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 Lori Hawkins Explains How You Can Rise Above the Competition With 3D Design


Lori Hawkins

In the highly competitive world of landscape design and installation, attracting and securing new customers has always been a challenge. In increasing numbers, landscape professionals are utilizing cutting edge technology to accomplish this goal. 3D imaging technology is one in a professional’s arsenal that can really deliver on this objective, as well as making your job easier! Let’s take a look and explore five benefits and see how they can assist your business:

1. 3D technology gives your company a competitive edge.

In an increasingly difficult business environment with fierce competition, 3D technology will give you an advantage over companies using traditional 2D design. The ability to help the customers ‘see’ their project before construction is invaluable. When in a bid situation, many times all that may be needed is to send the customer a link to your 3D work portfolio. Once they see the 3D images, they are sold!

2. It allows greater creativity.

Design ideas can be more fully explored; revisions are a snap after a client meeting. Now that I am using this technology, I am more apt to try things out and then see how they would work in 3D before making a final design decision. You also can come up with a variety of ideas for a customer and explore them together in 3D.

Visualization is a snap. Many customers have difficulty visualizing designs in 2D; 3D technology allows the customer to completely visualize the final design product. You can also explore changes in materials and layout more easily for quicker turn around on revisions. Collaboration can also occur more easily, and you can even make design changes in real time during a meeting. The animation of the programs also allows the customer to truly feel that they are there, walking through their newly designed space.

4. Allows identification of benefits and problems easier.

Using this technology, project benefits can be maximized, and problems identified quickly and more easily during the design process.

5. Communicate, collaborate—and clients relations are maximized.

Since the client can fully visualize the project, communication during the design process is made easier. When communication during a project is effective, it tends to alleviate potential problems with the client/designer relationship. 3D can spark ideas that may need to be explored during the design phase. You can also more fully show how the design meets the requirements and needs of the client. When the customers have ‘bought into’ the design, the chances of selling it are greatly enhanced.

Ready to take the plunge into 3D landscape design, check out one of these programs:

• VIP3D by Structure Studios: I have used this program for more than 10 years. The graphics are great, and I would consider it moderately priced. It has great features that have been a real benefit to my business and my clients.

• Dynascape: Another excellent program that has many different features that make it very desirable. Pricing is higher, requires a SketchUp plug in for 3D technology.

• Lumion: A higher tech option that has incredible graphics and features. I have heard great things about this program.

• Real Time Landscape Architect: A lower priced version that has many great features. The graphics are not quite as vibrant as some of the other programs discussed.

• Pro Landscape: Another lower priced version that might be a great starting place for you if you are interested in trying it out.

About Lori Hawkins

Lori Hawkins, RLA, ASLA has been a registered landscape architect for more than 30 years. She is registered in both NC and SC and has her own private practice in the Greensboro, NC area. Instagram: @3Dlandscapearchitect 




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