A number of recent eye-catching, high-profile projects have underlined a change in mentality when it comes to commercial landscape design, according to hard landscaping specialist Brett Landscaping.
The company has a growing commercial paving business and believes that its success owes much to a greater level of aesthetic ambition amongst architects, engineers and contractors in recent years.
“The age of monotone identikit development of the early noughties is fast becoming a distant memory,” explains Andrew Gill, Marketing Manager at Brett Landscaping. “The difficult economic conditions post-2008 have forced developers to consider design far more, because organisations are demanding impactful, attractive buildings which stand out from the crowd – and expect a similar degree of style in the surrounding environment as well.”
Precast concrete paving offers a versatile solution to the needs of architects, with its unique combination of robustness for long-term performance, aesthetic appeal for world class external spaces and value for money when it comes to project budgets. These virtues can frequently be combined with other considerations such as surface water management and sustainability.
Brett Landscaping reports that the sheer diversity of sectors it is currently working with proves that this is a widespread phenomenon. “Brett products have been specified by ports, schools, railway stations, health centres and many other types of building in recent years,” confirms Andrew Gill.
“The only common denominator is that projects are being green-lit on the proviso that quality matters,” he adds. “A business’ surroundings have a major effect on the perception of its brand – after all, it is the surrounding landscape that visitors see first, so it pays to invest in specifying quality materials and installation at the master planning stage.
“This also allows for the early integration of features such as sustainable drainage, user safety and site security at the design and construction stage, which is frequently more cost effective than trying to retrofit any of these requirements to a project.”
The growth of the Brett Landscaping commercial division represents a major achievement for the business – today one of the largest privately owned building materials businesses in the UK. Whilst historically more associated with the domestic market, Brett Landscaping made a strategic decision in 2008 to devote increased resource to developing its commercial product portfolio sensing that the market would welcome greater choice in landscaping options.
Whilst setting out this strategy at the onset of one of the worst downturns seen for a generation Brett believe that their strategy has paid off with the business consistently growing its commercial product portfolio through the recession.
“Our initial growth was achieved against the backdrop of a recession, suggesting that the industry is always interested in looking at high-quality, attractive hard landscaping solutions,” points out Andrew Gill. “That’s been proven even more so, during the past year or two, as the economy has picked up and businesses have the confidence and finances to fund redevelopment work and we see more demand for high end products such as our Piatto range coming through our system.”
With its pedigree in manufacturing, backed by expertise in commercial landscape design and engineering, Brett Landscaping boasts an enviable product portfolio suitable for a wide range of applications. According to Andrew Gill, the strength of the business owes much to the diversity of output.
“Whether specifiers prefer traditional block paving or natural stone, along with whatever accessories are required in terms of specialist kerbs, surface water management or bespoke features, we have the capability to provide it.”