You might think that commercial landscaping isn’t that different from residential landscaping — and in some ways, it isn’t. The goal of all landscaping is primarily to beautify outdoor spaces. But commercial landscaping does have some different priorities from home garden landscaping. These are the top three goals commercial landscape designs need to achieve:
- Increased Prestige
A commercial building needs to look reputable — prestigious, even — in order to attract both initial tenants and customers for those tenants’ businesses. While a few commercial landscape designs try to project a feeling that’s more quirky or whimsical, most should focus on a clean, professional look that’s welcoming but not distracting. It’s been shown that landscaping improves residential home values by between 7% and 15%; it’s a little more difficult to get accurate figures for commercial buildings, but building owners should expect to attract better tenants and higher rent offers from commercial renters by investing in quality landscaping.
- Few Care Demands
A homeowner might not mind spending hours carefully nurturing the perfect rose garden, but that’s not ideal in a commercial setting, for obvious reasons. Commercial landscaping should have low maintenance demands. Using native plants is often one way to achieve this goal (they’ll also be naturally suited to the local climate, which should cut down on watering and/or fertilizing costs). It’s also wise to think about how landscaping can reduce indoor upkeep; having trees to serve as a windbreak and sun shade, for example, can reduce overall heating and cooling costs.
- A Safe Environment
In order to avoid liability issues, commercial landscaping plans should both conform to explicit regulations and anticipate any ancillary safety issues. That means installing ADA-mandated wheelchair ramps and handrails, of course, but also thinking about things like making steps stand out with different colors of stone and installing adequate landscape lighting to prevent trips and falls. Businesses in areas that get winter weather need to also be cognizant about snow removal. Often, the same companies that handle lawn mowing and general landscaping in the summer will take care of snow and ice removal during the winter months.
What would you add to this list? Share your thoughts on commercial landscape design in the comments.