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3D Technology: The new way forward for Landscape Architecture

Central Innovation 19 June 2015

Jim Fogarty Design


Green designs and green spaces are something that is becoming more and more prominent in today’s urban areas. With many new developments both residential and commercial providing dedicated “green” spaces in their complexes; it is not surprising that the industry itself is evolving.

Award winning landscape designer, Jim Fogarty says these changes are due to the increased awareness of the positive impact green spaces can play,
“We now have studies that prove the importance of green spaces in an urban environment and its potential to lower crime and stress as well as increase general well-being and morale. 20 years ago any unused space in a development was used for parking, nowadays it’s developed into green common areas. I think generally people are more aware of the environment, which in turn has evolved into a heavier emphasis on fitting garden design into new developments and accommodating space for trees, grass and parks.”Jim, who has won multiple awards for his landscape designs including best in show at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show – 2014, and at the Gardening World Cup – 2011 in Japan, says that the future for the industry is bright, especially with increasing advances with 3D technology.
Jim Fogarty1Image and Design © Jim Fogarty

“3D and BIM is such a game changer for the landscape industry. I think especially for my field, 3D really is the only way forward. When you are trying to sell a design or an idea to a client that may not have experience looking at 2D plans, a 3D view is invaluable as it gives them a greater depth and understanding of how designs will eventuate. I’ve found that since implementing 3D, clients are much easier to convince, which makes winning jobs a lot easier and overall there are less changes in the long run.”

Having used the architectural solution, ARCHICAD exclusively for the past 10 years, Jim can safely say this technology, which is a specialised 3D BIM Solution is his choice for the industry.

“ARCHICAD has had a huge impact on my business and my designs. I’m able to create a planting schedule, I use 3D trees and shrubs in my designs and I’m able to focus on being creative as opposed to getting bogged down in logistics. With ARCHICAD there are far less errors and this transfers through to the contractors because you know the documentation is so accurate. With BIMx I can take customers through the design itself in a virtual reality so they can see it from all angles which is particularly useful with foreign clients, where there may be a language barrier – it’s all very exciting.”

Jim Fogarty 3Image and Design © Jim Fogarty

“When I first purchased ARCHICAD there were severe droughts crippling the country, which in turn was affecting the landscape industry. Despite this I still managed to win jobs when a lot of other designers were going out of business and I definitely think that ARCHICAD and the 3D aspect of my designs gave me an edge over the competition during this time.”Jim Fogarty, Landscape Designer

Over the past 10 years, Jim has also managed to cut down on his overhead costs, by reducing his staff numbers while maintaining the same level of business, which has meant more money in his pocket. His workflow is also more in line with his design philosophy as he now spends more time in the concept design stage, testing the limits of his design capabilities and less time editing thanks to the accuracy and intuitiveness of ARCHICAD.

Recently, Jim has created a design for the National Arboretum Canberra for their Gallery of Gardens. Entitled ‘Mununja the Butterfly’ the garden depicts the dreamtime story of the Ngunawal people, the custodians of the land where the National Arboretum Canberra lies.

“This was such an exciting project for me working in collaboration with Garawana Creative, being able to retell a 50,000 year old story using nature.”
During this project Jim used ARCHICAD to communicate and provide visuals, which made the whole process a lot easier given the amount of transparency and approval needed to design and document this project.

“ARCHICAD and the ability to render images provided an ease in design communication when traditional approvals were required as part of the protocol process and involvement of the Ngunawal people. Through ARCHICAD there was a lot more clarity and transparency on what exactly the design would entail and how it was being represented.”

The design itself features plants that have been selected for cultural significance and for their relevance in providing a food source for butterflies. The design is two-fold in that it provides private contemplative spaces and public spaces for functions as well as serving to provide cultural dialogue, education, opportunity for indigenous engagement, and inspiration for all gardeners.

Jim Fogarty 4Image and Design © Jim Fogarty

About Jim Fogarty Design

Jim Fogarty logo


Jim Fogarty Design provides a landscape design and consultancy service for residential and commercial clients, both in Australia and overseas. Jim’s commissioned work ranges from small outdoor rooms to large estates and commercial projects. Jim has been awarded over thirty internationally recognised design awards including fifteen gold medals. Jim’s attention to detail combined with his extensive knowledge of a wide range of plants has established him as one of Australia’s top Landscape & Garden Designers.

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