Landscape Architectural Services

Full Landscape Architectural Services

Refer CODE OF PRACTICE AND FEES PROTOCOL FOR THE SOUTH AFRICAN COUNCIL FOR THE LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURAL PROFESSION (SACLAP) The South African Council for the Landscape Architectural Profession under Section 12 (1) & 14 (c) of the Landscape Architectural Profession Act, 2000 (Act Nr 45 of 2000) practice and fees protocol associated with the profession.
Dated: January 2011 – link to SACLAP website

Categories of work and services of the landscape architectural professional
  1. Environmental Management

This category of work consists of site surveys and data evaluation to determine the impact of a proposed development on the natural and cultural environment.  This work is often undertaken to comply with current legislation to inform and assist the authorities in their decision making process to issue a permit to undertake an activity.

  1. Ecological Analysis and Planning

Work undertaken under this category entails site surveys in respect of geology, topography, microclimates, hydrology, soil, plants, archaeology, etc., and is normally carried out in conjunction with specialist consultants.  The interpretation of the abovementioned data is used to determine the intrinsic suitability of the site for various uses.  This category of landscape planning is normally carried out for purposes of regional planning and the ecological planning of large sites to ensure optimum site utilisation, and for purposes of feasibility studies.  The work carried out in this category will normally include the following services:

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2.1 Data Collection

Visits to the site by the Landscape Architectural Professional accompanied by specialist consultants for purposes of preparation of basic data maps, which will be made available to the Client.   Apart from the maps prepared in respect of ecological factors, data maps may also be prepared in respect of aesthetic considerations and socio-economic factors.

2.2   Interpretation of Data

The Landscape Architectural Professional will interpret data collected for a project in respect of specific land-uses, either by computer or manual procedures and may or may not prepare interpreted data maps.

2.3   Formulation of Land-use Plans

The Landscape Architectural Professional will, based on interpretation of the foregoing data maps, indicate optimum land-uses on the site. These land-uses will normally include development (housing, industrial, etc.), agriculture, recreation (active and passive), conservation areas and transportation corridors.

The foregoing documents will be accompanied by a written report outlining the project, together with recommendations for implementation.

  1. Site Selection or Development Projects

The Landscape Architectural Professional may be requested by the Client to select a suitable site for the Client’s purposes.

  1. Planning and Supervision of Development Projects

This category consists of site and need analyses, the preparation of a guide plan, the preparation of sketch plans, working drawings, contract documents and the supervision (monitoring) of work carried out by landscape and/or other contractors.

4.1 Site and Need Analysis

If the Client already has a site, the Landscape Architectural Professional will make an analysis of all the natural and man-made features of the site and will also ascertain the needs and requirements of the Client for purposes of master and/or sketch plan preparation. This information will be used in the preparation of a master and/or sketch plan.

4.2 Landscape Master Plan or Long- Term Development Plan

The Landscape Architectural Professional and the Client will determine by mutual agreement the need for a master plan. The master plan is a medium to control a project over an extended period.

The master or long- term development plan will contain information on zoning, traffic and pedestrian circulation, siting of future buildings, schematic plant use, and will indicate areas suitable for facilities such as active and passive recreation, conservation areas and other functional and non-functional uses.

Where large scale earth works are contemplated, a revised contour plan will be prepared as part of the master plan. The master plan can also be subdivided into priority areas for decision making purposes by the Client. It will also be accompanied by a written report setting out planning considerations and containing recommendations for development priorities.

4.3 Sketch Plan and Cost Estimates

Where a scheme can be executed under one contract, it will normally only be necessary to have a sketch plan without the use of a master plan.

The sketch plan normally consists of two phases: A preliminary sketch plan indicating all proposed development, materials to be used and a preliminary cost estimate of the work to be carried out under the landscape contract.  Upon the Client’s approval of the preliminary sketch plan, the Landscape Architectural Professional will prepare a final sketch plan together with a revised cost estimate for the Client’s approval and authorisation to proceed with the working drawings.

4.4 Working Drawings

Upon approval of the sketch plan, the Landscape Architectural Professional will prepare working or detail drawings for each section of the project which will normally cover the following aspects: grading, drainage and reticulation, structures, roads, parking and walkways, paving, planting and lighting.

4.5 Specifications

The specifications will identify all types of materials to be used and will set forth explicit and concise outcome specifications of construction and/or installation. The specifications are prepared in such a way as to separate those portions of the work which may logically be executed by the different trades or separate contractors, as for example: excavation and grading, concrete and masonry work, paving, recreational equipment, planting and seeding.

