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landscape construction 3rd edition

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T o change a site from an underdeveloped space to an attractive, functional, outdoor area, sound design and a skilled landscape contractor are needed. Just as the designer must perceive the visual potential and practical concerns that a site offers, the landscape contractor must possess creativity and a wide range of tangible skills to interpret and implement the designer’s ideas. Such skills come only through learning and practice.

 Traditionally, the trade of landscape contracting has relied on apprenticeships and educational programs to teach students the art of implementation. Although both of these methods provide effective hands-on schooling, they have been limited by the lack of written material necessary to form a foundation for experiential learning. Landscape construction requires knowledge of a broad range of construction techniques. 

Numerous texts and manufacturer’s pamphlets may explain one aspect of landscape construction, but the scattered nature of this information makes it difficult to grasp how one part of construction relates to another. 

Continuous and holistic learning is hence made difficult, leaving students with a patchy and inconsistent picture of landscape construction. These inconsistencies prevent a design from developing to its fullest potential. The majority of “complete” landscape texts available are limited in scope or focus on garden projects, rather than on construction techniques. 

This text attempts to correct those omissions by providing comprehensive, process-oriented coverage of the many facets and phases of landscape construction. Such information will help students develop an understanding of the construction process, as well as sharpen the extensive foundation of skills required before they can become competent specialists. Construction basics are explained and illustrated with numerous photos and diagrams.

Fundamental data related to construction techniques and materials are provided. This text is intended for students of landscape construction and practicing professionals seeking to expand their expertise. It is prepared as a supplement to supervised classroom instruction and is not intended to be a do-it-yourself manual. 

The sections of this edition are organized around the logical steps of landscape construction. The first section provides information regarding preconstruction activities, including safety, legal issues, interpretation of construction documents, basic construction math, bidding and estimating, and other basic skills.

 Following this initial unit are nine sections dedicated to the work typically associated with landscape construction: site preparation; grading, site drainage, and erosion protection; site utilities and irrigation; landscape retaining walls and stairs; landscape paving; wood decks and landscape structures; fences and freestanding walls; landscape amenities; and planting. Chapters within each section detail the steps necessary to install materials covered under the section’s title.