adjacent to or within a parking lot or roadway can help decrease the ambient heat gain from the paved surface, which reduces energy and resource consumption. Some landscape materials are a long-term solution to counter the effects of erosion and sediment loss. Landscaped (or grassy) drainage swales, which are becoming more common in parking lot projects, are designed to reduce surface runoff into existing storm drain systems and capture pollutants before they enter our waterways. Some types of parking lots can even be designed with a porous grassy surface that doesn’t require an underground storm drain system and yet is strong enough to support vehicles as large as fire engines.
PEI has designed or been involved in numerous projects with a landscaping component, including existing landscapes, new site developments, renovation of existing commercial sites, streetscape designs, roadway median construction, public art installations and site beautification projects. We are knowledgeable in plant materials and planting design, principles of irrigation design installation and maintenance, soils preparation and ongoing health management, and surface dressing materials and placement.