Thursday, May 30, 2013

The 2012 Pinnacle Awards Winners

Luxury Pools magazine is proud to announce the winners of the 2012 Pinnacle Awards. Only four companies merited the honor, earning the symbol that separates these craftsmen from all others.

The pool designers and builders were judged by a distinguished panel of five industry experts who used the criteria of functionality, structural engineering and hydraulics, landscape architecture, and appearance. The honored projects truly exceed the general level of professionalism and creativity in the industry.

These four companies are the only ones in the world authorized to display the 2012 Pinnacle Awards symbol with their projects.
Here are the winners:
Pacific Paradise Pools, Fountain Valley, California
This outdoor living space replicates many of the elements found throughout the interior of the home, bringing harmony to both spaces. The builder worked with a landscape architect to craft this project using luxurious features, including custom molded precast inlayed tile, an in-floor cleaning system, and Mediterranean Blue Hydrazzo® pool finish.
David Tisherman’s Visuals, Inc., Manhattan Beach, California
This amazing project started as a renovation of a swimming pool built in 1958. Encountering—and overcoming—a number of challenges during the design and construction phases, David Tisherman’s signature touch is seen everywhere on the project, including the beautifully colored custom Sicis glass tile blend he personally formulated. 

Marquise Pools, Oak Ridge, Texas
The goal was to recreate the rich ambiance of an Italian villa. The landscape architect and builder worked closely together, using modern design techniques and construction practices to achieve a classic and timeless look. Of special note: all of the glass tile in the pool was special-ordered from Italy. 
Brandenburg Pool, Phoenix, Arizona
This contemporary pool, spa, and outdoor entertainment venue replaces a site that included a 40-year old freeform pool. The homeowners wanted an outdoor living space anchored by a clean-lined, elegant pool and spa. The result is this geometric, angular poolscape framed by integrally colored concrete decking divided into various rectilinear shapes for visual interest.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Can a homeowner build a natural swimming pool without professional assistance?

The short answer is no. An NSP is a well-balanced wetlands ecosystem that incorporates limnology, hydraulics, hydroponics, and modern pool construction methods. The whole system needs to be planned and crafted by an experienced landscape architect or pool builder who is knowledgeable in this very precise art.

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Can I retrofit my chemical pool into a natural swimming pool?

Yes, but keep in mind that the area surrounding the current pool must be large enough to accommodate the necessary regeneration zone—and that the zone will be equal in size to the existing pool. 
In addition, plumbing will be modified to handle the water’s movement from the regeneration zone to the swimming area.
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What are the benefits of a natural swimming pool?

he obvious and most important advantage is that there are no chemicals in the water, keeping the pool environment safe yet clean—plus, the homeowner does not have to worry about the expense of purchasing chemicals season after season.

Additionally, the energy consumption of an NSP is lower than a traditional chemical pool. But for me, one of the best benefits is that the homeowner gets a bonus: the pool’s regeneration zone doubles as a beautiful water garden.

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Will algae grow in a natural swimming pool?

Yes, algae will grow—a small amount is actually necessary for the regeneration zone. An NSP will control this naturally-occurring plant with aquatic plants chosen for a particular climate. Algae don’t have a chance for survival because the good plants will out-compete them for nutrients. If any algae do make it into the swimming pool, the pool sweeper or vacuum will take care of the problem! 

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How does a natural swimming pool remain swimmable without chlorine or other chemicals?

JR: Since the water in an NSP is neither disinfected nor sterilized by manmade chemicals, salt, or mechanical means, it’s understandable that a homeowner may be wary of the water’s safety. By purely organic methods, however, the water is cleaned because it is in constant motion as it passes through a biological filter and into the regeneration zone. (As the old saying goes, “still water runs dirty.”)
Plus, because the water is always moving, homeowners do not have to worry about mosquito infestation; mosquitoes prefer to breed in standing water.

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How Does A Natural Swimming Pool Work? What exactly is a natural swimming pool? James Robyn: A natural swimming pool is a chemical-free pool that uses the same principles as nature to filter out harmful microorganisms. This is how the system works: The pool has two distinct parts: the swimming area and a regeneration zone that features all types of plants that feed hydroponically on the water.
Additionally, there are aerobic and anaerobic bacteria in a biological filter and in the regeneration zone that take care of undesirable elements. Water passes through the filter, into the zone, and back into the swimming area, clarified and completely clean.

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