What exactly is an irrigation consultant and why are companies hiring them? As irrigation technology grows increasingly sophisticated, landscape architects and even irrigation installers aren’t always up to date on all the latest information. But for an irrigation consultant, that’s their primary job. As the one handling the design, an irrigation consultant is a specialist who is fully up-to-date and can design a long-lasting system that is both water and energy efficient.
Jim Davis, owner and founder of Landtech Design, headquartered in St. Louis, says that a consultant can also put contractors and distributors on the same level by impartially specifying the appropriate equipment for the project being addressed. Another role of the consultant may be as a water-harvesting expert – something that’s still very new to many companies, but that consultants like Landtech have become experts in.
“An irrigation consultant provides a crucial link with the team in being able to provide early preliminary calculations for anticipated water use/demand,” Davis says. “This greatly assists in the planning efforts in the programming phase of a project, in determining water-storage chamber sizes and locations, and in positioning of the necessary mechanical equipment involved.”
Davis, a landscape architect, broke into consulting when he recognized the need to fill a gap. Many companies didn’t have the expertise to handle a complex irrigation design. Landtech handles the design and compiles the plans and specifications for an irrigation project, which will go out for bid with the plans for the rest of the building and construction package.
Once that part of the job is past, they typically move on to the next project. “Occasionally we interface directly with the contractors that install the project but oftentimes we don’t get retained to stay on board as consultants,” Davis says. “Too often, the project we designed gets awarded to a contractor and we’re on to the next projects we have to design.”