Plans, Specifications, and Estimates (PS&E)


The purpose of Landscape Architecture Program (LAP) PS&E standards is to provide Caltrans Landscape Architects and Landscape Designers with standard plans, specifications, and estimate resources necessary to efficiently assemble construction contract documents for planting, irrigation, and other landscape related roadside work.

Project Plans

Direction on documenting contract plans for planting, irrigation and erosion control can be found in the Plans Preparation Manual (PPM).  The PPM also includes examples on preparing all types of planting plans, planting legends and planting quantities. 

Templates to create spreadsheets for project information are as follows.  Add or delete rows and columns as needed.

  • Erosion Control and Generic Tables (XLSX)
  • Planting and Irrigation Tables (XLSX)

Standard Plans and Specifications

Landscape Architecture standards include details and specifications for planting, irrigation and erosion control work.  Said work is constructed using any of the following types of specifications:

  • Standard Specifications
  • Standard Special Provisions (SSPs)
  • Non-Standard Special Provisions (NSSPs)

Use the guidance below for specific subject areas:

  • Plant Establishment Minimum Bid Guidance (PDF)
  • Water Meter Installation Guidance (PDF)
  • Sample of Public Interest Finding (PIF) Required for State Furnished Water Meter (PDF)
  • Permanent Erosion Control Establishment (PECE) Work Guidance (PDF)
  • Rock Mulch Guidance (PDF)
  • Soil Testing for Non-Standard Special Provision (NSSP) Guidance (PDF)


The estimate is one of the most important documents in a construction contract package. Since the bid items set forth the construction specifications that apply, said bid items in the Engineer's Estimate now determine the scope of work of a project. A project's scope may exceed that as identified in the Standarfd Special Provisions (SSPs) because there may be required work on the project that is described in the Standard Specifications only, and doesn't require a SSP.

Because the estimate identifies the specifications (i.e., Standard Specifications and SSPs) that apply, to get accurate and complete bids from contractors, a project designer needs to take particular care to ensure that the estimate is full, complete and accurate.

For addition information, refer to the Cost Estimating Resources web page.