Sustainable design is the big trend for residential landscapes, according to the 2016 Residential Landscape Architecture Trends Survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA).
In fact, the top trend – rainwater/gray-water harvesting – speaks directly to sustainability, reflecting growing consumer demand for landscapes that are beautiful but also save water.
Landscape architects were asked to rate the expected popularity of a variety of residential outdoor design elements in 2016. The survey was administered February 4-18, with 803 responding. Here are the top 10 project types with the expected highest consumer demand:
Rainwater/gray-water harvesting – 88 percent
Native plants – 86 percent
Native/adapted drought-tolerant plants – 85 percent
Low-maintenance landscapes – 85 percent
Permeable paving – 77 percent
Fire pits/fireplaces – 75 percent
Food/vegetable gardens (including orchards, vineyards, etc.) – 75 percent
Rain gardens – 73 percent
Drip/water-efficient irrigation – 72 percent
Reduced lawn area – 72 percent
Water-focused design elements dominated this year’s top-10 list, says Nancy Somerville, executive vice president and chief executive of ASLA. Consumers are committed to lowering their water use as well as reducing stormwater runoff.
“Water issues are hot topics for many communities, and many people are turning to landscape architects for creative green infrastructure solutions,” said Somerville. “Sustainable residential landscape architecture, if part of a broader integrated site design, can dramatically reduce water usage and stormwater runoff over the long term while creating a healthy residential environment.”
Joining fire pits/fireplaces (75 percent) among the most popular outdoor design features are lighting (67 percent) and wireless/internet connectivity (66 percent).
The top landscape and garden elements include native plants (86 percent), low-maintenance landscapes (85 percent) and food/vegetable gardens (75 percent).
Among outdoor structures, those expected to be most popular this year were pergolas (51 percent), decks (47 percent), arbors (44 percent) and fencing (44 percent).
For more information on residential landscape design visit this section of ASLA’s website.