Aquatic Technology Pool & Spa, "Creating Water as Art."™

Aquatic Technology Pool & Spa, "Creating Water as Art."™
Pools as an art form - the way it should be!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Swimming Pool Design Expert Designer Construction Consultant

Swimming Pool Designer, Consultant and Construction Expert Paolo Benedetti has seen it all....  here he discusses education and "pool designers."

"Pool Designer"

Anyone who can draw the shape of a kidney bean can call themselves a "pool designer."  Before you retain the services of someone to design your swimming pool or aquatic center, you need to consider the "designer" background.

They should be well versed in art, history, architecture, modern construction methods and material science.  They should charge for their time and experience.

You Get What You Pay For

Are you willing to pay someone to create a thoughtful design that incorporates your desires and anticipates your future needs?  Face it, anyone with a computer program, template or a pencil and paper can draw a swimming pool.

But, will that person create a design that actually WORKS with your site?  Will they draw inappropriate circular patterns for a site that has nothing but linear lines and angles?   Is the "designer" the salesman who has a vested interest in loading your pool with every option imaginable?

For a first class design, you need to be willing to spend a few thousand dollars.  Some designers that also build pools, offer a partial credit of the design fees, against construction costs if you do not put the plans "out to bid."  This is the "licensing fee" for the plans.  When the client is not going to disseminate the designers plans and ideas to the competition, then the client should be entitled to a credit.

However, if the client is using a designer/builder to create construction documents for bidding purposes, then the client should pay full price - regardless of who is eventually hired to construct the project.  After all, they exercised their licensed rights.

Design Premises

Is that salesman or "designer" going to jamb the largest pool that they can into you yard?  

The design must consider the lines of sight - what you will see from the various vantage points.  Its' scale must be appropriate to the size of the space. 

The perspectives of the finished project should not focus on the pool, but rather the entire scene.  The pool is but one element of the outdoor environment.  The pool must work harmoniously with the rest of the yard - retaining walls, stairs, sitting areas, patios, plantings, trees and shrubs.


Life today is hectic.  Most people do not relax and unwind until the end of the day.  Does the design take that into account?  When come home will you be looking into a vast dark wasteland out the back window?

Was your designer trained in landscape lighting and techniques?  Did they incorporate lighting effects to create a dramatic scene after dark?


Face it, you will spend more time looking at your pool than actually swimming in it.  So shouldn't it be aesthetically pleasing to look at at well?

Training and Education

Designers and contractors alike must stay abreast of the current trends, materials and construction practices.  The building codes change annually, as to construction methods.

What is your designer doing to stay current on their education?  Or are they still doing things the way they did three decades ago?

There are only a dozen or so people in the entire world that have completed the planet's only accredited swimming pool design program.  A Society of Watershape Designer has earned the right to use the S.W.D. title after their name.  Continuing educational requirements ensure that they stay current on their training and education.

You're investing thousands of dollars having your landscape designed... why wouldn't you spend an equivalent amount (or more) to have the single largest element in your yard professionally designed and engineered?

Paolo Benedetti, S.W.D. - Aquatic Artist 
"Creating water as art."™ 
Aquatic Technology Pool and Spa

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Swimming Pool Designs - Hand Rendered or Computer Generated

Swimming Pool Design - Artistic rendering or computer generated... there is a difference and a debate.

Computer Rendered Designs

There are two types of computer rendered designs.. those done in a "pool drawing software" and those done in an architectural rendering software.

The pool drawing software was created for the masses.  It was developed for the yellow page pool builder to generate a quick design at your kitchen table "right before your eyes."

The capabilities of these programs is limited by the capabilities of the computer software engineer who wrote the software.  The user may quickly "max out" the capabilities of the software.  

Architectural rendering software is a lot more difficult to master.  Some like Google's sketch-up can interface directly with 3 dimensional CAD programs.  The capabilities are virtually limitless, but require that the user have a knowledge of art, shadows and color in order for the rendering to be believeable.

Computer rendered drawings used to be very sterile and flat.  The archirtecural rendering software has been addressing that issue head on.

Old School - Hand Rendered Designs

There are a few pool designers who still draw freehand.  The real good ones can draw a picture such that you think that you are looking at a rendering of a photograph.  

Subtleties can be captured that computers haven't quite been able to master or emulate.

Hand Rendered Computer Generated

What is this?  These are drawings that have had the outlines created by computer, sometimes "raised into 3D" from a flat plan.  They are then hand colored, shadowed and detailed to create the subtleties that are very difficult to efficiently create on a computer.

For now I still render by hand.  I have hand detailed a few computerized drawings.  The line weights just don't seem right with a computer drawing, it takes a lot of time correcting them.

Computer renderings are quickly developing realistic qualities... as the number of people who have invested a lot of time mastering the programs and the details grows, the market will rarely see hand drawn & rendered drawings.

Either way - a free design is worth exactly what you pay for it.

Paolo Benedetti - Aquatic Artist 
"Creating water as art."™ 
Aquatic Technology Pool and Spa 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Swimming Pool Designer & Consultant Watershape Architect

Because someone calls themselves a "pool designer," "aquatic consultant," "watershape consultant," or "aquatic architect" does not mean that they have the requisite background to really contribute value to the overall project.  Internationally acclaimed swimming pool designer Paolo Benedetti, discusses why an aquatic architect needs to be a member of the initial design team when integrating water elements, fountains or pools with a structure.


Property owners often hire architects to design their palatial estates.  The owners often buy into a design conceptThe client also needs to ask the architect, "shouldn't we include an expert in this field in the design development."

A WISE architect will already know the answer.

Why do I need an "aquatic designer" ?

A qualified aquatic designer should be more than a "pool designer."  They should have a background in architecture, world history, art and most of all - construction.

An aquatic designer will be sure that you allow sufficient chases in the walls for the appropriate sizes pipes & plumbing, that humidity is controlled to preserve artwork and to prevent mold, mildew, rot and corrosion.  

A background in waterproofing is paramount, to ensure that water does not leak into the structure.  Knowledge of the acoustics of water is also important, to prevent splashing water from creating annoying background noise.

Experience with materials and water surface tension, is important to ensure that water is not splashing onto areas that could create a slip & fall hazard.

Practical construction experience and management is critical in developing interface details that do not require extensive fabrication of custom parts.

Knowledge of construction practices and how temperatures variations in various components may cause condensation to develop.  Condensation in walls can lead to the growth of mold, corrosion of wiring and fasteners and dry rotted wood.

The BIG picture

Just because someone calls themselves a "pool designer," "aquatic consultant," "watershape consultant," or "aquatic architect" does not mean that they have the requisite background to really contribute value to the overall project.

Being able to draw pretty pictures, but not knowing hot to develop plans for a commercial grade equipment room does not add value.

Being able to identify potential issues, BEFORE they become catastrophes and offering creative cost effective preventative solutions adds the value clients demand - AND DESERVE!

Don't be penny wise and pound foolish.  A few dollars spent doing extra planning will save you a lot of stress and tens of thousands of dollars later! 

Paolo Benedetti - Aquatic Artist 
"Creating water as art."™ 
Aquatic Technology Pool and Spa©