Designing a landscape is a process involving many layers and steps, both
subtle and bold. WCA's rigorous design process is relevant to projects
both large and small. Click on a box below to view details on a given phase.
Phase 1: Initial diagnostic analysis and investigation
Investigate, through readily available data, the opportunities and constraints
of a proposed project.
- Identify and prioritize client goals and intentions.
- Perform preliminary assessment of site.
- Draft initial project goals and objectives.
- Determine whether to continue the process (based on.?)
- Organize project process and form design team.
- Acquire site data through maps, photos, literature, regulatory requirements,
walking the site with the client, etc
- Identify critical priority issues and policies.
- Confirm development program and strategies with client.
- Articulate preliminary planning and design concepts.
- Prepare preliminary design cost magnitudes and strategies
Research missing information, and summarize data into
a form for use during the course of the project.
- Contact utilities, town offices, etc. for information on buried utilities,
legal and relevant regulatory information
- Plan the inventory and assessment process.
- Prepare base map or maps. A topographic survey is most often a separate and
- Perform physical area, site inventory, and analysis
- Determine approval requirements and consequent strategies.
Phase 2: Schematic planning and design concepts
Determine whether a particular concept is feasible based on the needs
of the client or users and the most evident physical, economic, political,
and legal constraints.
- Refine the preliminary program and alternatives.
- Establish design criteria and standards.
- Prepare conceptual or schematic plan or plans.
- Develop prototypical design studies.—what does this mean?
- Draw schemes in section, elevation, and/or axonometric view—to help both client
and designer see the plans from a third dimension.
- Run the numbers—calculate square feet, cubic yards, areas of change, materials
- Refine cost estimates (based on above).
- Test feasibility of important design elements.
Assess pros and cons of each concept.
- Test reaction of client (and contractors, engineers, permit authorities when advisable) to various concepts.
- Seek preliminary approvals for preferred concept.
Phase 3: Design Development Documents
Refine schematic plans into design development and construction documents,
and obtain final approvals.
- Prepare definitive site plans (building, and engineering plans by others).
- Assess legal and community planning implications.
- Perform sensitivity analysis of major assumptions.
- Complete construction documents such as the following: Landscape plans, planting
plans, layout or staking plans, earth work/grading and drainage plans, irrigation,
lighting, and construction details.
Phase 4: Preconstruction
Plan and organize the desired construction and management process to ensure maximum
control of quality and cost.
- Prepare preconstruction schedules.
Meet with potential bidders to review site and client needs and specifications
- Solicit bids within a predetermined process.
- Negotiate contracts with selected bidder(s).
- Award contracts.
Phase 5: Construction inspection services
The level of involvement and cost of construction oversight (??) can vary
widely depending on a number of factors. A project manager or clerk of the
works is needed to coordinate the work, particularly when a number of different
contractors are needed to complete specific tasks.
- Identify the existing elements of the site that will require protection, and
ensure measures are taken to protect them (e.g., key trees, existing utilities,
stone walls, etc.).
- Supervise and coordinate the construction process, including scheduling, reporting,
recording, inspecting, monitoring and controlling costs, and general administration.
- Accept plans, approve completed work, and authorize payments to contractors.