Landscape performance initiatives garner commendation from ASLA

Foster Ndubisi

As vice president of research and information for the [Landscape Architecture Foundation] ( , Forster Ndubisi, head of the [Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning] ( at Texas A&M University, guided development of two initiatives aimed at enhancing the quality of designed landscapes. Those projects were recognized by the [American Society of Landscape Architects] ( at the organization's Nov. 9 national convention in Chicago.

The programs, the [Landscape Performance Series] ( and [Case Study Investigation] ( , are aimed at making landscape performance — a measure of how effectively landscape solutions fulfill their intended purpose and contribute to sustainability — as well known as building performance is today.

“Our work to promote landscape performance is changing the way landscape architects practice and the way others understand and appreciate the value of landscape solutions,” said Barbara Deutsch, LAF executive director. “We are thrilled to see our research programs achieve this level of recognition.”

The Landscape Performance Series, winner of the 2015 ASLA Award of Excellence in Communication, is an online storehouse of resources to aid designers, agencies, and advocates.

The publicly accessible site contains a set of tools and calculators to estimate landscape performance, a searchable collection of landscape design information and innovations from research, industry, academia and professional practice, and much more.

The site, a showcase for the measurable environmental, social and economic benefits of good landscape design, provides users with design precedents that show value and make the case for sustainable landscape solutions.

LAF’s Case Study Investigation program earned a 2015 ASLA Honor Award in Research. The program teams university faculty and student researchers team with leading design practitioners to measure and document the performance of the practitioners’ built projects.

To date, 30 faculty, 35 students, and 57 design firms have participated in the case study program, resulting in the publication of more than 100 case studies, including three led by Ming-Han Li and Bruce Dvorak, Texas A&M landscape architecture faculty members.

posted October 5, 2015