What is Landscape Certification?
Depending on the location and the approval type of your landscape, you are likely to require the landscape to be certified.
Landscape certification is a process where a Registered Landscape Architect inspects your new landscape. They ensure it meets the Local Authority Conditions of Approval that were granted at Development Approval Phase.
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What is the Landscape Certification Process?
To complete this process, you will need to engage a Registered Landscape Architect. A Registered Landscape Architect is one that has sufficient experience to ensure the quality of your landscape build is satisfactory. It needs to meet the Development Approval requirements.
There are specific requirements that must be adhered to for your landscape to pass certification. These requirements differ dependent on the local shire your project is in. Also, the specific local authority requirements in their Planning Scheme and numerous other factors come into play.
Types of Landscape Certification
Typically there are two types of landscape certification. Landscape design certification and Landscape works certification.
Landscape design certification is a process where the design is completed by a landscape architect and then a certificate is lodged to the Local Authority certifying that the design has been completed in accordance with the Local Planning Scheme and Landscape Code.
This is typically required prior to commencing any work on site.
The second type of Landscape Certification is Landscape works certification. This is completed once the landscape works have been finished on site and inspected by a Registered Landscape Architect. It is also a requirement that the landscape contractor certifies the landscape works have been completed in accordance with the approved drawings, Australian Standards and good industry practice.
Development application forms, viewed 20 July 2021.
Landscape Certification Inspections
Regular inspections are required throughout the construction process. This ensures the quality of workmanship is satisfactory and all Development Approval Conditions are being met.
If you have had a builder construct your project in a Design and Construct arrangement, chances are the landscape will require constant monitoring throughout construction. This is to ensure specific requirements are not compromised throughout the build.
For example, there might be specific setback requirements or deep planting requirements to meet. These spaces must be maintained through any design changes that could occur on site.
What are the Risks with Certification?
If you don’t certify your landscape you could have issues with Plan Sealing amongst a number of other things. Also, Local Authorities are constantly reviewing recently completed projects to ensure they meet the Development Approval.
Should your landscape certification not meet the Development Approval plans, Council are likely to require you to meet these conditions of approval. This means significant rework or rectification to a landscape that has just been completed.
The best thing to do is involve a Registered Landscape Architect early in the construction process to ensure all Conditions are met throughout the construction phase.
What Specifically is Required?
Each Local Authority has different requirements, however generally there are a lot of principles that are similar.
The landscape needs to be constructed in accordance with the Development Approval Conditions and the relevant Development Code for the type of project built. This means that the quality of the landscape should be to industry and Australian Standards.
Elements such as an appropriate number of trees are planted on site that meets any Development Approval documentation. Also, the numbers of plants are sufficient, the quality of plants are excellent and also meet Standards Australia. The soil type, soil depths, landscape buffer widths, deep planting dimensions and plant species need to also be appropriate, in accordance with detailed drawings and Standards Australia.
These are just some of the items that must be checked to meet Landscape Certification requirements.
How much does Landscape Certification Cost?
Landscape certification is dependent on the scale and complexity of the project. A small landscape may only take a few hours to certify if it is constructed well and in accordance with all the landscape conditions and landscape code.
A larger more complex landscape could take several site visits, defects and rectification tasks that could stretch out to weeks or months.
It really depends on the quality of workmanship, complexity of the landscape and skills and experience of the professionals involved in certifying the works.
Who Can Certify my Landscape?
Ensure you use a competent landscape architect to certify your landscape. It is a good idea to avoid any potential issues that could arise should the Local Authority decide to inspect your project once complete.
Citicene has Registered Landscape Architects that can certify your landscape and we have certified many landscapes across Australia. Contact us for further details.