4.6 Bill of Quantities

The Landscape Architectural Professional shall prepare a bill of quantities itemising all work to be done and materials and equipment to be supplied under categories of trades, giving the unit of measurement, quantities to be handled and making provision for unit rates, item totals and total contract amounts.

4.7 Final Cost Estimates

Upon the completion of the working drawings, specifications and bill of quantities, the Landscape Architectural Professional will prepare a final cost estimate for the Client’s approval prior to the calling of tender.

4.8 Tender and Contract Documents

The Landscape Architectural Professional will prepare the contract document and call for tenders on behalf of the Client. The tender and contract documents shall identify all drawings and documents pertaining to the work, establish the manner in which the tenders are to be submitted, the basis on which the work is to be contracted for, the contract or unit price, agreed terms, payments, and all other information necessary to assure a complete and valid contract.

The Landscape Architectural Professional will, after tenders have been obtained, advise the Client on the suitability of the tenders, and prepare the necessary contract for ratification by the Client and the successful Contractor

4.9 Supervision

When the site has been handed to the Contractor, the Landscape Architectural Professional shall carry out supervision (monitoring) on a regular basis, arrange site meetings, prepare minutes of site meetings and periodical progress reports for the Client, and issue certificates for payments to the Contractor to be honored by the Client. If constant or more frequent supervision is required, the Landscape Architectural Professional shall, by prior agreement with the Client, be reimbursed on a time basis for the extra time involved, or a Clerk of Works may be appointed

4.10 Retention of Landscape Architectural Professional’s Services

The Landscape Architectural Professional may be retained by the Client for a further period after completion of the contract to advise on alternations to the executed project if necessary and to control the maintenance of the project so as to ensure that it will reach maturity as originally planned.

Additional and Other Services

  1. Co-Ordinator of Planning of Other Specialist Consultants

The Landscape Architectural Professional may also act as co-ordinator in respect of other specialist consultants employed by the Client for the preparation of environmental reports, sketch plans, working drawings and documents for the following:

  • Environmental Assessment and Management,
  • Building normally designed by architects,
  • Structures requiring the specialist knowledge of engineers,
  • Stormwater drainage systems,
  • Sewerage systems,
  • Lighting systems,
  • Irrigation systems and
  • Water reticulations systems for ornamental and functional uses.
  1. Co-Ordinator of Site Construction

The Landscape Architectural Professional may fill the role of co-ordinator on the site where large scale landscape construction is to be carried out by contractors.  In such an event the Landscape Architectural Professional will co-ordinate the execution of work on site by the various contractors in respect of services to be installed, e.g. roads, parking areas, site lighting, water reticulation and other utility services.

 3. General The Landscape Architectural Professional may be called upon to do amongst other things the following:

  • Negotiate on behalf of clients with developers or other persons with respect to landscape projects.
  • Undertake local and overseas research projects.
  • Construct scale models of projects.
  • Visit nurseries for the purpose of selecting plant materials.
  • Design garden and street furniture and ornaments.
  • Topographical surveying for preliminary planning (but not for official use).

Work stages


This stage is in broad terms defined as follows:

Establish the client requirements and preferences, assess user needs and options, appointment of necessary consultants, establish the project brief including project objectives, priorities, constraints, assumptions, aspirations and strategies. 

Stage 1 services: 

  • Assist in developing a clear project brief
  • Attend project initiation meetings
  • Advise on the procurement policy for the project
  • Advise on rights, constraints, consents and approvals
  • Advise on the other consultants and services required
  • Define the consultant’s scope of work and services
  • Determine availability of data, drawings and plans relating to the project
  • Advise on the necessary surveys, analyses, tests and or other investigations where such information will be required.
  • Advise on appropriate financial design criteria
  • Provide necessary information within the agreed scope of the project to the other consultants





This stage is in broad terms defined as follows: 

Prepare and finalise the project concept in accordance with the brief including the scope, scale, character, form, function and viability of the project.

