ASLA Survey: Demand High for Residential Landscapes with Sustainability and Active Living Elements

Native plants, outdoor yoga spaces and charging stations are hot for
2018.

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–People want to do downward-facing dogs in their sustainably designed
backyards or shared outdoor spaces—while their phones are charging
nearby. That is one of the possible conclusions of the 2018 Residential
Landscape Architecture Trends Survey conducted by the American Society
of Landscape Architects (ASLA).

Landscape architects were asked to rate the expected popularity of a
variety of residential outdoor design elements in 2018. The survey was
fielded February 22 through March 8, 2018, with 808 responding.

ASLA revised the survey this year to include new types of outdoor
amenities that appeal to both single-family and multi-family owners and
residents. Residential design is the largest market sector for the
landscape architecture profession. Most of that work consists of
single-family homes but also includes multi-family and retirement
communities.

Because of this change in the survey, flexible outdoor spaces for such
activities as yoga and outdoor movie nights as well as charging stations
for mobile devices entered the top ten project types for the first time.

Here are the top ten project types with the expected highest consumer
demand:

  • Native plants – 83.3%
  • Native/adapted drought tolerant plants – 83.0%
  • Low-maintenance landscapes – 80.0%
  • Flexible use space (for yoga classes, movie night, etc.) – 74.2%
  • Drip/water-efficient irrigation – 72.4%
  • Permeable paving – 74.0%
  • Rain gardens – 71.2%
  • Reduced lawn area – 70.8%
  • Food/vegetable gardens (including orchards, vineyards, etc.) – 70.5%
  • Charging stations (mobile devices) – 70.0%

This lineup is virtually unchanged from 2017 except for the additions of
flexible-use space and charging stations.

The top three most popular outdoor design elements include fire pits/
fireplaces (66.0 percent), lighting (65.4 percent) and seating/dining
areas (64.0 percent). Last year’s top three were fire pits/fireplaces
(71.5 percent), wireless/internet connectivity (70.8 percent) and
lighting (67.8 percent). Wireless/internet connectivity was grouped this
year with movies, TV, and video theaters and stereo systems, a lineup
that received 48.0 percent of the vote in the outdoor design elements
category.

The top landscape and garden elements are expected to include native
plants (83.3 percent), low-maintenance landscapes (80.0 percent) and
rain gardens (71.2 percent). In 2017 the top three were native plants
(81.6 percent), low-maintenance landscapes (79.3 percent) and
food/vegetable gardens (76.5 percent).

Enhanced railing systems, which include those with cable or glass, is a
new answer choice added to the outdoor structure category this year. It
is ranked first in this category (51.0 percent), followed by pergolas
(48.3 percent) and decks (42.8 percent). Last year, the top three were
pergolas (50.3 percent), decks (41.4 percent) and fencing (39.8 percent).

The hottest sustainable design elements include native/adapted drought
tolerant plants (83.0 percent), permeable paving (74.0 percent) and
drip/water-efficient irrigation (72.4 percent). Last year’s top three in
this category were almost the same: native/adapted drought tolerant
plants (82.3 percent), permeable paving (76.3 percent) and reduced lawn
area (72.7 percent).

The outdoor recreation amenities category has been revised this year to
include amenity types for both single-family and multi-family
residences. Sports courts were broken down into more specific types and
labyrinths were removed. The top three types in 2018 include dog-related
recreation areas (68.0 percent), designated areas for other outdoor
recreation (61.5 percent) and bocce courts (42.5 percent). Last year’s
top three in this category were sports courts (42.4 percent), spa
features (39.7 percent) and swimming pools (39.2 percent).

ASLA added a new question about multi-family outdoor amenities this
year. The top three trends for this category include flexible use space
(for yoga classes, movie night, etc.) (74.2 percent), charging stations
(mobile devices) (70.0 percent) and bike storage (69.9 percent).

For more landscape ideas for your home, and to find a professional in
your area, visit www.asla.org/residentialinfo.

Editors, need gorgeous, high-res photos to illustrate this story? ASLA
can provide media with images of residential projects that have won ASLA
professional awards. Contact Karen Grajales at ktgrajales@asla.org
or (202) 216-2371.

