At WPL, we take great pride in our traditional work ethic and ability to apply new information toward evolving processes. Our clients benefit from creative design and quality service tailored to their specific needs. What truly makes WPL different is the fact that all three of our primary disciplines: landscape architecture, land surveying, and civil engineering work together in every aspect of the project through the entire design process. This enables us to ensure that every design is efficient, beautiful, cost effective, and constructible from the initial concept throughout implementation. It takes the input from a team of variable backgrounds and professional expertise in order to create the most successful project. WPL recognizes these experts in their fields and promote a team approach to all design solutions. Our project managers oversee design with this ethos, and they strive to echo the work ethic of their predecessors.
K-12 educational design makes up a great deal of our business. WPL acquired school design experience and expertise through decades of coordinating extensively with school architects and other related educational consultants. We were at the forefront of site design for some of Virginia’s first LEED-rated school buildings, and we are still involved in numerous LEED and other sustainable and “green” design programs for many schools as well as for other project types. Over the decades, WPL performed many services for educational uses, including site planning, feasibility and site selection studies, surveying, civil-division construction documentation, and construction administration. Our work accounts for much of the K-12 schools in the Tidewater area.
Localities and Municipalities
WPL works for many local government clients providing a variety of services such as land development, feasibility studies, comprehensive site analysis and planning, site surveying, and stormwater management practices. Understanding that every locale is unique in its needs, WPL offers broad capability with our combined land survey and site design disciplines. We often take a leading role in public involvement administration, hosting design charrettes, fostering creative design, managing cost control, and supporting design teams with local knowledge. Many WPL team members are also very involved in their local civic leagues, and they take pride in contributing toward future community planning and important civic decisions.
WPL plays a vital role in annual service contracts with Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Hampton, Suffolk, Chesapeake, Chesterfield County Public Schools, James City County, New Kent County Public Schools, and the Army Corps of Engineers. These projects range from small to large-scale and multi-phased projects.
Incorporating landscape architecture into the conceptual planning process has changed the way roadways and intersections are designed. In recent years, aesthetics have moved high on the priority lists of city planning officers.This served not only to beautify the surroundings but also to support development efforts in terms of land planning with site accessibility, parking, “theme”, planting, and site detailing of pavement, furniture, signage, fencing, and plant material. WPL aims to help transform these linear corridor spaces, even medians, from busy thoroughfares to alluring spaces for both automobiles and pedestrians whenever possible.
WPL garners a detailed understanding of military projects through our collective disciplines. Our surveyors perform topographic, boundary, fence line, steam line, and airstrip surveys all across the Norfolk District. The Coast Guard has solicited our civil engineers in the past for supporting the North Atlantic Division, including station upgrades at Port Huron, Michigan. Other previous civil-based site improvement endeavors include work for the following: Administration / Shop Building in Elizabeth City, North Carolina; Steam Plant decentralization in Cape May, New Jersey, and Emergency Services – Defense Supply Center in Richmond, VA. Our landscape architects are familiar with site planning, planting plans, and mastering planning using military project design guidelines. Such examples include the new kennel facility, perimeter security, entry and main entry control points at NAS Oceana in Virginia Beach, VA. Recently, the landscape architecture division completed the SOF perimeter gate of the entry plaza at the visitor center for the Dam Neck Annex. With several military veterans in our company, WPL considers it an honor to work with the DOD and many other design build enterprises engaged in this work.
Commercial (office, retail, restaurants, etc.)
Our goal is to understand the needs of each of our clients and to provide creative problem-solving design solutions for them. Landscape Design covers the most broad reaching land development concepts to very detailed site design work and spans from large commercial endeavors to small patio enclosures. WPL’s commercial services for land survey, construction layout, and engineering include expansion of parking facilities, layouts of site amenities, stormwater management design, site grading, utility design, drainage design, and street improvement design, all with related site improvements.
We also develop more comprehensive plans based on public / private desires to develop strategies for improving the economic vitality and overall image of an area. Our planning helps to guide growth and enhance the quality of life to the client’s property as well as surrounding communities.
Hospitality (resort, hotels, entertainment, etc.)
Since most of our staff members are local to Virginia Beach, the resort area is extremely important to us. The resort is a large percentage of the City of Virginia Beach, comprising many hot spots of development activity. With a primary goal of bringing residents and tourists to the beach, it also serves to balance culture, commercialism, natural resources, and recreation at the oceanfront. WPL served as the landscape architect on many of the local planning studies completed for the hot spots of the Resort. Developments such as hotels, entertainment venues, boardwalks, and other outdoor destinations comprise much of our practice. Understanding the seasonal fluctuations of the resort are critical for designing any land use at the oceanfront. Daily business traffic, coupled with annual migration of tourists can pose challenged on any development, not to mention the coordination for entertainment venues and special events. These issues require local familiar knowledge as well as seamless design of surrounding areas in order to see sustained success and planned growth.
Parks and Recreation
With many public parks, fields, trails, multi-use paths, and gardens under our belt, WPL strives to apply our knowledge of environmental, social, and economic issues of a site with proper building placement, efficient parking, and logical vehicular and pedestrian circulation, among many other site and cultural factors. Our staff members typically engage in design charrettes, public meetings, and project programming for every municipality when considering parks and recreational land use projects.
Creating opportunities and solving problems enables our clients to thrive and implement many innovative design concepts that often include recreational and environmental education for the surrounding communities.
One of our most proficient skills is designing open space. Preserving land, better utilizing development space, and creating compelling environments are just some of the approaches WPL takes toward open space design. We strive to expand outdoor space into dense urban areas, large neighborhood subdivisions, and geographically disconnected communities.