Stage 2 services:                                                                                                 

  • Agree the documentation programme with the principal consultant and the other consultants
  • Attend design and consultants’ meetings
  • Prepare concept design based on the client’s brief
  • Consult with the other consultants and incorporate their input
  • Discuss design concept with local and other authorities as required
  • Advise the client regarding further surveys, analysis, tests and investigations which may be required.
  • Refine and assess concept design to ensure conformity with statutory requirements and consents.
  • Co-ordinate design interfaces with the other consultants
  • Select hard and soft landscape construction materials
  • Prepare cost estimates as required
  • Submit presentation of the design concept to the client for approval
  • Prepare and submit the landscape development plan to the local authority for approval where applicable
  • Liaise, co-operate and provide necessary information to the client, principal consultant and other consultants


This stage is in broad terms defined as follows:

Develop the approved concept to finalise the design, outline specifications, cost plan, financial viability and program for the project 

Stage 3 services:                                                                           

  • Review the documentation programme with the principal consultant and the other consultants
  • Attend design and consultants’ meetings
  • Incorporate the client’s detailed requirements into the landscape design
  • Give due consideration to, incorporate and co-ordinate the other consultants’ designs into the landscape design where necessary
  • Prepare design development drawings including draft technical details and outline specifications
  • Review and evaluate design and outline specifications and exercise cost control
  • Prepare detailed estimates of construction costs
  • Liaise, co-operate and provide necessary information to the client, principal consultant and other consultants
  • Obtain project specific requirements from the local and or other authorities in order to ensure conformity with requirements


 This stage is in broad terms defined as follows:

Prepare the construction and procurement documentation, confirm and implement the procurement strategies and procedures for effective and timeous procurement of necessary resources for the execution of the project.

 Stage 4 services:                                                                                                                            

  • Assist with local and or other authority submission(s)
  • Attend design and consultants’ meetings
  • Prepare specifications for the works and agree preambles
  • Co-ordinate services and prepare necessary services co-ordination drawings
  • Check cost estimate and adjust documents if necessary to remain within budget
  • Assist the principal consultant in formulation of procurement strategy for contractors
  • Review working drawings for compliance with the approved budget
  • Prepare documentation for contractor procurement
  • Assist the principal consultant with calling for tenders and/or negotiation of prices
  • Liaise, co-operate and provide necessary information to the principal consultant and the other consultants
  • Assist with evaluation of tenders
  • Assist with the preparation of contract documentation for signature
  • Assess samples and products for compliance and design intent


This stage is in broad terms defined as follows: 

Manage, administer and monitor the contracts and processes, including the preparation and coordination of the procedures and documentation to facilitate practical completion of the works.

Stage 5 services:

  • Attend the site handover
  • Issue construction documentation in accordance with the documentation programme
  • Carry out contract administration procedures delegated by the principal agent in terms of the contract
  • Prepare schedules of predicted cash flow
  • Prepare pro-active estimates for proposed variations for client decision making
  • Attend regular site, technical and progress meetings
  • Inspect the works for conformity to contract documentation
  • Adjudicate and resolve financial claims by contractor(s)
  • Assist in the resolution of contractual claims by the contractor
  • Establish and maintain financial control system
  • Clarify details and descriptions during construction as required
  • Prepare valuations for payment certificates
  • Approve valuations for payment
  • Witness and review all tests and mock-ups carried out both on and off site
  • Check and approve subcontract shop drawings for design intent
  • Update and issue the drawings register
  • Issue contract instructions as and when required
  • Review and comment on operations and maintenance manuals, guarantees, certificates and warranties
  • Inspect the works and issue practical completion and defects lists
  • Assist in obtaining statutory approvals where required

STAGE 6: CLOSE-OUT                                         

This stage is in broad terms defined as follows:

Fulfil and complete the project close-out including the preparation of the necessary documentation to facilitate effective completion, handover and operation of the project.

Stage 6 services                                                                                                        

  • Inspect and verify rectification of defects
  • Prepare valuation for payment
  • Approve relevant payment valuations and completion certificates
  • Advise on soft landscape maintenance
  • Prepare and/or procure operations and maintenance manuals, guarantees and warranties
  • Prepare and/or procure as-built drawings and documentation

    Description of S.O.S (Sustainable Open Space) Model and Systems Services

    Ensuring the true Sustainability of an Open Space Facility, through the use of S.O.S Model and Systems – a Professional Wholistic & Systematic Maintenance & Management.

    A NEW Approach, Entity Structure, Development and Management Model and Software Package.

    S.O.S Foundation is founded on a strong conviction and believe in the opportunity and subsequent viability / self – sustainability of a renewed concept of open space  (place + people).

