At MKO, our dedicated Landscape and Visual Team offer a range of landscape assessment services. Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA) is vital in ensuring the sustainable development of infrastructure projects in the landscape and is an ever-growing requirement in the Irish planning system. Our specialist Landscape and Visual Team use innovative technologies and visualisation techniques to deliver high-quality landscape assessments for a diverse range of infrastructure developments across Ireland.
Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA)
LVIA is a well-defined assessment process used to identify the potential impacts of a proposed development on the landscape and visual amenity (people’s views). The MKO Landscape and Visual Team has proven experience in preparing objective, robust and defensible LVIAs in line with best practice guidance. Our team use various innovative tools and technologies to conduct assessments, including photomontage visualisations, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) spatial analysis, visibility modelling and other remote sensing tools.
Photomontages are accurate and life-like visualisations of a proposed development as they would appear within a real landscape view. High-accuracy photomontage visualisations are an integral tool used in LVIA. MKO follows best practice guidance (Landscape Institute Technical Guidance Note 06/19) to produce accurate and verifiable photomontages. This requires a combination of technical field surveying and graphic modelling methods, resulting in a life-like rendering of proposed developments within photographic imagery. MKO can produce Type 4 (LI, 2019) Verified Photomontage Visualisations for a diverse range of development types.
Landscape Capacity Assessments and Development Feasibility Studies
The MKO Landscape and Visual Team regularly conduct Landscape Capacity Assessments and development feasibility studies to inform the early-stage design and siting particulars of projects and developments from an LVIA perspective. MKO has substantial experience in providing expert analysis and recommendations on the landscape’s capacity to accommodate developments, along with identifying key planning risks that are likely to arise concerning landscape and visual impacts. This expertise includes a range of bespoke consultations from smaller-scale micro siting and design analysis at a project level scale to strategic-level renewable energy master planning across large-scale landscapes.
Our Landscape and Visuals Team use ‘TrueView Visual®’, an augmented reality tool for community consultation and engagement. It allows residents to visualise a proposed wind farm through a live camera feed from any view or outdoor location within their property. Read more about True View Visuals here.
MKO’s Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) certified drone pilots survey and map the landscape using a drone, enabling temporal flexibility of when data is captured depending on the information required. The outputs of this surveying method include several geo-referenced high-resolution mapping products, including accurate topographic models. Spatial analysis of drone mapping outputs has proven to be a valuable tool for our teams to investigate sites in mind of environmental and ecological constraints and provide informative visualisations supporting LVIA.
The MKO Graphics Team produce a variety of high-quality outputs that support the delivery of projects through the planning process. These outputs include marketing materials for the visual presentation of projects for planning and disseminating project information to the public and the complete suite of visualisation services required for LVIA.
‘Exterior street view’ architectural visualisations – CGIs
As well as verified photomontages, our team produces high-resolution exterior street View CGI graphics of a proposed development for inclusion in a planning pack and for use as marketing materials.
Glint and Glare – solar
A Glint and Glare assessment is often required as part of a planning application to assess any visual hazards concerning sensitive receptors potentially impacted by large-scale solar energy developments. MKO Landscape and Visual Team conduct geometric analysis and evaluate the effects of Glint and Glare in line with industry standards and according to the leading guidance for Glint and Glare. MKO produces a full glint and glare analysis report, including an assessment of the effects of the visual hazard on a receptor and best practice mitigation measures with our multi-discipline team of graphics technicians, GIS specialists, and landscape architects.