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Patricia works with clients small and large to provide sustainable
designs for land use based on the principles of Permaculture. Her
design services include the following:
Brief On-Site Assessment
walks the client’s site with the client, finding out what the
client wants and what the land is suitable for. She gives her clients
lots of advice about how to meet their wants and needs, including the
- What aspects of the land would be suitable for meeting particular
- Where to place structures, paths and roads
- Where to place gardens or agricultural areas
- How to mitigate water problems
- Suggestions for next steps
is a verbal consultation, and Patricia does not write up anything or
produce any documents. The consultation typically takes a morning or
an afternoon, three or four hours, and there is a fixed fee for the
assessment is often all the client needs. If the client wants
Patricia to give more detailed advice, Patricia will offer a
comprehensive design consultation program.
Comprehensive Design Consultation
comprehensive design consulting engagement follows a process
consisting of several phases, each with its own set of deliverables.
Patricia charges an hourly rate for her work, and at the end of each
phase she provides an estimate of the time needed for the next. At
phase end the client has the deliverables for that phase and the
information needed to decide whether and in what way to go on to the
next. Here are the phases:
- Assessment of client wants and needs
- Site and User Analysis
- Detailed Plan Development
each of the phases Patricia is in continual contact with the client,
showing intermediate results and getting feedback. She is very much a
hands-on design consultant.
is detailed description of each of the phases.
Assessment of client wants and needs.
sits down with the client to define what the land design needs to
accomplish. She asks the client to distinguish between needs,
must-have features without which the project would not be considered
a success, and wants, features that are desirable but not strictly
typical questions asked during this phase are the following:
- For whom is the place being made?
- For what purpose?
- Who will decide what the form will be?
- What resources can be used?
- What type of solution is expected?
- What benefits does the client want?
- What problems does the client want to avoid?
Patricia has the responsibility to:
- clarify the given objectives
- raise hidden ones for debate
- reveal new possibilities and unexpected costs
- speak for absent or voiceless clients.
deliverable for this phase is a prioritized list of client
objectives, separated into needs and wants.
Site and User Analysis
Patricia does a thorough analysis of the land under consideration, including
- Personal reconnaissance, looking at the site in its own right as a
living community of plants and animals. Patricia grasps the
essential character of the place and may produce sketches, color
samples, photos and notes.
- Researching the site for disaster proofing. She finds out what kinds
of risk there are – things like drought, flood, fire, high
winds, and so forth – in order to plan how the design could
mitigate the risks.
- Researching things about the site that are not directly observable,
such as its history, applicable legal codes, etc.
land tells Patricia how to meet the client’s wants and needs:
how to place the elements and what patterns to use. Typically
Patricia walks the land, investigates the neighboring land, talks to
the neighbors, determines things like prevailing wind and sun,
researches annual rainfall, observes the flow of animals through the
land, investigates legal restrictions and the availability of
electricity, water and other utilities, and in many other ways
gathers as much information as possible.
gathering this information, Patricia works with the clients to
clarify their wants and needs to design a solution that will fit the
land. This is often very educational for the client; possibilities
emerge that were not thought of before.
also asks how future users will act in the new configuration. What
behaviors are expected to take place? Who will be on the land, and
what will they do there, and for what purpose? She makes a list of
behavioral settings, gathering the following information:
- The required character and equipment for each setting and how form
will connect with action and purpose
- The expected intensity and timing of use
- Desirable connections with adjacent properties and communities
- Expected management and service support
The deliverables for this phase include the following:
- A graphic summary which communicates the fundamental character of
the place and how it will most likely respond to the proposed
intervention. The summary includes one or more schematic plans
- building form and location
- outdoor activity
- surface circulation
- ground form and general landscaping
- A statement of problems and potentials
- Rough cost estimates for the next phase and for subsequent
Detailed Plan Development
next step is to make a detailed plan expressed in diagrams and
documents. The detailed plan includes the following:
- Location of all buildings
- Roads and paved surfaces
- The planted areas by type
- Existing and proposed ground contours
- Location and capacity of utilities
- Location and nature of site details
- A list of plants to be installed
- A schedule of the timing of installation
- A detailed estimate of the cost to construct and to maintain the
may consult with specialists such as engineers, horticulturalists,
surveyors, etc., in order to produce as accurate and buildable design
presents this material to the client for review and decision-making
and revises the plan as needed until the client is satisfied with it.
the end, the client has a very rich design for the site, a proposed
project timeline and an expected schedule of costs.
Oversight of Installation and Implementation
desired, Patricia will act as an on-site project manager to make sure
the design is built out properly. Some of her tasks during this phase
are the following:
- Draw up conditions of work and bid procedures and complete
specifications. Specifications may include any or all of the
- A precise layout of roads and structures sufficient for their
location by survey on the site
- A complete grading plan and earthwork computation, with spot
elevations for all major features
- A utility layout with road and utility profiles
- A planting plan with plans and sections showing all plant details
as well as furniture and other built features.
- Work with the client or the client’s management team to make
the contract documents on which bids can be based.
- Solicit bids and review them. The client or client’s
management team will accept the winning bid and contract for the
work to be done.
- Work with the client’s law firm to be sure all required forms
are submitted properly.
- Supervise work on site as needed.
- On an ongoing basis compare the projected schedule and costs with
actual events, evaluate the impact of any discrepancies, and advise
the client on how to take corrective action.
At the end, the clients have a site that has been developed and built
out to satisfy their wants and needs elegantly and beautifully.
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