WASHINGTON, Dec. 21, 2006---Homeowners will be adding firepits and fireplaces for outdoor entertaining in 2007. And they, along with commercial building owners, will be paying a lot more attention to environmentally-friendly landscape options, such as adding native plants and managing stormwater more effectively, according to a new survey of leading members of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA).
The informal survey conducted in December, identified the most popular requests from homeowners and commercial clients for 2007. For homeowners, firepits and outdoor fireplaces top the list. Also popular are requests for sustainable solutions, such as using native plants that require less watering and maintenance.
Homeowners are requesting landscape architects design complete outdoor rooms, such as kitchens and bars, for entertaining. Water features such as koi ponds, pools, and fountains continue to be popular. Incorporating rain gardens and green roofs in home landscapes will add a different – and more sustainable - flavor to 2007 homes.
Steve Martino, FASLA, of Phoenix—recipient of both the ASLA Design Medal and the ASLA Residential Design Award of Excellence in 2006—cites private living spaces, outdoor rooms, and water features as top homeowner requests. He also says that clients are coming to him for “green solutions” for their homes.
Commercial clients are also concerned with “green solutions.” Members polled said they anticipate an increase in client requests for better stormwater management options, the use of recycled materials and energy-efficient lighting, green roofs, and native plantings.
Ann McGinnes, ASLA, of Garland, Texas, says that she expects to see more requests from commercial clients for “non-traditional” means of irrigating the landscape and a focus on better management of water resources. She also says green roofs are gaining in popularity for both their environmental qualities as well as their aesthetic appeal.
Other popular commercial client requests should include water features such as fountains and outdoor employee areas. Madeline Ann Sutter, ASLA, of Oriental, N.C., says that these employee areas will be designed for employee “connection with nature” - places where they can be outside easily for a respite from work.
Sustainable design is bigger than ever and homeowners and commercial building owners alike are looking to utilize outdoor spaces even more. The New Year will bring a number of exciting and creative design solutions from landscape architects.
Founded in 1899, ASLA is the national professional association for landscape architects, representing more than 17,000 members in 48 professional chapters and 68 student chapters. Landscape architecture is a comprehensive discipline of land analysis, planning, design, management, preservation, and rehabilitation. ASLA promotes the landscape architecture profession and advances the practice through advocacy, education, communication, and fellowship. Members of the Society use their “ASLA” suffix after their names to denote membership and their commitment to the highest ethical standards of the profession. Learn more about landscape architecture online at www.asla.org.
High res photos available at:
Caption: Outdoor firepits and fireplaces will be a top pick for residential homeowners in 2007.
Photo credit: 2006 ASLA Award Winner, Marmol Radziner and Associates, Los Angeles, Calif., photo by John Ellis.
Caption: Better management of stormwater runoff will be a concern for commercial building owners in the New Year.
Photo credit: 2006 ASLA Award Winner, Kevin Robert Perry, ASLA, Portland, Ore., photo by Kevin Perry, Bureau of Environmental Services, City of Portland.