What Is Commercial Landscape Design?
If you think commercial landscape design professionals simply install plants or mow grass and trim shrubs, think again. Commercial landscape design encompasses a full spectrum of services that will take your next commercial landscaping project from the initial design stages to long-term maintenance planning.
Commercial property owners, developers or managers who think their property could benefit from the addition of some green space rely on the help of a professional. Why do they use landscape design services? A professional landscaping service that specializes in commercial landscape design can create an outdoor space that combines beauty and function and meets all of a business’s unique needs.
When you invest in a professional landscaping, you receive the peace of mind of knowing you have the right plant selection and the right design to create the exact environment and atmosphere you desire for your property, whether it’s an office building, an apartment complex or any other type of commercial space.
What Is Landscape Design?
A comprehensive landscape design service will take you through each step of a landscaping project. Such a service can help you with the planning and design, construction and ongoing maintenance of the landscape.
Examples of some services a landscape design company might provide include:
- Commercial landscape design
- Commercial landscape construction
- Commercial landscape maintenance
- Snow removal
- Commercial irrigation installation, service and installation
- Commercial lighting
- Seasonal flower planting
Choosing a company with a comprehensive range of services saves you from having to hire different subcontractors for each phase of your project. Working with one company that has the ability to take your project from beginning to end will ensure the final product is a cohesive, functional design.
A full-service landscaping company with experience doing commercial projects will be able to work with a range of property types, such as offices, retail shops, apartments and condos, municipalities and government buildings, schools, colleges, hospitals and clinics.
When starting a project, you want to focus on the three most crucial aspects of commercial landscape construction:
- High-grade plant material
- Skilled craftsmanship
- Understanding of the natural elements
Choose a company that will be able to employ skilled horticulturalists, landscape technicians and workers to help combine man-made elements with natural elements to create a successful and beautiful green space. It will save you the time and stress involved with managing such an elaborate project on your own, and the end result will be more likely to meet or exceed your expectations.
What Type of Landscape Design Services Can You Choose?
Commercial landscape design and planning services can help determine innovative ways to create a defined space that is attractive and functional and provides year-round interest. Design services may include a consultation and site survey, conceptual drawings of the design, and long-term master planning. The design will include all of the components of the landscape, such as:
- Added features like playgrounds and exercise trails
A landscape design professional will get familiar with your property, making it possible for them to suggest customizations that will lead to your desired outcome. During the design phase, a professional can take the time to assess your current landscape and point out any issues related to erosion, drainage, and general health and attractiveness. They can also choose the plants that make the most sense for your design and seek opportunities to add amenities that will enhance the property.
Construction and Hardscaping Services
Because a landscape is so much more than just plants, a qualified landscaping contractor is key to the successful implementation of your design. Hardscaping includes all of the nonliving parts of the landscape — these elements can really increase the visual appeal of the design. A landscaping contractor will have the specific expertise required to implement other features into your design, such as:
- Walkways and sidewalks
- Deck tiles
- Retaining walls
- Water features
- Bike racks
A company that takes a comprehensive approach to its projects may include services in the construction process such as irrigation installation and maintenance, dog park or playground installation, and silva cell installation. Silva cell is an underground infrastructure system that provides support and stormwater management in urban environments.
It may also include solutions for drainage and erosion issues, as well as solutions for stormwater runoff, like bioretention plantings. Also known as a rain garden, a bioretention bed is a shallow basin filled with native plants specifically chosen to capture and treat runoff.
The complex and multi-faceted nature of these projects often demands the knowledge of an experienced team of professionals. A professional landscaping service will have access to the latest tools, technology, construction techniques and best environmental practices. This will result in fewer mistakes and quicker completion time for your project.
Why Add Hardscaping?
Hardscaping features serve as the foundation for the softscaping — the living portion of the landscaping. It can complement as well as contain and control the plant life. Often, the hardscaping serves a functional and practice purpose. These features are generally meant to remain in the landscape permanently, and depending on the type of hardscapes installed, the plant life will eventually grow around them.
