Updated: Jul 25
Most people understand how Architects work with buildings but have no idea how things work in landscape or site construction. They think the trucks and the guys show up and start putting in parking lots, concrete sidewalks, curbs, swimming pools, drainage pipes, and everything.
The truth is that on commercial and mass residential construction projects, Civil Engineers and Landscape Architects plan, design, develop permit drawings, and provide construction administration for all the site work. Landscape architects work with civil engineers, similar to how architects work with structural engineers.
Typically, the LA's role is to design an aesthetically pleasing and functional site for end-users, work with existing natural site systems, and follow established site engineering principles. However, there's some overlap that varies from project to project. For example, the LA will design smaller projects' entire grading and drainage plan, and the civil engineer will review it. Conversely, the LA will have minor involvement in grading and drainage design for larger ones.
So before the guys pull up in the trucks, landscape architects and civil engineers are working hard to ensure the plan is solid. But nothing happens until the Land Surveyor goes out and records existing boundaries, topography, and landscape elements. Then, after they finish their site work, they develop it into a digital land survey.
Now landscape architects and civil engineers can start designing—shoutout to the land surveyors. Honk at them next time you see them out on the road.