How to do construction documents

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums EDUCATION How to do construction documents

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    Hi all, I was wondering if anyone knows where one can learn construction documentation outside of being employed in an office. I’ve searched online and found no courses in this subject specifically geared towards landscape architecture. I have bought several books including the Landscape Architecture Documentation Standards, but I prefer a class setting. Thank you all in advance!


    Well, IMO, you sure don’t learn HOW in a University LA degree program. Maybe I’m just old school here, but, I believe the best way to learn how to produce professional “Contract Documents” is by working for a descent sized quality Landscape Architecture Firm.

    Before I went out on my own @ ag 41, I designed for 2 different LA firms. At the 2nd LA firm, there were 7 LAs total…we grew to about 40 LAs in size. I learned from some very talented and experienced LA’s over those 14 to 15 years. So, when I went out on my own (as a 1 person LA firm), I felt I had the necessary training to design every aspect of every project……because, during the last 5 yrs. in that 2nd LA Firm, I was designing 100% of my projects…always had about 8 projects going at any one time.

    Being in that “environment”…around younger and older LA’s just provided me with the skills I needed to move forward…and back then, every drawing was “By Hand”, autoCAD was not being used by LA’s then. And, partly because I had such a very busy LA career, I never did learn autoCAD…I just stayed with “Hand Drawings” for my 43 year LA career. But, I’m Retired now…I could have retired 5 to 8 yrs. ago, but now, @ age 70, I think I deserve to take things slow and get off of my drawing board.

    I do have an LA friend who graduated from a University LA program about 13 years ago, but, he/she only worked for a Licensed LA for 2 yrs…then, set up their own private LA firm. IMO, that won’t work, because, you can NOT teach yourself “Landscape Architecture”…or how to produce “Contract Documents”…it’s just not that simple.

    I highly recommend going to work for an LA firm…one that would be willing to “mentor” you. It takes time to learn how to design, produce site grading plans/Planting Plans, construction details, design pools & water features, site lighting plans….learn the various computer software programs that most LA firms are using these days. You can’t learn “Contract Documents” in a class room or from a book, IMO.

    Good Luck!


    Is there a best practices type checklist of all items needed in a CD set?


    I just now GOOGLED “Is there an on-line Landscape Architect’s Contract Document Checklist?”…..and a (14) page LIST came up. It’s very comprehensive….but, includes CE and LA items.

    Still…just having a CHECK LIST for Contract Documents…not sure just how much that will help you IF you haven’t gone through the entire “Design Process” for many LA projects. That’s HOW you really LEARN how to design “Contract Documents” and know you covered all the bases.


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