Because they are meant to be long-lasting fixtures, hardscapes are built to withstand the elements, such as wind, rain, snow and ice. Common materials used for hardscapes include concrete, brick, metal, wood, stone and slate.
A commercial landscape design professional will choose the best materials to complement and enhance not only the plant life but your existing building as well. For example, a building with a classic or older architectural style might look best with brick or wood elements in the landscape. A more modern building might be better enhanced with concrete and metal elements.
The options for hardscaping are seemingly endless and can include everything from paved walkways to gazebos, decks, outdoor dining areas, fire pits and fireplaces, ponds, streams, fountains and waterfalls, fences and stairways.
Any type of commercial property, whether staff or clients use it, can reap the benefits of hardscaping. Some property types that can be enhanced by hardscaping include retail shops and restaurants, colleges and universities, airports, convention centers, community parks, offices, hotels and more.
Hardscaping can make a landscape more visually interesting, more usable and even lower-maintenance — since hardscapes require less upkeep than softscapes.
Once your project is complete, many landscaping services will provide routine maintenance to keep your landscape in flawless condition for years to come. They should be able to work with you to design a plan to manage the specific needs of your landscape while staying within your budget. Maintenance plans will look different for every business and could include any of the following:
- Regular mowing, pruning and weeding
- Seasonal planting
- Integrated pest management
- Spring cleanup
- Mulch application
- Fertilization and aeration
- Tree removal
- Snow removal
Whatever the special requirements of your landscape, your landscaping company will come up with a routine tailored to your property’s specific needs.
Why Use Landscape Design Services for Commercial Properties?
Enlisting the help of a professional landscaping service will help improve aspects of your landscape design that you may not have otherwise thought about. For example, a professional can tell you how large different trees and plants will be at maturity, and how that will affect the size and scale of the overall design. A professional will be able to take a proactive approach and identify creative and innovative ways to enhance your space and provide maximum functionality.
A professional landscaping service will also know what to expect in terms of ongoing maintenance. It can help you select the right plants, especially if you are looking for ones that will serve a specific function. A professional can also tell you which plants will be lower maintenance.
You can consider having a contract with your landscaping service for ongoing maintenance to ensure your landscape will stay healthy and attractive in the long term. You can request the service provide maintenance at regular intervals, like monthly or seasonally.
Landscape installation is a large and costly project. A professional landscaping service can help you stick to your budget and ensure you get the greatest value for your money. They will have the knowledge to help you determine how to get the greatest return on your investment and increase the value of your property.
Benefits of Installing a High-Quality Landscape
There are many reasons to add a landscape to your commercial property. It can enhance the look of your business, highlight your building’s architecture and attract customers or clients. Having a high-quality landscape can help you create your desired image of your business or convey your company brand to your clients.
It can help tell people who you are and what you’re about. Do you want the environment to feel soothing? Fun? Modern? Sustainable? A commercial landscape design service can help you incorporate specific design features that will communicate just the right message.
How do you want people to engage or interact with your business? Landscaping can encourage people to relax and take their time, or it can help keep people moving, depending on what makes the most sense for your business. Add seating like tables and chairs, benches or even low walls to help create a space where people feel welcome to linger. Or add paths or walkways, accentuated with trees, plants or a wall feature. Having a defined pathway will help direct the movement of traffic.
Don’t underestimate the importance of having an aesthetically pleasing space. It will impress your clients and help draw in new ones. It can show your customers you care about the details — and it conveys you will put the same care and attention to detail into caring for them.
Environmental Benefits of Landscaping
A high-quality landscape can save enough energy to pay for itself in an average of eight years, according to Energy.gov. You can have your landscape designed in such a way that it creates energy savings for your business with ideas like these:
- Use trees to decrease noise, create shade or block wind, and in turn lower heating and cooling costs.
- Choose plants or hardscaping features that will allow you to reduce water use.
- Install a green roof, which can help lessen water runoff.
A professional landscaping service can help you make optimal design decisions for your climate, especially if the company is intimately familiar with your region. For example, in a temperate climate such as the D.C. metro area, you will want to shade your property from the sun’s heat in the summer months but take advantage of its warmth during cooler months.
