Bill Eubanks, PLA, FASLA, discusses the importance and the advantages of P+LA for project design.
SGA | NarmourWright Design’s comprehensive approach to planning and landscape architecture (P+LA) has benefited a diverse range of clients. From initial site analysis, concept development, and master planning, SGA|NW’s services encompass and embrace the process, as well as the built result. Planning not only involves land forms, but regulatory processes, jurisdictional requirements, and the design and building components which create great communities. P+LA is an integral part of the SGA|NW process; the firm’s cross-discipline approach allows for a holistic design approach. This is particularly evident in our multi-family projects.
Clients often come to SGA|NW with a site that they are considering for a potential project. Quickly responding to their needs is critical, as they often have a small window of opportunity to lock in the property. Recent surveys of properties are often not available so the P+LA staff will work with GIS data and aerial information to create base sheets. They will also review the municipality’s comprehensive plan and zoning ordinances to determine the site’s parameters – or to advise if an annexation or rezoning might be recommended.
Then the P+LA team can quickly generate design concepts for the site, working with building footprints provided by staff architects. Sometimes there are multiple concepts featuring different building types. These are usually generated by hand, as speed and fluidity are crucial. Factored into these quick sketches are setbacks, buffers, easements, and other site constraints. Topography, vegetation, access, views, and the experience of the resident are also taken into consideration.
We ensure that the site can accommodate the client’s desired program, can efficiently meet parking requirements, and that it works well from a functional standpoint. Sometimes, we find that a site just will not work. Even these cases prove to be successful design exercises, as they provide information to the client, allowing them to either adjust their program for what the site can accommodate or to move on to a different potential site. Again, speed is the key.
Each site and each project provide a new opportunity for our P+LA team to find creative solutions for our clients, resulting in projects of lasting quality and value.
Planning and Landscape Architecture, is a licensed landscape architect. He graduated from the Fay Jones School of Architecture + Design at the University of Arkansas, where he was named a Distinguished Alumni in 2016 and currently serves on the Dean’s Circle. His practice focuses on community design, urban design, and the charrette process. He became a Fellow of the ASLA in 2007. He currently serves on the Ashley Bridge District Board, the Community Development Advisory Board of the City of Charleston, and the Advisory Board of the East Cooper Land Trust. He recently ended a six-year tenure on the ASLA Board of Trustees, bringing his total years on the Board to 12, including 2 years as ASLA Vice President for Membership. He is the recipient of numerous awards for planning and design.