It’s 2021 Budgeting Season… Three Landscape Trends Re-shaping CRE Outdoor Space

In early 2006, if we were to tell you that your lawn would be mowed by a robot, that the cloud was not a delivery system for rain, and that your sprinklers would be controlled by your iPhone, you would have said, ‘what’s an iPhone?’ 

Because in 2006, the device used by more people in the world than any other, did not exist.

Thirteen years ago, when Apple introduced its smartphone, even the most progressively imaginative among us failed to imagine that a pocket-sized digital tool would have the power to change the nature of our lives and create a boundary-less generation of professionals that could work from anywhere.

Big data, the internet of things, automation, video conferencing, smart technologies and collaborative platforms are, today, all part of landscaper’s tool kit.  

Here are three ways we’re using those tools to partner with commercial real estate professionals to drive continuous improvement.

Making outdoor space the new value-add.

Park-like settings, green spaces, shade tree allées and trails – the functionality of a facilities’ exterior landscaped footprint – are being re-configured to accommodate socialization, benefit health and safety, and create a new way of working and learning outside.

As schools move classrooms outdoors, restaurants expand patios, and health care promotes the therapeutic value of healing gardens, property and facility managers are also looking for opportunities to use outside space as an amenity that can contribute to the wellbeing of their workforce, as well as drive tenant retention.

Our landscape upgrade strategies deliver long term benefits in quality and flexibility, both in use and configuration, with smart technologies to enhance connectivity, and the revitalization of plant material to promote biodiversity and drought tolerance.

Optimizing pedestrian flow as the new outdoor amenity.

Pathways, border areas and buffer zones, plazas, walking corridors, sidewalks, bridge crossing, corners, lighting – landscaping is one of the best ways to control pedestrian flow and safety.  

From proper grading and drainage to hazard management, flow is more than social distancing. Having sufficiently wide, clear pedestrian paths that minimize risk and public space that’s risk free is a security priority. Especially in winter.

Prioritizing green tech as the new way forward.

Being ‘green’ gives property/facility owners and managers a number of ways to save on landscape costs due to tax breaks, incentives or others credits provided by utility companies or federal or state governments. 

And because landscaping is more about the environment than ever, building green tech into landscape’s infrastructure not only qualifies for LEED and green credits, but offer solutions that contribute significant savings to bottoms lines.

From corporate Class A to outdoor classrooms, increasingly sophisticated landscape technologies, biodegradable sanitation and smart sensors are changing the way properties become eco-friendly, energy-efficient and sustainable. These include, innovations in stormwater management, green roofs, water conservation programs, rain gardens and bioswales. 

ELM is not only leading improvements in commercial outdoor space, but building a better platform for service through enhanced communication, accelerated response and delivery, and aerial mapping for site improvements.

To learn more, contact ELM President, Bruce Moore Jr @ 203-316-5433.

How Landscape Infrastructure Projects Can Reboot Our Economy

As commerce re-engages post Covid-19, the demand for resilient and more technologically advanced and sustainable sites are giving builders, place-makers and collaborative teams opportunities to close the gap on long over-due landscape improvements.

What does this mean for general contractors and building project teams? And for budgets where improvements are under review? 

As experienced sub-contractors active in the bid-build arena, ELM can help steer sustainable outcomes on projects of diverse scale, and compete where it counts on logistics, delivery and cost. We get our bid in early, we concentrate on value, and run a lean, productive and highly-skilled operation.

Our areas of expertise include, but are not limited to:

ELM Landscape Construction

  • Advanced irrigation systems 
  • Bioswales and drainage
  • Built architectural elements & features
  • Custom health & safety upgrades
  • Emergency site infrastructure
  • Emergency response
  • Erosion Control
  • Fencing, stonework & signage
  • Green roofs and vertical gardens
  • Ground stabilization
  • Hardscape & pavements  
  • Habitat rehabilitation
  • Seasonal repairs/storm damage
  • Site improvements and renovation
  • Stormwater systems
  • Tenant recreational amenities
  • Terraces, courtyards & walkways

ELM Landscape Maintenance

  • Annual color rotation, container plantings
  • Amenities, recreational areas, sports fields, public spaces
  • Automated lawn mowing
  • Automated irrigation and water conservation systems 
  • Budgeting, strategic landscape planning 
  • Buffer & riparian zone management
  • Drought-tolerant landscapes
  • Enhancements
  • Environmental services
  • Fertilization
  • Habitat management
  • Grounds disinfecting & sanitizing services
  • Insect, mosquito, tick and plant disease control
  • Integrated pest management
  • Plant health care & non-toxic alternatives
  • ROI budgeting, strategic planning 
  • Turf-meadow transformation
  • Water audits
  • Weed control

For an experienced, forward-thinking partner who makes each and every landscape project more efficient, contact ELM President, Bruce Moore, Jr., at 203-316-5433, or bmoorejr@easternland.com

ELM is licensed and bonded in the States of Connecticut and New York. ELM is a member of the National Association of Landscape Contractors and the Snow and Ice Management Association.

Introducing a New Standard for Clean: Property Sanitization & Disinfecting Services Now Available

To help contain the spread of Covid-19, ELM is offering enhanced protective measures to help property owners and operators mount an effective, precautionary response against pathogens, infectious agents and vector-borne disease. 

