At McNeil Engineering, we offer a wide array of helpful services for many unique products. Because of this fact, sometimes it can be a little bit difficult to explain what we do and what services we can offer! We employ engineers of all kinds including civil engineers, structural engineers, and landscape engineers. We work on surveying projects whether that be land surveying or surveying buildings. Additionally, we can serve as an excellent resource to construction projects at any point, and we also can be a resource to any project on a building or area of land that already exists but might need a little bit of sprucing up!
Today, we’d like to talk about landscape architecture, which is one of the many amazing services we offer. “Landscape Architecture” is not a term that is as commonly used as just “landscaping,” so, sometimes people can get confused and think that they are the same thing! Landscaping and landscape architecture are vastly different services. In this post, we’ll walk you through 3 of the key differences between the two, and why we provide landscape architecture.
One of the first key differences between traditional landscaping or landscape design and landscape architecture is, most obviously, the size of the area or project and the different considerations that go into the project. For example, a project that involves a large group of buildings that are connected by streets would require a landscape architect, while just a yard or driveway would be a project for a landscape designer.
Landscape architects are trained to think of many different factors about a project at once, one of those of course being how to make areas look their best and be inviting, but also the weather of the area, how much traffic the area gets, whether that be car traffic, bike traffic or foot traffic. Landscape architects must think of the factors of each structure involved and how to use their resources to bring them together aesthetically. Landscape architects must also think about how the area that they are working on connects to the surrounding area. A landscape designer is given a small area of land and given the task to design the flora in that area to be attractive and inviting, or useful if their client wants!
That brings us to our second key difference, which is the type of clients each normally services. There aren’t many residential projects one might need a landscape architect for, because usually most of those aforementioned factors are not points of concern for privately owned land. The types of clients that usually benefit most from landscape architects are businesses, organizations, governmental systems or cities themselves, property owners of multi-residence buildings (like apartments or dorms) and schools.
There are others, but this list will help to explain one of the most important differences between landscape design and landscape architecture. We are a landscape architecture company, so those are the types of clients who would benefit the most from our help! For example, one of our long-term clients is Weber State University. We were hired by Weber state to rework their landscape architecture and irrigation system to help pull all the buildings on campus together and make a comfortable and welcoming environment to potential students, and we re-worked the irrigation system so that the school could focus more on the students and worry less about the landscape!
The final and arguably the main difference between landscape design and landscape architecture, aside from size and magnitude of projects, is about the purpose of the end goal. Often landscape design is focused on aesthetics only. How can we take an area and make it as beautiful as possible, which is a wonderful thing! However, landscape architects must focus on how to make their area as beautiful as possible, while also making it as useful as possible! Landscape architects, since they usually work on commercial projects have to think about the type of people who will benefit from their project, what types of people they might be, and design according to the majority’s needs, which can be very difficult but VERY rewarding. Every corner of a landscape architecture project must be optimized for success and usefulness.
Landscape design is a wonderful thing, and it can be incredibly important to making residential homes look and feel their best, however we thought that it was important to clear up that landscaping and landscape architecture are NOT the same thing! At McNeil, we hire incredible landscape architects who are ready to take on these large-scale projects with a smile. If you or someone you know is involved in a project that you think might benefit from these services, consider McNeil Engineering. If you’d like to learn more about landscape architecture, or you’d like to read about more of our landscape architecture projects, visit our website!