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Landscape Construction (HS495C)

Credits: (0-9-0) Spring
Preq: HS 495Z, HS 342, HS 495XY, and HS 400

Course Description

HS 495C, Landscape Construction, continues students’ refinement of their design process by taking projects to a more detailed level by investigating materials, learning how materials work alone and in conjunction with others and developing a full set of construction drawings for a site. Students continue to develop their critical thinking skills by analyzing materials and construction details to assess their appropriateness in design solutions. Analysis consists of consideration of structural or functional integrity, appropriateness of material selection relative to design intent, and implications of material selection with respect to cost, durability, environmental effects and other characteristics.

This course is concerned with the details of how things work, fit together, and relate to the surrounding landscape. An understanding of materials and structural systems is absolutely a part of design development. Designing without an understanding of how the idea might actually come into existence could be potentially dangerous to users of the spaces being designed, as well as be damaging to a designer’s professional development. In the case of contracting out the design, it is critical that the ideas are communicated accurately and clearly.

Course Objectives

The overall goals of this course are to provide students skills which allow them to take design development a more refined, complete level; have students gain appreciation and a thorough understanding of materials used in landscape construction; to provide instruction in designing aesthetic, meaningful and safe landscape structures; and to provide hands-on experience in designing and building projects in a variety of materials.

Students will:

  1. Learn how to take design development to a very detailed level and convey design information through construction documents;
  2. Further develop an understanding of the characteristics and properties of common construction materials begun in HS 495 XY (Landscape technology);
  3. Understand basic structural design techniques for common construction materials, water and electrical systems;
  4. Understand the implications of specifying a material or system in a design;
  5. Learn how to read and draw accurate and clear construction details (plan, elevations, sections);
  6. Learn how to read and prepare a full set of construction documents (demolition plan, layout plan, etc.)
  7. Develop an understanding of basic construction techniques and detailing for landscape structures such as paving, decks, walls, fences, and utilities;
  8. Provide a foundation of skills necessary for building a variety of projects; and
  9. Learn legal requirements pertaining to site construction.

Students in the summer studio build full scale models of proposed design features to see how they fit into the landscape and relate to other design elements.
Students in the summer studio build full scale models of proposed design features to see how they fit into the landscape and relate to other design elements.

“Wave” trellis immediately after construction (image by D. Osborne).
"Wave" trellis immediately after construction (image by D. Osborne).

“Wave” trellis as placed in the annuals trial area at the JC Raulston Arboretum at the end of the summer.
"Wave" trellis as placed in the annuals trial area at the JC Raulston Arboretum at the end of the summer.

Students use all sorts of machinery and tools in the landscape construction course.  
Students use all sorts of machinery and tools in the landscape construction course.