A new sustainable landscape architecture firm is riding the trend toward green design and planning. land/arch works with developers to take a new approach to environmentally friendly landscape design. The Timonium-based firm creates landscape designs that promote conservation and a low carbon footprint while maximizing the natural resources available at a new building site.
"We emphasize sustainable design and planning because we feel that as a whole, landscape architecture and planning is not adequately addressing these issues," says Rick Kingsbury, a founder of land/arch and a licensed landscape architect.
Land/arch has been working to raise awareness of the potential problems that may be faced by a developer who chooses to bring landscape consultants into the late phases of a construction project. The firm emphasizes looking at the design and planning of a site in it's earliest stages, to promote walkability, water and soil conservation, and the use of native plants in the site design.
"Site planning is still focused on the automobile, to the detriment of people and how they interact with each other. Landscape architecture and design for the most part still emphasizes exotic plant materials that have high maintenance and water requirements," continues Mr. Kingsbury.
Through the firm's Integrated Design approach to planning, landscape architects visit the site of a project in the early planning stages, and formulate a low impact design plan with the goal of promoting sustainability while reducing maintenance costs. land/arch is currently working on a LEED Platinum residence in Annapolis and a new playground to be built in Baltimore.
Writer: Amy McNeal
Sources: Rick Kingsbury, land/arch