Water Features: What You Need to Know
Four Important Steps to Ensure Your Objectives are Met
You are thinking about adding a water feature to enhance your commercial property's appeal. But you aren't sure where to start or what questions you should be asking. Will it really enhance your property? Do you hire an architectural firm or should you hire a landscape construction company first?
Following these four important steps will help ensure your project runs smoothly and all objectives are met:
1. Choosing the Right Landscape Construction Partner
One of the most important decisions during a landscape design project will be choosing the right landscape company to partner with. The firm you choose can bring your vision to life or can create a myriad of costly problems and delays.
Choosing a landscape company with experience in water feature design and build will mitigate problems. Their experiences will allow them to ask you the right series of questions to fully conceptualize your vision.
The right team will become your strategic partner. Bringing together the build teams and the design teams at the beginning of a project to brainstorm early concepts is extremely valuable to all parties. The more your landscape construction partner is involved at the beginning of the project the more effortless the experience will seem.
2. Choose the Right Design for your Commercial Property
Whether you want to create a peaceful oasis or an architectural piece of art, your design and build teams will be instrumental in determining how your vision can be brought to life.
You will want to decide how you want to incorporate your water feature with the rest of your commercial property. Will it be a standalone fountain in the middle of a garden, or a show fountain in front of your building? Do you want to incorporate a stream running throughout your property with well place waterfalls and maybe a lagoon? The right design decisions will keep the aesthetics of your property cohesive.
A natural or naturalistic water feature can create an environment of peace and tranquility. The design should integrate smoothly in outdoor spaces or indoor environments where plants and other natural elements are prevalent. Some ways to incorporate a natural water feature would be to include lagoons, lazy rivers, streams, waterfalls, ponds, and lakes.
Architectural water features can be show-stopping pieces of art. They can be show fountains (Bellagio Hotel and Resort), interactive fountains, water walls, and reflecting pools. Architectural water features are best showcased in sleek, modern environments.
3. Water Feature Design Considerations
Once you have decided on the right water feature design for your commercial property there a several more elements you will need to consider before finalizing your design plans.
It is important to lay out the project's parameters with your design and build teams. They will need to understand timelines, budgets, and routinely meet with everyone involved with the project.
Determining how water will be used and where it will be sourced is another water feature consideration. Using sustainably sourced water from non-potable sources has become popular. Water features can use harvested rainwater, reclaimed water and even condensate from HVAC systems.
Understanding the physical limitations of your property will be critical. Your design and build teams should have early access to all site and floor plans to uncover any limitations or obstacles. A good design team will examine these plans to understand circulation, viewing angles and acoustics. You will want to admire your design element from multiple vantage points without it being too loud for people to converse easily.
The building and site plans will also help your team determine where their operating components of the water feature will be stored. If there is enough space an equipment room is preferred. If space is not plentiful then an underground vault will need to be constructed.
The property's facility managers will access these areas to perform routine maintenance and look for irregularities in operating parameters. They will look for changes in water consumption, leaks, pressure variations on gauges, and for lights that aren't working correctly.
And like all landscape construction projects, your design and build team will educate you on local codes.
4. Obstacles to Avoid with your Water Feature Design-Build
There will likely be unavoidable obstacles with your water feature design-build project especially if you are installing an outdoor water feature. None of us can control Mother Nature. But there are obstacles you can avoid to keep your project on track.
Early collaboration with your design and build teams will help you avoid the two main obstacles - delays and budget overruns.
The best way to avoid delays is to set realistic schedules. They more steps captured and documented on the schedule the less likely steps will be missed or delayed.
Sticking with the original design and avoiding change orders will avoid delays and keep the project on target financially. Design changes can lead to an increase in the project's final cost. Cost creep happens when there is an increase in shipping costs due to procurement delays.
The right landscape company will become a strategic partner that is able to collaborate on all aspects of your project from inception to completion.
Why Choose BrightView
BrightView doesn't just build water features....we use water to shape and form the spaces people interact with. We believe there is a direct correlation between a healthy environment and its effect on the people who enjoy them.
The professionals at BrightView have been providing expert advice to clients and landscape architects on designing, planning, and executing water features since 2002. The focus is on large-scale, complex water design projects for high-profile resorts, corporate campuses, and large-scale commercial projects.
Contact us to start your consultation or find a location near you.