The ELITE Award for Installation/Construction: Outdoor Craftsmen Email
Colorado Green NOW
Monday, May 09, 2016 07:00 AM

The ELITE Award for Installation/Construction was awarded to Outdoor Craftsmen for the Niwot Hill ResidenceThis year, The ELITE Award for Installation/Construction was awarded to Outdoor Craftsmen for the Niwot Hill Residence. The award recognizes a landscape installation or renovation that exemplifies quality workmanship consistent with industry best management practices, follows design and related specifications for the project, and satisfies client expectations in the finished product.

At the Niwot Hill Residence, Outdoor Craftsmen created a sophisticated, modern and sustainable outdoor living experience. The property owners wanted a cutting-edge look in their landscape, with contemporary style and sustainable elements. Outdoor Craftsmen installed a bio-filtration natural pool; permaculture fruit, vegetable and cutting gardens; a sculptural fire feature; and many specimen trees.

A smart irrigation system minimizes waste while accurately watering a variety of microclimates and special use areas. The majority of this site was designed to be a native grass prairie with less than 600 square feet of sod incorporated into the 1/2 acre lot. 

A collection of drought tolerant perennials, grasses, and groundcovers add color, texture, and ever changing blooms throughout all seasons. Installing large shade trees on the south and west side of the house help to keep this home cool in the heat of the summer. 

By educating the client on the long-term savings to be had, they were able to make sustainable design elements a priority investment. Advanced water management practices ensure good plant health and ultimately save money on the water bill.

It was especially challenging to design and development this backyard to make best use of the unique grade changes and limited space. A large elevated irrigation channel runs on an angle across the back of the property. Ditch easement boundaries which are only 20 feet from the west corner of the house made for some challenging opportunities to design a pool that was close to, and engaging with, the primary living space.

The pool with its natural bio filtration system was designed to tightly fit within the boundaries of a narrow building envelope. An organically shaped basin with boulders in and around the water was chosen to be pond-like in its appearance. The bogs that stretch to the edges of the easement, filter the water without chemical additives. This feature is not only naturally beautiful but also a functional and sustainable filtration system. The perennial plant material purify and pull nitrates and matter from the water.

From sunbaked western exposure to shaded walkout basement, the property offered a variety of microclimates, and Outdoor Craftsmen’s experts used their knowledge and creativity to find a wide range of hardy species that would provide year-round color and interest. Locally grown drought tolerant perennials, ground covers, and grasses were sourced less than 15 miles away.  Original specimen trees and shrubs were reused on site.  

This is the third story in a series about The ELITE Awards. Look for more stories in the next Colorado Green NOW. For more information about The ELITE Awards or to read about other recipients, click here.

Read more in this issue:
Better by nature: Safety is part of Zak George Landscaping culture
Day of Service serves multiple purposes this year
Bill Johannsen receives Stan Brown Award
Media coverage helps sell pollinator-friendly landscapes