The complex nature of today’s resort inspired residential landscapes has created a need for more than just a landscape design to plan and determine the best way to create flow and function. Structural features once found only in commercial properties which were created to an engineer’s specifications are now being built in a residential setting. And the only thing lacking in most of these projects is the analysis and confirmation of a civil engineer. This is the one person who is uniquely qualified to determine that the features pose no long term risk to the immediate residents or any potential guest. Sadly, this one critical aspect is rarely addressed on the residential level. But it could have a long term impact as building codes evolve and insurance companies become more knowledgeable about the potential liability of structural defects which result in loss of property or even worse, a loss of life.

Landscape designer, landscape architect and landscape engineer are all titles for a person who has extensive training in the design of landscape from a green aspect. The tenets of applied sciences such as agronomy, botany, forestry, geology and geochemistry guide the design with immediate goals as well as long term goals to be achieved. By contrast a true engineer is a person who works with structures and materials to determine their limitations imposed not only by practicality but also by regulation, safety and cost. Unlike those focused on beauty and façade, the engineer is looking inside the structures to determine that they are safe today and will remain safe for years to come.

Chris Griffin, EIT, SWD

Blending these two tasks, which have vastly different goals to achieve, can be almost impossible. Each professionals training creates immense focus on what he or she believes to be the most important aspect of the feature. The resulting collaboration can be much like attempting to mix oil and water. The task is never able to reach a state of completion. But what if there was one such professional who could offer clients both of these critical services? A somewhat mythical creature, such as one with the head and wings of an eagle and yet the body of a lion.

It sounds too good to be true but there is one individual, Chris Griffin the owner of The Unique Companies who is both a Civil Engineer and 1 of only 40 Certified and Registered Genesis Watershape Designers in the world. In addition, Mr. Griffin hold an EIT certification, Certification from the International Concrete and Paving Institute, sits on the PACE Paramount Advisory Committee and holds 3 Arizona Registrar of Contractor Licenses as a General Contractor, Pool Contractor and Landscape Contractor.

The future is certain to hold stricter regulations for residential construction simply to maintain safety and keep pace with technological innovations. But why risk your hard earned money and most importantly, the safety of your loved ones on a structure that could be unsafe or become unsafe? Ignorance is no defense when lives could hang in the balance. Building practices that some residential contractors are using today could be classified as negligent in the near future.

However, you have one choice who can provide you with a complete outdoor living environment to meet all of your needs for function, flow and beauty in addition to well-engineered structural integrity. Chris Griffin, not really a mythical creature, but a truly UNIQUE designer/engineer who will meet and exceed all of you expectations today and for years to come.