Outdoor Design Elements

Ranked in expected order of popularity for 2018

Fire pits/ fireplaces – 66.0%
Lighting – 65.4%
Seating/dining
areas – 64.0%
Outdoor furniture – 59.1%
Outdoor kitchens –
58.8%
Decking (i.e., rooftop decking, etc.) – 53.6%
Grills –
50.0%
Movie/TV/video theaters, wireless/internet, stereo systems –
48.0%
Outdoor heaters – 40.5%
Stereo systems – 36.9%
Pools
and spa features (hot tubs, Jacuzzis, whirlpools, indoor/outdoor saunas)
– 36.9%
Utility Storage – 32.3%
Hammocks – 29.2%
Outdoor
cooling systems (including fans) – 28.5%
Showers/baths – 22.9%

Outdoor Recreation Amenities (Single Family and Multi-Family
Residences)

Ranked in expected order of popularity for 2018

Dog-related recreation area – 68.0%
Designated area for other
outdoor recreation – 61.5%
Bocce courts – 42.5%
Swimming pools
– 36.8%
Pickleball courts – 30.0%
Hot tubs/whirlpools/Jacuzzis
– 29.3%
Outdoor gym – 28.6
Lap pools – 27.2%
Basketball
courts – 16.6%
Paddle tennis courts – 14.2%
Lawn croquet –
13.9%
Saunas – 11.8%
Tennis courts – 9.1%

Multi-Family Outdoor Amenities

Ranked in expected order of popularity for 2018

Flexible use space (for yoga classes, movie night, etc.) – 74.2%
Charging
stations (mobile devices) – 70.0%
Bike storage – 69.9%
Play
area for children – 57.7%
Water feature (aesthetic feature, not
pool) – 46.5%
Bike repair station – 45.9%
Transit screen
(updates on public transit) – 39.1%
Pet spa – 32.1%
Plunge
pool – 18.6%

Landscape/Garden Elements

Ranked in expected order of popularity for 2018

Native plants – 83.3%
Low-maintenance landscapes – 80.0%
Rain
gardens – 71.2%
Food/vegetable gardens (including orchards,
vineyards, etc.) – 70.6%
Water-saving xeriscape or dry gardens –
65.9
Organic gardens – 59.6%
Rooftop gardens – 53.4%
Plant
walls/vertical gardens – 53.0%
Planters, sculptures, garden
accessories – 48.4%
Decorative water elements (ornamental pools,
fountains, splash pools, waterfalls, grottos, water runnels or bubblers)
– 42.6%
Ponds/streams – 28.6%
Formal gardens – 15.2%

Outdoor Structures

Ranked in expected order of popularity for 2018

Enhanced railing systems (cable, glass, etc.) – 51.0%
Pergolas –
48.3%
Decks – 42.8%
Fencing – 41.5%
ADA Accessible
structures (ramps, bars, shelving, etc.) – 39.9%
Arbors – 37.4%
Play
structures (tree houses, swing sets, etc.) – 34.1%
Porches – 32.6%
Pavilions
– 32.6%
Utility sheds (tool sheds, garden sheds) – 30.0%
Gazebos
– 21.0%

Sustainable Elements

Ranked in expected order of popularity for 2018

Native/adapted drought tolerant plants – 83.0%
Permeable paving –
74.0%
Drip/water-efficient irrigation – 72.4%
Reduced lawn
area – 70.8%
Rainwater/graywater harvesting – 68.7%
Recycled
materials – 63.6%
Solar-powered lights – 60.4%
Compost bins –
47.2%
Geothermal heated pools – 21.3%

About the American Society of Landscape Architects

Founded in 1899, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) is
the professional association for landscape architects in the United
States, representing more than 15,000 members. The Society’s mission is
to advance landscape architecture through advocacy, communication,
education and fellowship. Sustainability has been part of ASLA’s mission
since its founding and is an overarching value that informs all of the
Society’s programs and operations. ASLA has been a leader in
demonstrating the benefits of green infrastructure and resilient
development practices through the creation of its own green roof,
co-development of the SITES® Rating System, and the creation of publicly
accessible sustainable design resources.

Contacts

American Society of Landscape Architects
Karen Grajales
202-216-2371
ktgrajales@asla.org
@landarchitects