Design approach

Master Planning is almost the most crucial aspect of our work and the initial seed of many of our projects. In order to get the important parameters set up correctly it is necessary to be part of the overall design team at the Master Plan phase. The urban fabric and the interaction with the landscape must be tailored for each city, residents and landscape climate. For this reason we take part in large scale urban planning competitions to be with such projects from the start. Once the Master Plan is completed, the landscape design is almost set with a confirmed road map and no open issues. Design guidelines and base data guide the detail planning towards the final design.

The design process for Master Planning is diverse and varies in small ways depending on the city planning authorities, client aims and the design team involved. The process may be shortened if authorities are involved with the design process and informed at an early stage.

Sustainability has become a major aspect in almost all design work in the last 5 years. Nearly all projects even if not applying for certification (LEED/ Estidama) request that the standards for such a goal are also applied. Through nearly all projects within the last 10 years we have been confronted with the certification under the above mentioned schemes. In all cases a special consultant was contracted for these services and we worked together in obtaining the necessary or achievable goals. Through this work we have acquired the necessary skills to assist in these applications.

We believe that sustainability is very much common sense and that we have an appreciation and under-standing of these principles from our professional education. The extent of sustainable design is very much dictated by the client and in the end by the market. A base benchmark is sustainability can be reached by innovative design without technology. The second level is through the integration of technology to attain a higher level of sustainability. In this level a more complex analysis in terms of investment and benefit need to be applied and one way very well question if such an investment is really necessary.

A `successful and lush environment´ may be in contradiction with sustainability. The character and quality of the landscape treatment needs to be defined in dialog with the client. We believe that an environment for residents and those using the designed facilities should offer the best possible climatic conditions, yet be adapted for the local climate. The extent of these environmental improvements would also be set in dialog with the client. Areas of extensive public use are prone to have the most improved and optimized climatic conditions in contrast to those with little frequency and out of the way.

We aim to maximize the environmental comfort using a minimum or basis landscape design elements. The design should integrate and highlight the local landscape, extensively, on site where possible and so reduce the per square meter price and allow for a more intensive design quality where necessary; namely, where the most densely populated and used areas are.

In order to attain this goal we need to apply Value Engineering and Quality Assessment and Quality Control in all levels of planning and with the integration of all planning partners.