Survey Reveals Top Ten Design Trends for Residential Landscape Architecture

Words: Bronzella Cleveland

Rainwater/graywater harvesting top trend for 2016

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). The top trend—rainwater/graywater harvesting—reflects a growing consumer demand for beautiful residential landscapes that 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 fielded Feb. 4 through Feb. 18, 2016, with 803 responding.

Respondents expected the greatest demand for outdoor living spaces that are environmentally sustainable, reduce water costs, and are low maintenance.

Here are the top 10 project types with the expected highest consumer demand:

Rainwater/graywater harvesting – 88%
Native plants – 86%
Native/adapted drought-tolerant plants – 85%
Low-maintenance landscapes – 85%
Permeable paving – 77%
Fire pits/fireplaces – 75%
Food/vegetable gardens (including orchards, vineyards, etc.) – 75%
Rain gardens – 73%
Drip/water-efficient irrigation – 72%
Reduced lawn area – 72%

Water-focused design elements dominated this year’s top 10 list and reflect consumers’ growing commitment to landscapes that reduce water use and stormwater runoff, says Nancy Somerville, Hon. ASLA, executive vice president and CEO of ASLA. “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.”

For more details, visit www.asla.org/residentialinfo.

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