Our residential work is important to us. Ranging from high end residential construction documents, water front CBPA site plans, site renovation plans, or raw land development site plans for single-family or multifamily homes, this work makes up a quarter of our practice, and it goes back to our roots where physical surveys for single-family homes have always been an important requirement for land transactions. Having done physical surveys and other surveying for over 50 years has many advantages. Our staff knows many streets and properties from memory, and it is difficult to find a neighborhood where we have not previously surveyed something nearby. This institutional knowledge is important to our clients since we can often share with them relevant information about the area and solutions on sites facing similar challenges. We also have an extensive plat library in-house that speeds up our time researching properties for boundary line and subdivision work.
Every good residential design starts with a good survey, but it helps to have good architecture as well. We recommend various residential architects to our clients as we often need to coordinate floor plans and elevations with most sites. Knowing where the doors and windows are, for example, is critical to ensuring driveways and walks are coordinated and that plant material doesn’t block windows.
Cumulatively, WPL does hundreds of residential site plans each year in the surrounding local municipalities. We are familiar with both municipality and builder requirements. From topographic surveys to the construction as-builts, we have become very proficient at providing a high quality service at an affordable cost to our clients. Much of this work is overseen and produced by our surveyors and their staff; however, we also engage our civil engineers and landscape architects for general site design, specific elements, or unique situations on a site.
Multi-Family (including redevelopment and Housing Authorities)
WPL worked at various scales of planning and site design for housing developments in Norfolk, Hampton, Newport News, Suffolk, Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, and Franklin. Being involved as surveyors, civil engineers, and landscape architects allows us to work on many key growth areas keystone projects within Tidewater which are often associated with redevelopment and housing authorities if not large public planning and redevelopment initiatives.
Having planned and designed many multifamily projects, for both public and private sectors, WPL provides high caliber land-use planning, land surveying, and local knowledge. We have done market-rate apartments as well as Low Income Housing Tax Incentive Credit projects through VHDA, HUD, and other state programs. While much of the multifamily work we do is of a garden apartment style or a family apartment style, we have also designed for senior and assisted living facilities, single-room occupancy apartments, single-family and multi-family condominiums, luxury apartments, homeless shelters, military barracks, and urban and suburban sites. Our firm works to help clients realize the full potential of their land while increasing property values, usefulness, aesthetics and environmental contributions. This work is on display with countless projects in Tidewater.
We plan for development at several scales, transitioning from commercial to residential. Our firm designs for neighborhoods that offer a range of housing types where services and goods are nearby and good for walking, biking, and local transit. We also produce community improvement and enhancement plans to help restore and revitalize existing communities that suffer from an aging housing stock, low ownership, or neglect. WPL designs for retail spaces for small lifestyle centers, individual retail stores, and even large outlet malls. Often preparing many development alternatives, we can help you make optimum use of your land in a way that will attract more patrons.
WPL strives to bring communities together by designing spaces to attract and engage people, encourage spontaneous interactions, offer places to sit, provide good visual access, and establish relationships to surrounding streets. This is what we envision when we come to work.
As more of the baby boomer generation ages, their needs change, and they may require relocation to a healthcare or retirement community. WPL designs and contributes toward many senior living communities, recreation areas, and naturalized gardens by incorporating benches, seasonal flowers, and trails to traverse the natural areas of the landscape. We work closely with our clients to ensure that a design offers residents a pleasant place to live and that we carefully select and tailor amenities to this clientele.
Churches and Religious Facilities
Our belief that we are stewards of the land runs parallel with the many different aspects of religion. We have a long history in working with institutional, community, and civic organizations to develop sites and special outdoor spaces in a way that stands up to their special needs. Planning for low maintenance, long-term costs, and high peak demands on a facility and its grounds are just a few of the special needs we help to accommodate with our survey and design work. Our firm has the ability to develop creative, achievable solutions and to work proactively toward a common goal for religious institutions. These goals might include projects such as Conditional Use Permits, building relocations, expansions and additions, courtyard design, or design of a cemeteries and columbariums. We have the expertise and experience in a wide range of institutional projects from redevelopment to fostering land development from site analysis and site selection to final construction documentation. Preserving the integrity of an existing facility while looking to maximize the future possibilities on properties, we strive to help our clients and their stakeholders understand the current needs and how to maximize current facility space without jeopardizing future growth.
WPL brings a unique insight to land planning and development. We are passionate about what we do. We believe in preserving and protecting natural systems, and we are committed to the securing the bond between man and nature.
Historical restorations require extensive research, inventory, analysis, evaluation, planning, and redesigning of a site. WPL has project experience with historical sensitivity within the military, educational, residential, commercial, strategic grown areas, churches, and healthcare sectors. The team’s primary goal is to emphasize, honor, and showcase the historical significance of a property when working with site constraints, individuals, other organizations, and historic registration implications.
WPL can help shape and protect the outdoor environment with a special expertise in the design of amenities for large areas of land that hold inherent qualities such as a distinct character, an abundance of natural resources, or a special cultural heritage.
WPL landscape architects are committed to sound environmental site design to fulfill the mission of the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act regulation. With a team of talented surveyors and landscape architects, WPL is one of the leading CBPA site design consultants in the Tidewater area. Over a 1/3 of our practice is CBPA site design including residential, commercial, municipal, and institutional projects. We have served all of the Tidewater cities in CBPA site planning and design, and we have successfully taken hundreds of projects through the CBPA review and approval process.
The Lynnhaven River Watershed has remained a concentration for WPL‘s practice for over 12 years as we are engaged weekly with preliminary project review meetings with CBPA staff, and average three-to-four projects before the Virginia Beach CBPA Board monthly. Our past CBPA experience allowed us to become the nationally recognized site design consultant for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s new Hampton Roads Educational Facility.