I have been master planning estates for 25 years, and I can tell
you with all certainty that my techniques are the most innovative,
informative, empowering, and cost effective techniques ever devised. Not to be
confused with cheapest, my techniques are an uncommon value by
providing insights not available by any other method. You and I
walk around your new home and landscaping before you knock down a
single tree. You don't have to worry about making uninformed decisions that effect your home in
ways you canít anticipate. Please see also
3d site plan and
tennis for more recent projects using
Google Earth and presentations for
rendered 3d designs.
A Survey typically
contains property lines, constructed features, and contour lines.
Each pair of contour lines delineates a rise or fall equal to the
contour interval that is specified by the contour line labels.
Subdivision developers are required to have these drawn by a
registered landscape architect or civil engineer. A Plat is a legal
document that contains your property boundaries and legal
description of those boundaries. It may also delineate constructed
features such as buildings and pavements. You should have one in
your closing papers. Please click thumbnails to view images.
||After we located the
ideal homesite by placing flags and survey tape in the wooded lot, we located the best drive location
from the road to the homesite. This allows clearing the
minimum trees to suit our needs. Unnecessary clearing is
||We worked together to arrange rooms to take
advantage of views of the lake, the slope of the land, existing
trees, prevailing winds, and solar orientation. One of my 3D
design tools displays accurate sun angles and shadows for any
location, month, day, and time. This is very important when
designing a new home because I can save you cooling and heating costs
for the life of the home! I studied energy conscious
architecture under a PHD in architecture while in landscape
architecture school, but I'm not attempting to replace one. My
preliminary floor plan shows activity
locations and access lines. The access lines
determine which areas should directly connect to other areas.
We haven't yet set up walls, or room sizes. When I was given the ideal rooms
sizes, I made scale sized shapes and arranged them following our
conceptual plan, and resized the floor plans to fit those shapes.
I modified the conceptual shell to fit these new room size
specifications, and added some things that came to mind as we
discussed the goals, possibilities, and limitations. A
principal criteria of the design program is to design a dream home for easy retirement living, with an in-law wing
that will also serve for in-home 24-7 nursing care. Nursing
homes charge $4000 per month and rising, so private in-home care
makes sense on many levels. We will need an architect for the
interior and structural details.
||I created a revised house shell from
the revised floor plans. I
sketched the drive alignment, traced it in AutoCAD, and inserted it
into one of my 3D design programs for integration with my 3D contour
model. Changing the level of your main
floor effects grading and expense in ways you canít anticipate.
I can make revisions, and create new alternatives in a few hours at
a cost of a few hundred dollars, instead of waiting until equipment
running and expensive crews are standing around waiting for you to
make decisions without the benefit of my experience, and
||We agreed on the exterior finish materials, roof
pitch, etc, and I built a conceptual house shell, and hardscape based on our floor plan and my understanding of the site slopes,
views, solar orientation, drainage, existing tree cover, etc.
||I designed conceptual drives and grades to
facilitate holiday traffic and wheeled access to all areas.
||After designing the house and surroundings, I
placed them into the contour model to design the retaining walls and
grading. The 5ft contour model was much better than anything any
one else has, but it's too crude for detailed site work.
I made a smooth surface model from the
5ft stepped contours. It looks more familiar (the odd colors
are to help me determine layers) but the slopes are nearly useless for calculating
retaining walls and manipulating the slopes.
||I found a way to interpolate
contours. That means equally dividing each contour into equal
parts. I divided each 5 ft contour into 5 1ft contours from
which I built a 1ft stepped contour model. There are many
advantages to this degree of detail even though the source was a USGS topographical map which is 20ft contour intervals. This
marks another quantum leap in 3D contour model generation! I
can make a 1ft contour model using maps and satellite photos that I
get from NASA. These resources cover the entire USA, and much
of the world. If you don't have a site specific survey, I can
make one for you!
||I am using my 1ft contour model to
design paths and ramps connecting all exterior spaces. We will use
asphalt which is very cost effective. Asphalt is more flexible
than concrete, or stone, so it is ideal for wooded area paths
because tree roots won't cause it to crack.
||We are designing
retaining walls to minimize clearing and grading. This
approach is cost efficient in several additional ways. The lower
walls which will be back filled will be poured before grading
starts. The excavated earth will be used to backfill the
poured retaining walls, and foundation walls instead of piling it up
for a year and moving it a second time. The earth that isn't
needed for backfill will be used to raise the 300+' drive. All
of the rough grading will be finished before carpenters begin.
The retaining walls will eliminate steep slopes that are expensive
to plant, and difficult to maintain. The walls and dry streams will
eliminate ditch erosion. We will have minimal turf areas that
are gently sloping. We will protect and preserve the woods.
The existing trees on the south and west exposures will provide
shade and save air conditioning cost for the life of the home.
||We have met online 4 times to refine
our design. Each time has been thrilling and fun! I can
change my 3D model easily, but I leave a crumb trail of partially
complete models just in case a major change, or backtrack is needed.
Each refinement provides new
opportunities. Some refinements are revisited, and refined
further till the ideal solution is determined.
||We eliminated the patio in favor of
screened porch and level turf area. We determined to avoid
walls in excess of 30 inches to avoid code required railings that
would impede the magnificent view.
are going to have dry streams to handle storm water, it makes sense
to plan for a waterfall. The water will be pumped from the
lake and drain back to the lake via the dry stream network.
We will make the dry streams from egg size and pecan sized river
gravel. Since the view to the waterfall will be so attractive,
it makes sense to expand the sunroom in the basement to include the
gym. The sunroom views will be spectacular!
||I interpolated the 5'
contours into 1' contours that I'm using to engineer the grading, retaining walls, drainage, and
naturalistic stream that will carry the water from the waterfalls
back to the pond. The dry streams that serve this dual purpose
will be lined with PVC and mortar with imbedded river stones and
gravel The pump and lights will be activated by remote
controls. My grading and drainage design is easy to read in
this image that is color by layer. I use layers to group
similar object types. Textured images and accurate shadows
give you a level of realism never before possible for this size
||My 3D models are to scale, so they
can be used to create architectural plans, elevations, and details.
My 3D contour model creation and manipulation is revolutionary, and
will empower you with a level of understanding never before
possible. My techniques will relieve the stress of making
choices by demonstrating the effects of those choices. I save
a crumb trail of partially completed models so even major course
corrections are easy to explore.
||My 3D model also serves as a
siteplan and grading plan. I will add landscaping next.
||If you hire any other landscape
designer you will have to be able to read a siteplan without
benefit of the invaluable insights and inspirations gained via my
unique methods. As an added bonus; this is thrilling and fun!
Please see also 3d site plan
and tennis for more recent projects
using Google Earth and presentations
for rendered 3d designs.