    Services provided include:

    • To asses and archive site characteristics, details and plans so that the site can be fully understood and broken up and operated in various land use and character zones e.g. sites grid, rehabilitation etc.;
    • The careful collation, archiving and recording, of all specialist investigations, information and recommended management objectives, goals and operations (i.e. description, standards, specifications and frequency) onto an electronic database which is user friendly;
    • The cross referencing and synthesis of all specialist recommendations pertaining to maintenance and management (to streamline efficiency – financial, human etc. resources as well as ensure effectivity and a holistic approach). This aligns and makes operational environmental management programmes etc.);
    • To graphically present the complexity of a one systems approach, as simply as possible, so that it can be utilized to educate, empower and inform all interested and affected parties;
    • To facilitate sound and accurate business planning as well as providing report backs on funds spent as well as motivating and sourcing alternative funds;
    • To facilitate interested and affected party involvement and feedbacke. social networking regards a facility thereby recording comments, compliments and concerns (a call / facebook / twitter system);
    • To produce graphic material such as signage and pamphlets for information, education etc.
    • To provide wholistic overall management and facilitate appropriate and adequate maintenance from various contractors, keeping all within working with the same vision;
    • To carefully and closely monitor and conduct audits (environmental and facility) so as to inform improvements to the software and provide annual system updates and reports

    Fees Structure and Description

    1. Project ‘cost based fees’

    Percentage basis Fees are calculated based on initially, the estimated and ultimately, the final project cost.  The fees calculated on a percentage of project cost are derived from the percentage sliding scale – the lower the project cost the higher the percentage value and vice versa ( All second-hand material or manufactured goods included in the project shall be valued at the market value, as if newly acquired.

    2. Time charges

    Time basis Where fees for landscape architectural services are time charge fees, these are based on an hourly rate according to the latest published hourly rates applicable to the level of service rendered. The hourly rates are reviewed annually by the Council and should be adjusted accordingly during the duration of the project. Refer to the SACLAP website ( for the latest gazetted hourly rates.

    3. Pre-negotiated lump sum fee

    By prior agreement the fees calculated for a project may be compounded into a lump sum payable as a whole or by instalments over a given period. Such fee should be based on an estimate of the fees which would have been charged on a time or percentage basis.

    This basis of fee determination should not be used for the purpose of fee reduction or competitive estimates but should be used especially where the percentage basis of remuneration cannot be applied to give the Client an indication of his commitment in the early stages of the project.

    A lump sum may, by agreement, be used as a ceiling limit up to which the Landscape Architectural Professional will calculate his fees on a time basis.  The Client should be informed when the agreed amount is about to be expended, and any further work should then be done on a time basis or by further agreement.

    4. Retainer basis

    The services of the Landscape Architectural Professional may be retained by the Client on a continuing long-term basis.

    The retainer fee may be in several forms, based as follows:

    1. FIXED FEE, based upon an estimated time commitment, i.e. number of hours to be spent on the project during the specified period. Provision must be made for any additional work to be done by the Landscape Architectural Professional, and /or
    2. FIXED HOURLY RATE, based on a rate agreed to by the Client and the Landscape Architectural Professional.

    5. Area Basis

    This basis may be suitable for private properties, housing developments, holiday  resorts, institutions, etc.

    An estimate should be made of the landscape construction costs per square metre for the proposed project. By multiplying this cost by the total square meterage of the area to be landscaped a total estimated construction cost can be obtained. This total cost must be read against the percentage graph (LINK TO WEB SITE FOR FEE PERCENTAGE GRAPH) to determine the estimated fee applicable to the proposed project.


    6. Percentage Basis

    6.1 Landscape master plans

    The percentage or time basis may be used for master plans.  The percentage will be based on the total estimated development cost of the project calculated on the estimated development cost per square meter (current construction costs).  The fee for the master plan is 1% of the estimated total cost.

    Where a master plan, prepared by the Landscape Architectural Professional, is subdivided into various time or area phases for development purposes, the various phases of the project will represent separate projects for purposes of percentage determinations.

    6.2 Standard design service

    In a standard design service the Landscape Architectural Professional is appointed to fulfil the obligations provided for as described as a full service. These services are in line with what is in the PROCSA’s (Professional Consultants Services Agreement Committee) standard documents of service. (LINK TO WEB DOC)

    Should the service include project management, principal consultant and or principal agent, this is described as an additional specialist service.  The essential functions of each work stage relevant to the service are identified herein (refer Workstages)