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It’s the Economy, Stupid!

The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) recently posted the results of its third quarter Business Quarterly Survey.  When asked, “How many of your clients are familiar with sustainable design techniques?”, the results were that only 10% were “very knowledgeable”, compared to 52% as “somewhat knowledgeable”, and only 3.7% as “not knowledgeable or interested”.  Not surprisingly, the primary reason given for incorporating sustainable design into projects was “saving money on utility or maintenance costs”.  Who doesn’t want to save money?  When it comes to landscape operations and maintenance, labor costs are the biggest expense.  Therefore, it is important to be able to gauge what is driving your labor costs, and to know effective ways to reduce that expense – without sacrificing the appearance of your landscape.

Other reasons given in the survey for using sustainable design principles such as low impact development (LID) into a project included:

  • Meet requirements by government regulation, code, or construction standard – 49.1%
  • Add marketing cachet – 40.6%
  • Reduce environmental harm – 39.8%
  • Eligible for government incentive such as a tax break or quicker approval – 27.9%
  • Lower upkeep time and effort – 27.3%

All of these are good reasons!  Why not use sustainable design – particularly when there is a bottom-line payoff?  It just makes good sense.

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