Getting Projects Done Faster in Landscape Design/Build

The design/sales process within the landscape design/build field is defined by its quick turnaround times and client budget constraints. Firms are looking for the fastest way to complete a project and with the least amount of complications to achieve increasing profitability.

This is true for a lot of industries, of course, but the design/build professional acts as project manager in addition to designer. They’re essentially a single source of responsibility for a project contract, unlike, say, a design-only landscape architect or designer who isn’t building or installing.

This makes efficiency vital to design/build. In this blog, you’ll see a few capabilities within Landmark that are sure to speed up the process.

Speed Hack #1 – Rely on Symbol Libraries

This is one of the biggest time savers for any design/build project. Instead of modeling or drawing everything yourself with each successive project, save commonly used elements to the Resource Manager so you can drag and drop them into the design file as needed.

Many tech-savvy designers recommend establishing and maintaining a library of a few dozen plant symbols they know work well in their local climate. This way, when it’s time to submit a concept, it’s painless to build out a design file with data-rich plant symbols.

Speed Hack #2 – Rendering Is Your Best Friend

Wait… doesn’t rendering take more time?

Technically, yes. But if you think about the client review stage, a rendering is the best way to give them the clearest depiction of your vision. Instead of scouring through drawings, models, and documents, the client can easily explore the space graphically, which can significantly reduce the amount of confusion in the review process.


Rendering courtesy of Algarve Landscape Architects.

Pre-customized graphic treatments for 2D plan objects like plant symbols, hardscape paving patterns, or accent features speed up the process when compared to hand or photo editing to render after the plan is complete. If revisions are necessary, you also save time because the revised area sees the new treatment when objects are moved or replaced.

For 3D, pre-customized representations save time similarly because you can rely on built-in imagery and textures to quickly visualize the scene, rather than using an external program for rendering with enhancement tools.

Additionally, resource-heavy rendering activities can be performed in the cloud to keep your computer free for designing.

Speed Hack #3 – Use the Duplicate Objects Command

This command is pretty self-explanatory. It’s a quick way to copy an object to a new spot, which designers find useful when laying out plants or other repetitive site elements. Instead of dragging and dropping from the Resource Manager over and over, just insert the first symbol and use this shortcut:

  • Mac: Option + drag first object, then Cmd + D for next objects
  • Windows: Alt + drag first object, then Ctrl + D for next objects

4-Duplicating ObjectsThis is sure to save you some time on layouts with repeated plants. And if you’re looking for more ways to save time with Vectorworks Landmark, check out this recording by landscape architect and sole practitioner Joe Hanauer, who singlehandedly designs and manages his landscape projects:

Watch: Maximizing Design/Build Efficiency with Technology

Topics: Landscapes


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