An Environmental Friendly Optimizer For Landscape Design (Envo-Land)
Proper plant selection plays a vital role in landscape planning and design. It has been reported that real estate projects can save between 44%-50% in landscape annual operating costs in case of applying optimization technique in selecting their plant types. Plants consume huge amount of water over their life. However, there is a lack of supporting optimization tools that help in the selection of proper mix of plants to achieve minimum operating and replacement costs. The current selection of plant mix depends mainly on individual architectural judgment and self-experience in selecting the plant types. This paper describes the development of a an environmental optimizer for Landscape design that aims to support architects to deliver landscape designs which are aesthetically attractive while being cost effective and environment friendly. The system contains a built-in optimizer that takes architects’ requirements, and matches them with the most cost effective and least water consuming options. The literature research on plants’ databases, in addition to the field research with architects, suppliers and contractors, led to the most commonly used attributes to best represent the plants to be fed to the optimizer. These includes: Dimensions, Bloom Season, Life Cycle, Light, Salt Tolerance, Drought Tolerance, Irrigation/Water Demand and Cost. An interface was made which takes the input from the architect and processes it through the optimizer along with the database entries, then outputs the results in a table that is easy for the architect to utilize in his/her design. The optimizer is built using the knapsack dynamic programming model; this allows for the rapid solving of the multi-objective problem to reach a set of plants that minimize the cost, as well as the water consumption.
Keywords- Landscape, Optimization, Water Demand, Life Cycle Cost, Sustainability.