While 2018 is sure to bring with it a new wave of fashionable landscaping trends, 2017 surely introduced some designs that are going to stick around for a while. Paying attention to the most recent fads helps a business stay relevant and attractive. It’s important to keep in mind that the most up-to-date outdoor designs often make a business look more modern, sleek, and professional. Be sure to incorporate some of these designs for your commercial landscape.

1. Functional spaces

More work is being done outside than ever before, largely because people are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of exercise and fresh air throughout the entire day–not just at quitting time. Technology also makes working outdoors more convenient, so it’s important to make the most of “in-between” or vacant spaces, such as pavilions, gaps between buildings, and other unused spots. More companies are now offering green roofs, wireless zones, and outdoor sitting areas.

2. Energy efficiency

Net-zero energy buildings, or those that do not contribute back to the country’s energy usage, are becoming more popular. Commercial building owners are now thinking differently about how buildings are designed and looking for more ways to increase energy efficiency. As a result, commercial landscaping now utilizes more fuel-efficient equipment and accessories, such as using solar lights versus electric ones. More commercial landscape architects are also utilizing green methods to create a superb outdoor space.

3. Drought-tolerant plants

Responsible water use has become a hot landscaping trend, especially in more arid areas like here in Arizona. Mediterranean-style landscaping, which utilizes drought-resistant plants like jasmine and rosemary, has become popular, as have succulents and other water-saving plants.

4. Native plants

In addition to drought-tolerant plants, plants native to each region have become extremely helpful in lowering maintenance costs and increasing water conservation. Which works out great since succulents such as desert agave are both a native plant of Tucson and the rest of Arizona, and are drought tolerant. Plants like this already naturally thrive in your area, meaning less work, and can help attract birds, butterflies, and other helpful creatures that add to the tranquil environment of the outdoor space.

5. Responsive irrigation

Many commercial landscapers have been incorporating sensitive rain sensors that adapt to weather conditions and only provide irrigation when absolutely necessary. These systems help conserve water and energy, and avoid saturating over-wet plants.

6. Distinctive designs

More buildings are incorporating open designs with contrasting colors and unique stylistic features. Landscaping architects are utilizing shapes and designs to add new dimensions to formerly bland, flat spaces. While color has become increasingly popular in commercial landscaping, incorporating pops of vibrant hues where before there would have just been brick or stone. Concrete for spaces between parking lots and stores is now often mixed with unusual colors, such as blue or yellow, instead of a dull gray.

7. Green roofs

Commercial properties are taking advantage of this hip, environmentally-friendly way to enhance the urban landscape. Green roofs are partially or completely covered with plant life, many of which can be harvested for added benefit. Green roofs absorb water and regulate heat loss and energy consumption from the building as well.

8. Placemaking

More landscape architects are utilizing placemaking to help create commercial designs that are both attractive and useful. Placemaking involves the creation of a comfortable, appealing space with fountains, sculptures, seating, and a relaxing ambience in a space that would normally consists only of a hectic spot between businesses. Placemaking is about the creation of a space where people would like to gather.