Adding trees for shade is one of the most economical ways to diminish air-conditioning costs. A strategically planned landscape can reduce a previously unshaded structure’s air-conditioning costs by 15-50 percent, according to Energy.gov. Daytime air temperatures during the summer can be as much as 6 degrees cooler in neighborhoods with shade trees versus those that are treeless.
A landscape design professional will know exactly how to use different types of trees, shrubs and groundcover to create shade, let in light, or block or deflect wind.
Having a nice-looking landscape communicates your values to your clients and customers. It shows you care about providing an eco-friendly environment. You can go a step further by including native plants, adding a water garden or using sustainable materials for the hardscapes. Don’t hesitate to add signage that explains your commitment to sustainable and eco-friendly practices, as well as your commitment to adding greenery to your town or city, improving the health of the local environment.
Financial Benefits of Landscaping
Businesses have more success when they feature a beautifully landscaped property. A well-maintained landscape is enjoyable to look at, draws in new customers and may even increase productivity of workers:
- Workers who are able to view and interact with nature during their workday are more likely to have better health and more contentment with work and life. Additionally, offices that have superior landscapes have 7 percent higher rental rates than those that do not, according to the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP).
- Shopping districts experience more success, too. When business districts have high-grade tree canopies, shoppers will travel further and longer to get there, and spend an extra 9 to 12 percent on services and goods.
- A study showed that 63 percent of respondents were willing to pay more for a home or apartment if it is located in an area with quality green space.
A beautiful landscape will help raise the value of your property and improve the value of the surrounding areas as well. People are attracted to areas with quality green space. Having a commercial landscape professionally designed and installed can draw in tourists. In addition, professionally maintained green spaces are less prone to crime. A lower crime rate will increase the comfort of both your clients and your workers.
Overall, beautiful landscapes have the power to help your business succeed. The list of positive benefits goes on and on. An attractive, well-maintained, professionally designed landscape will inspire happiness among clients, workers and the surrounding community. It can communicate you are a successful business and a pillar of the community and improve the overall reputation of your business.
Planning for Your Next Commercial Landscaping Project
When preparing to hire a landscape design service, think carefully about what your needs are:
- How will the landscape be used? Do you need entertainment space? A place to relax? A space for children to play?
- What services will you need? Design? Planning? Construction?
- Do you plan to maintain the landscape on your own? Or will you want maintenance service provided?
You will want to choose a landscaping service that takes a proactive approach to your project, stays in communication with you and is transparent about its work practices, so you remain in the loop every step of the way. In addition, you will want to work with a team that is experienced and qualified. Ideally, you’ll want a service familiar with working on commercial projects, which are often on a larger scale than residential projects and may require more documentation or paperwork, too.
Find out how long the company has been in business, what kinds of certifications it holds, whether it employs the industry’s best practices and whether it uses subcontractors. Find out what types of local permits and licenses will be required. A reputable service will be able to provide you with a written contract that will spell out the details of the project, including:
- Estimated costs
- Scope of work
- Estimated time for completion
- Method of payment
- Options for dispute resolution
Be sure to ask the company for references or find out how you can view some of the company’s previous work in person. Consider visiting a job that is in progress. Or talk to current or former clients to find out about their experience with the company.
How Complete Landscaping Service Can Assist You
Complete Landscaping Service is a family-owned, full-service commercial landscaping company founded in 1979. Since the early 1990s, more than 90 percent of our projects have been with commercial clients. We are based in Bowie, Maryland, and we focus our services on the local area — serving the Washington, D.C., metro area and parts of Maryland and Northern Virginia.
Our landscapes can be seen in residential communities, office parks, shopping centers, hospitals and hotels throughout these regions, giving properties a competitive advantage and beauty beyond compare. It’s our objective to ensure you always receive the highest level of service. After more than 30 years of service, we have earned a reputation for creating and maintaining extraordinary landscapes, and consistently going beyond customer expectations.
With the help of Complete Landscaping Service, the design, construction and maintenance of your next commercial landscaping project will meet or exceed industry standards, as well as your own expectations.