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ASLA Survey: Demand High for Sustainable, Tech-Friendly Residential Landscapes

Consumers prefer sustainable – yet tech-friendly – design elements for their outdoor living spaces, according to the 2017 Residential Landscape Architecture Trends Survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA).  For the first time, wireless/internet connectivity entered the top ten project types, suggesting that people want a backyard that allows them to enjoy both nature and connectivity.

Landscape architects were asked to rate the expected popularity of a variety of residential outdoor design elements in 2017. The survey was conducted Feb. 2 – Feb. 16, with 817 responding.

“The fact that more consumers want outdoor wireless access shows that they want expanded options for remaining connected to their devices,” said Nancy C. Somerville, executive vice president and CEO of ASLA.

“Well-designed residential landscapes provide social interaction, enjoyment of nature, and physical activity, while also reducing water use and stormwater runoff,” said Somerville.

 The top five outdoor design elements ranked in expected order of popularity for 2017 are:

  • Fire pits/fireplaces – 71.51%
  • Wireless/internet connectivity – 70.77%
  • Lighting – 67.83%
  • Outdoor furniture – 62.69%
  • Seating/dining areas – 62.14%

The trends report also shows the top ten project types with the expected highest consumer demand are:

  • Native/adapted drought tolerant plants – 82.31%
  • Native plants – 81.60%
  • Low-maintenance landscapes – 79.25%
  • Food/vegetable gardens (including orchards, vineyards, etc.) – 76.52%
  • Permeable paving – 76.31%
  • Reduced lawn area – 72.66%
  • Fire pits/fireplaces – 71.51%
  • Drip/water-efficient irrigation – 71.05%
  • Wireless/internet connectivity – 70.77%
  • Rainwater/graywater harvesting – 70.32%

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