I. Disinfecting & Sanitizing Treatments Tackle Infectious Agents

Our disinfecting and sanitizing applications focus on high-touch points, environmental surfaces, and fixtures and furniture found in high-traffic common areas. These include, but are not limited to, patios, dining terraces and picnic areas, railings, entries, green roofs, recreational amenities, artificial sports fields, benches and bleachers. 

II. Exterior Pressure Washing Removes Pollutants

High-pressure water jets effectively remove environmental dirt, dust, tree pollen, and bird and insect residue on walls and walkways. Our service unclogs rain gutters and downspouts and freshens non-porous surfaces without leaving corrosive residues. 

III.     Vector-borne Disease Control Inhibits Mosquitos, Ticks, Fleas

Source reduction is the key to ridding outdoor areas of fleas, ticks and breeding environments for mosquitos. ELM’s seasonal pest control program reduces the risk of virus such as West Nile, Zika, Eastern equine encephalitis, and Lyme disease. Other insect control strategies, such as bio-control agents, landscape habitat modification, pesticide and non-toxic methods of control can be applied.

ELM’s Safety & Best Practice Guidelines

ELM technical services crews and grounds cleaning protocols adhere to guidelines issued by the public health departments of the States of Connecticut and New York, the CDCP and OSHA. All treatments are applied in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations, in consultation with property and facility owners/managers, and with ELM’s safety best practices oversight.

ELM is the leading provider of commercial and institutional landscape and grounds services in Fairfield and New Haven Counties, Connecticut and Greater New York Metro. Family-owned and operated for over 40 years, ELM tailors its services for every situation–whether an essential facility still in operation or a property currently unoccupied–to ensure that your outdoor environment and public spaces are maintained, cleaned, and protected exactly the way to need.

Contact Bruce Moore Jr. at 203-316-5433 or email bmoorejr@easternland.com to learn more.

Environmental Planning & Design Professional Bobby Papotto Joins ELM

We are pleased to announce that Bobby Papotto, former owner of New Jersey-based landscape firm, Over The Fence Landscaping, joins our Landscape Enhancement Group as project manager. 

In this role, Bobby will partner with commercial real estate organizations to increase and sustain healthy asset value across property segments, and be a resource for improvements that ensure the continued vibrancy of the real estate landscape.

“ELM has a strong team in place, a growing set of enduring relationships and is committed to support our clients’ short and long-term growth objectives,” said Bruce Moore Jr. 

“I’ve always had a tremendous respect for ELM and appreciate what makes them different. I look forward to deepening ELM’s engagement with CRE sector organizations throughout Fairfield and New Haven Counties, and doing what I can to contribute to positive change and a more sustainable future,” said Bobby. 

Bobby earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Planning and Design from Rutgers University. He’s a die-hard lover of all things outdoors, pet- and eco-friendly, and when he’s not solving client problems, you’ll find him in the Connecticut countryside on long hikes with his dog.

For Landscaping to Add Real Value, Focus on Aesthetics, Functionality and Green.

It’s not just beautiful flowers, perfect turf and no weeds. If you want your landscape to significantly increase the value of your commercial property, focus on functionality and experience. In other words, the way the landscape systems and features work and the way your landscape makes people feel.

To calculate landscape’s value, consider the direct economic role it plays in enhancing image; the way it attracts tenants and investment, and can become an integral part of the property’s brand. More importantly, consider that as property owners and managers and industry players value green building, landscape has growing clout as a link between sustainability and marketability, and contributing to making our communities overall healthier places to live, work and play.

The landscape projects that tend to lead to stronger returns are those that strategically improve focal points, tenant amenities and update the landscape’s infrastructure to meet higher standards for operational and energy efficiency, climate resiliency, resource conservation and safety.

Our top six ROI impact list includes:

  • Create wow factors.  Add seasonal color, flowering perennials, foliage texture for curb appeal, and native and adaptive plants to save water and maintenance.
  • Dress it up. Prepare beds with fresh mulch, prune trees and shrubs, cull diseased and infested plants, power wash outdoor surfaces, eliminate weeds and unwanted plants.
  • Invest in technology. Upgrade irrigation infrastructure to offset water as the fastest growing utility expense. Invest in smart water technology to support and encourage conservation, and improved groundwater and stormwater filtration and management systems to support water quality.
  • Renovate hardscape, pathways, paved surfaces, terraces, decks, and outdoor built elements to repair winter wear and tear, improve safety and manage risk.
  • Add tenant amenities such as green roofs, LED lighting, outdoor television, dining areas, bocce ball, putting greens or jogging and bike paths.
  • Replace underperforming turf with drought tolerant native plants and meadow-style perennials to improve aesthetics; invest in tree cover, rain gardens and bioswales, and permeable surfaces to improve environmental health and water and air quality.

Commercial properties with well-engineered green systems reap energy savings, financial incentives (tax credits, rebates and stormwater/irrigation credits where applicable), reduced life-cycle and maintenance costs, reduced flood damage, and reduced water bills, while also creating reate measurable value for property owners and tenants both.

Eastern Land Management is a leader in sustainable landscape solutions, less toxic approaches to plant pest and disease management, and green infrastructure. 

ELM has been connecting the landscape of Greater New York Metro, and Fairfield and New Haven counties, Connecticut to what’s important to businesses for more than 40 years.

Contact Marc Angarano 203.316.5433 to learn more.