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Our Custom Process - in a Nutshell

Tournesol’s Custom Process 

Landscape architecture projects are literal works of art, dreams, and designs that inspire others to create, imagine and build magnificent outdoor and indoor environments for people to enjoy. Tournesol is thrilled to be (and continue to be) part of several incredible custom installations across the country. We’ve had the privilege to work with many talented architects, landscape architects, contractors, and designers on many projects, helping to build amazing commercial sites in a range of industries. 

What differentiates Tournesol from other firms? Design, integrity, and focus on the details, sets us apart from others who may simply offer fabrication services. Part of our custom process is collaboration from concept through manufacturing and installation with a full-service offering of engineering and project management. Many landscape architecture projects have specific needs, which is why roughly one-third of Tournesol’s projects are made-to-order. 

Custom products require significantly more effort than standard products and involve our engineering capabilities. We strive to ensure that our customers are satisfied with their final products, so there is some back-and-forth in the initial conversations to move in the right direction with the design. 

Here’s a little more of what you need to know about how custom projects are priced and how long they might take: 

  • The complexity of the project determines the price.
    When we're asked to work on a custom project, our Customworks estimating team reviews the concepts or drawings, and applies a series of cost rates to the material and labor required for the project. We start by creating a CAD drawing (submittal drawing) for our customers; on our side, we detail and determine how we plan to make the pieces. This process (and integrating customer feedback on the drawing) can take several weeks. 
     
  • Material options can also affect the price.
    Our knowledge of materials and fabrication techniques allows for efficient, off-site manufacturing of large elements, which allows contractors the opportunity to streamline coordination of multiple trades with more quality control. Cost depends on which material you choose, metal, wood, fiberglass, and concrete and we’ll work with you to make the best decision. We attempt to reflect costs in a line-item estimate of each project. A rule-of-thumb that you can use for budgets is that engineering cost is approximately 10 percent of the overall product cost. As an example: to design a Fiber Reinforced Plastic (FRP) or Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete (GFRC) a tool must first be made to fabricate the parts – that’s custom engineering. For metal fabrications, the cost isn’t necessarily for the tool, but the engineering detail is much more complicated.
     
  • The details of the project will take time.
    Once the submittal drawings have been approved, a set of production drawings needs to be generated. This documentation has a high level of detail, for which engineers and fabricators collaborate to create. The team also generates installation instructions and plans thoughtful packaging to ensure a successful installation. While the customer does not see all this happening, it can easily take 2 to 4 weeks (or more). Then, there is additional time for the project to be built; lead time is determined on a project-by-project basis. 

As you might imagine, there is a significant amount of work that goes into engineering custom products. However, the best part of our customization process is that we’ll coordinate with you on all the details. Let us do the heavy lifting! We've done the engineering and tooling up front for your design, so you don't have to. You can save time and feel confident knowing that your project is in the hands of a team of trusted experts.