Standards for Evaluating Landscape Design *

I. Suitability of design to purpose/owner       = 25 points

  1. Meets design program

  2. Meets the project budget

  3. Meets legal requirements and safety standards 

II. Design (suitability to user)                        = 25 points

  1. Function

    Is suitable/appropriate to site/context

    Is sustainable within region

    Considers utilization of space, including pedestrian traffic patterns and vehicular parking

  2. Aesthetic

    Design principles employed successfully

    Design elements applied successfully

    Shows originality, distinction, style: distinguished for its superiority 

III. Implementation                                        = 25 points

  1. Hardscape materials & structures

    Are suitable/appropriate to purpose, site, and design

    Contains suitable details; character/quality appropriate

  2. Plant Materials

    Are suitable to purpose, site, and design

    Are appropriate to region/zone 

IV. Maintenance                                            = 25 points

  1. Incorporates maintenance awareness into design

  2. Includes selection of sustainable materials and recognition of ultimate plant habit in design 


* Adapted from the textbook, Stewards of the Land: A Survey of Landscape Architecture and Design in America, published by the National Council of State Garden Clubs, Inc. (now National Garden Clubs, Inc.) St. Louis, Missouri, 1999. See p. 111 and Chapter 30, “Guidelines for Evaluating Landscape Design,” pp. 230-235.  Points (e.g. “= 25 points”) have been added.  The textbook does not codify ways to quantify subjective evaluations.  From guidelines distributed to Landscape Design School chairmen in 1999.