Going Green Means Big Savings
At James Blake Associates we have been surveying trees and designing landscapes for developers for 30 years, but it was only in the last 8 years that we discovered how many common elements within standard landscape proposals add disproportionately to both build costs and maintenance costs. In light of this, we changed what we do – we started to ‘Go-Green’ but not in a tree-huggy, happy-hippy way, but instead, by keeping existing landscapes, where possible, to save re-landscaping them.
The beautiful image here, is from one of our sites (St Clements), where we retained a stand of fine pines to glorious effect, but we also ousted ornamental shrubs from the POS areas as they just don’t work. They end up as bramble thickets. We now keep things natural, with planting, play and paths, to ensure amazing savings. We like neat edges, but our landscapes are otherwise natural spaces, bio-diverse, healthy, engaging places with thriving natural ecosystems and very little need for onerous maintenance.
Build costs have been cut by more than half, and maintenance costs by two thirds – so when you consider the acreages of green infrastructure, these savings can make a big impact on developer’s profits. The result is better, greener places and for less cost, and this is our vision for tomorrow’s developments.