Practice-Based Research

Recording from live webinar on 3/20/14

Leading-edge design firms are incorporating landscape performance research into their everyday practice. From Design Workshop’s measurement tools backpack to SmithGroupJJR’s WaterScore metric to OLIN’s Knowledge Base, learn why, how, and what these firms are investing in to gather baseline data, set performance objectives, evaluate and disseminate performance of built projects.

Learning Objectives

  1. Explore examples of small and large firms incorporating landscape performance research into everyday practice.
  2. Understand how considering performance throughout the design/development process leads to more sustainable outcomes.
  3. Learn how designers can use post-occupancy evaluations to achieve the SITES monitoring credit 9.
  4. Examine the opportunities and challenges associated with practice-based research.


allyson-160w.jpgAllyson Mendenhall, PLA
Associate, Director of DW Legacy Design
Design Workshop

Allyson directs the firm’s Legacy Design initiative, which sets comprehensive sustainable agendas for projects and seeks measureable economic, environmental, community and aesthetic outcomes. In this role, she develops tools and practice models, and she promotes and teaches the methodology across the firm’s six offices.

deb-160w.jpgDeb Mitchell, FASLA, PLA
Senior Vice President

SmithGroupJJR has long been a leader in sustainability, specifically LEED certification, the Living Building Challenge, and 2030 Commitment to net zero. The firm rolled out its WaterScore metric in 2013 as a tool to analyze net zero water strategies by capturing both site and building water use and documenting project water cycles.

skip-160w.jpgSkip Graffam, ASLA, PLA
Partner, Director of Research

With over 24 years experience in architecture, landscape architecture, and academia, Skip has designed and managed award-winning projects that include waterfronts, brownfield redevelopments, urban parks, cultural venues, and university campuses. He is currently leading the competition-winning effort for Sylvan Theater on the National Mall.

Continuing Education Credits 

This course is approved for 1.0 Professional Development Hour (PDH) through the Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System (LA CES) and meets the health, safety and welfare requirements (HSW). To earn 1.0 PDH (LA CES/HSW)…

  1. View the full webinar (above) or the three indiviudal presentations that comprise it (below).
  2. Complete the short quiz, following the link below. (You must score 75% or higher.)
  3. Wait ~1 week to receive your confirmation email. Quizzes are graded and results submitted to LA CES on Fridays.

Quiz for PDHs

Individual Presentations

Presenter: Allyson Mendenhall, Design Workshop

Presentation 1: Research at Design Workshop
Running time: 16:52
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View/Download PDF of slides

Presenter: Deb Mitchell, SmithGroupJJR

Presentation 2: Research at SmithGroupJJR
Running time: 14:05
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Presenter: Skip Graffam, OLIN

Presentation 3: Research at OLIN
Running time: 17:19
View/Download Transcript - Not available
View/Download PDF of slides

Help build the LPS: Find out how to submit a case study and other ways to contribute.