The advantages of a professionally installed and maintained landscape go beyond "curb appeal" and head straight for the bottomline. A well-designed landscape invites customers, producing higher occupancy rates and increased rentals.
However, the savings go further, when you consider that the proper selection and placement of plant material can lower heating and cooling costs by as much as 20%. The use of landscape to lower noise levels, reduce crime and enhance unpleasant views are economical alternatives that add up to increased profits.
According to a study by Professor Joel Goldsteen, landscape amenities had the highest correlation with occupancies of any other architectural and urban design variables evaluated. His conclusion was "landscaping amenities pay back the developer as evidenced by the higher occupancies (and rents) clearly justifying the investment." A shopping center in San Diego cites landscaping as the reason for high occupancy and the ability to charge rental rates that are double those of other shopping plazas. The carefully designed project uses landscaping to create a refuge in the midst of a busy shopping area.
A Chicago developer points to unique interior landscaping in glass-roofed atriums as a major selling point and reason the building occupancy rates are 21% above the national level. According to Judith Guido, director of marketing for TruGreen-LandCare, landscaping can add as much as 14 % resale value to a building and speed the sale of a building by as much as six weeks. In the 90s, as corporations are struggling to retain employees, the benefits of using landscape to create an enhanced work environment is a valuable sales tool.
Professional landscaping can reduce utility bills and conserve energy. In climates with cold winters, the goal is to block the winter wind with trees and shrubs while capturing the winter sun. In warmer climates, the goal is to block the summer sun while channeling the summer breezes. During summer, one large tree can absorb as much heat as several window air conditioners and can lower temperatures by ten degrees.
Irrigation & Green Industry article Sept 99