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Planned Environmental Associates
(P.E.A.), Chesterton, Indiana

Planned Environment Associates, Inc. (P.E.A.) is a small landscape architectural consulting firm founded by Susan Franzen, ASLA, in 1976. The firm's diverse portfolio includes historic districts; streetscapes; hospitals; residential developments; golf course clubhouses; corporate clients; and large-scale residential projects in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Illinois. Natural stone, paving and a diverse plant palette of native species found along the shore of Lake Michigan are integral to the firm's designs.

The residential market has expanded since the recession of 2008 and has capitalized on web-based sites such as Houzz. The firm has achieved the "Best of Houzz" status since becoming a "Pro" on the site. P.E.A. has also formed collaborative relationships with several architects, contractors and civil engineering firms to provide a sustainable approach to their projects. Natural stone and paving are an integral part of the firm's design solutions. The use of a diverse plant palette includes native species found along the shore of Lake Michigan. The firm's reputation for designing innovative natural environments that our respectful of sensitive sites has created exciting projects that are based on timeless design principles.

Valparaiso Health Center, Valparaiso, Indiana
The Valparaiso Health Center is the first facility of a mastered planned campus in Valparaiso, Indiana, and a joint venture between two hospitals. The main building entrance is enhanced with an arching glass canopy and a state-of-the-art fountain. A healing garden offers patients and family members an opportunity to enjoy the outdoor environment. A circular paver walkway provides handicapped accessibility around the garden; benches are located throughout the garden. The landscaping reflects the modern building design, providing seasonal interest. Ornamental grasses and perennials proliferate throughout the parking areas and adjacent to the building.

Porter Hospital, Valparaiso, Indiana
Porter Hospital was built in rural Porter County, Indiana on a 105-acre site. A collaborative effort was needed to work with the civil engineer to control off-site stormwater runoff into a drainage channel planted with native species of plants. A new pocket park was developed adjacent to the existing seven-acre pond. The park includes seating and a shelter for staff and families of patients to relax. A diverse group of tree species was used throughout the site in accordance with the new county landscape ordinance. Landscape trees had to keep at a distance from the heavily used emergency helipad. Selection of plants to screen the parking lots was challenging, given the low-impact drainage design.

Elston Grove Historic District, Michigan City, Indiana
The Elston Grove Historic District encompasses 27 square blocks of historic homes in Michigan City Indiana. Planned Environment Associates developed the historic elements of the project with a civil engineering firm. The plantings included 454 shade and ornamental trees. The selection of new tree species and the removal of poor quality existing trees were coordinated with the city forester. Antique street paving bricks were salvaged from beneath asphalt streets and reused in crosswalks and highlighted intersections. Two gateways were developed at two main intersections to give a sense of identity to the historic district.

Valparaiso Residence, Valparaiso, Indiana
The client requested enhancement of a natural drainage swale that ran through the property. After the design was fully developed, approval was needed from the Home Owner's Association and their consultants. Work began with excavations and the setting of several tons of ledgestone from a Wisconsin quarry. The stone creates a series of small waterfalls and keeps the water contained. A gravel path winds around the stream to allow the residents to get close to the flowing water. A series of three water pumps delivers water from the lower pond in case of dry spells. Plantings of evergreen trees, hydrangeas and autumn moor grass help integrate the landscape.

Long Beach Residence, Long Beach, Indiana
This historic residence sits high on a site that overlooks Lake Michigan. The landscape renovation was included as part of the home renovation project. Limestone steps were incorporated throughout the steeply sloping site. A smaller bluestone terrace is adjacent to the front entrance. An arched covered walkway leads to the larger terrace that overlooks Lake Michigan. The views from the home and terrace were kept uninterrupted by placing the outdoor fireplace an angle and as close to the property line as the code allowed. Architectural details were included in the fireplace and garden walls to tie into the historic details of the residence. New plantings include 'Green Mountain' boxwood, and several types of perennials to provide seasonal interest.

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October 21, 2019, 1:35 pm PDT

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