Imagine you are working for a client on an high end residential project. If you are an architect you hire the usual lighting, MEP, IT/AV, Interiors consultants. If you are a Landscape architect, you might hire irrigation, planting, landscape lighting specialists to advise you on those details. If you are a builder you sign up your sub contractors in the various trades. Now, imagine your client wants a pool with water features throughout her property. How can you provide the same quality in design and engineering as elsewhere? The usual course is to hire the pool builder with the best portfolio. If you’re lucky that’s enough, but usually there is no way to tell whether the quality extends beyond the photograph. That’s where a pool consultant comes in. As a member of the design team pool consultants are there to answer questions and help integrate water elements into the project through counsel and documentation.
Early coordination avoids mistakes
When questions inevitably arise concerning relationships between pools and other trades, it pays to have someone on the team who can address concerns and questions quickly and reliably. Communication early on can avoid expensive remedial headaches later. One very common conflict between pool design and architecture (or landscape architecture) is the mechanical space location and size. Your consultant will lay out the equipment for best performance and access. If accessibility is difficult, maintenance will suffer – guaranteed. Location is another critical factor. Distance is one of the variables that determines performance.
Standard Design Documentation
Consultants are design specialists. Pool builders often tell me how pleased they are to receive a set of thorough, well thought-out documents to build from. It frees them to do what they do best. Proper documentation is essential for efficient communication, coordination and bidding. Consultants speak the language of design and produce documentation that meets professional standards ready for inclusion within architectural documentation packages. The tender process also becomes an apples to apples comparison as all builders bid on the same package. Disparity among bids are often the result of differing equipment and material selections – which usually corresponds to differences in quality. Documentation eliminates these kinds of unknowns.
As a design consultant, a big part of my job is to stay abreast of the current developments in the field. Over the last decade or so, residential pools and water features have taken a giant leap forward in design and construction quality, finally catching up to the other design professions. They have integrated more sophisticated automation, lighting and energy efficient technology with new developments taking place all the time. The point is; you want the most appropriate technology for your project, that’s no longer as simple a choice as it once was. Your consultant is there to guide you.
There are many technical and design details that go into a successful water design strategy. A consultant can help you address them. After your concept is pinned down, consider a consultant’s assistance in design development. The value from creating a well conceived and executed water design accrues to user and designer. It can mean longer lived equipment, energy savings, better user experience and better developed details and design.