I started and built my business with my passion to envision landscape ideas and see them through to construction, exactly as they were created in my head during the schematic development. Design-Build occupies a niche in the field of Landscape Architecture. It allows my team and me to channel all of our strengths and direct them towards creating and building amazing spaces for our clients. As one of the premier landscape design build firms in the Bay Area, we have the knowledge and infrastructure to take on complicated projects from the beginning to end.
Our Design-Build model is successful for many reasons, and below are just a few that support that success.
Image Source: Marion Brenner
Match the Construction with the Idea
When one envisions a space from nothing or from something not so attractive, one must be able to transfer that vision onto paper. Design Studios can easily use the available topographical and site survey information and develop that plan exactly as they envision. But if the idea “creator” is not involved or present during the implementation, there is a good chance the idea can get lost, or slightly altered. Below are two before-after images of a site transformation.
Image Source: Terra Ferma Landscapes – Mountain Home Modern
The plans for this transformation were developed to an extreme detail. During the actual implementation and construction, unexpected site constraints, in combination with the grades indicated on the plan, necessitated a modification to what was actually intended to be constructed. The end product, which differed from what was depicted on our plans, turned out to be far superior and truly delivered the initial “Concept” we were trying to achieve. Our ability to make quick Field Decisions during the construction, avoided many project delays and unnecessary grading plan revisions. This experience, which undoubtedly occurs on almost every project, supports our model for a holistic and embraced approach to Design-Build in Landscape Architecture.
Match the Quality to Client Expectations
What defines superior quality and craftsmanship? One can say it is in the eye of the beholder. One person’s vision of a hand-crafted stone wall might differ from another’s. With a Design-Build approach, expectations are set and managed at an early stage so that the quality expected matches the quality delivered. This can be done by using images, reviewing and holding physical samples, developing drawing details, and building actual mock-ups. Below images are of stone walls built for two different clients.
Image Source: Terra Ferma Landscapes – Calistoga Estate
Image Source: Terra Ferma Landscapes – Outdoor Comfort
Both walls match exactly what the client wanted and expected and all parties were very satisfied. However, they are two completely different walls at two diverse projects. At Terra Ferma Landscapes, we thrive on setting expectations early, and ensuring we deliver on them precisely, down to the last little stone detail.
Match the Plans with the Budget
When our initial concepts are developed during the Schematic Phases of design, we work hard at exploring new ideas and pushing our designs for reactions and maximizing the potential for site development. This can lead to a Landscape Concept Plan that encompasses more than what a client might want to take on as part of their project. It is after the Schematic Plan development that we provide our clients with a detailed budget and estimate of costs. Since we know what it takes to build and construct the ideas, we are able to provide very accurate costs and detailed breakdowns, allowing our client to make informed decisions. Take for an example, a quality-built overhead arbor structure.
Image Source: Terra Ferma Landscapes
We are able to develop and convey the Conceptual idea to the client through our design abilities. As this Arbor was part of a larger overall Landscape Project, the detailed cost breakdown provided early in the process allowed for the client to consider phasing out the Arbor Structure by installing the concrete footings now and building the arbor later. The Terra Ferma Landscapes Design-Build model separates us from other outfits and ensures valuable design time is not wasted on last-minute Value Engineering and drawing modifications, or complete drawing revisions. Our model allows our clients to avoid the wasted time and effort and apply those savings towards the actual amenities of their landscape project.
Image Source: Mariko Reed
I have touched on only a few reasons of why I believe a Landscape Architecture Design-Build firm is a valuable model for residential clients. I am passionate about what I do, and we are a team of individuals who work together every day to uphold the key values of a Design-Build firm. I feel that the evidence of those key strengths come to life through the many photos of our beautiful and thoughtfully crafted landscapes.