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Observation Methodology?  RSS feed

 
Posts: 5
Location: Boulder, CO
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Hi all,

I'm working on a water-use efficiency project for several large commercial and institutional buildings and landscapes in Colorado.  I'm trying put together a business case for a turf-replacement program, where the management would replace underutilized turfgrass landscapes with a more native, low-water demand plant selection.  To make this case, I need to put together some data that shows the frequency of use by building occupants, employees, and visitors.  This will help to identify which turfgrass areas are the best candidates for landscape retrofits. 

Does anyone know of an observation methodology designed for frequency of use across several different areas?

Thanks for any responses
 
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Chris Marion wrote:Hi all,

I'm working on a water-use efficiency project for several large commercial and institutional buildings and landscapes in Colorado.  I'm trying put together a business case for a turf-replacement program, where the management would replace underutilized turfgrass landscapes with a more native, low-water demand plant selection.  To make this case, I need to put together some data that shows the frequency of use by building occupants, employees, and visitors.  This will help to identify which turfgrass areas are the best candidates for landscape retrofits. 

Does anyone know of an observation methodology designed for frequency of use across several different areas?

Thanks for any responses



Nothing scientific but I know the bank where my wife works is in a rural setting, perhaps on 50 or more acres and they have dozens of landscapers or so on hand during the day shift, during the week. They have some hiking trails, a gazebo, vast landscaping around the building...and no one but her uses it. She has got to know the landscapers while out on break so well that they have confided in her that it is frustrating for them to irrigate, fluff the mulch, and repair structures all for things that go unused and unseen. Time plays havoc with this stuff, not people using it, and my wife works with hundreds of people.

Where are they? Sitting in the lobby around the rotunda texting and watching facebook on their phones.

Myself I think it is almost tree abuse having a parking lot filled with acres of hottop occasionally halted by some curbs with trees stuffed in between. Really? We set man on the moon and that is all we can do for a modern parking lot today? I would like to say it is all in the interest of traffic safety but it seems my local Walmart has more traffic accidents then the interstate.


But the interstate is no better. For some reason the engineers on a project think stuffing a tree here or there makes a interstate bridge look like a park. Just stop...stop with the waste of money and go to Ireland where nothing goes to waste, like cows grazing the national parks, and livestock right up to the edge of the highway.
 
Chris Marion
Posts: 5
Location: Boulder, CO
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Yeah, exactly.  The bank situation with the underused and overstaffed landscape crew is all too common. 

Again, just looking for a way to quantify this issue for the decision makers.
 
Posts: 28
Location: Belgium
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Noy anything I've done before, but are there obvious boundaries between areas? What I would do is designate a number of zones, based on local topography, and then simply count the number of visitors in each zone over a certain time period. I'd prepare a set number of 'observation moments' during which any visitor present within a zone gets counted, and schedule them so that you have a decent number of observations for each zone over the entire time period. That would allow you to be able to say something about footfall, and is flexible enough to be as detailed as needs and resources dictate.
 
Chris Marion
Posts: 5
Location: Boulder, CO
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Nice suggestion! Thank you!
 
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