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Society of Watershape Designers What does it Mean?

Pool Design article by Rick Chafey

It is a certification bestowed to a very few; 39 at the time of this writing. It is essentially a small group of like-minded individuals that have committed to raising the standards of the watershape design field. The broad range of knowledge required to properly and safely design vessels used for swimming pools, spas, water features, ponds and fountains is not thoroughly addressed in the other professional design disciplines. One could even argue that to properly navigate the design needs within the watershape field one must have a reasonable understanding of segments of civil engineering, structural engineering, building architecture and landscape architecture just to name a few.

It begs to question; why have so few acquired their SWD designation? When compared to the other professionals, it is mind boggling. According the American Society of Landscape Architects, in 2012 there was approximately 16,000 licensed Landscape Architects, and according to the American Institute of Architects there is over 100,000 licensed Building Architects in the US. The simple answer is that we have failed as an industry to regulate ourselves and require those operating within our profession to be properly educated. We also have the additional challenge of overcoming a poor reputation created over the past few decades, thus being ignored.

GENESIS® and the SWD Program aim to change that!

GENESIS® created a program over 15 years ago that emphasizes on the multiple disciplines and education platforms necessary to cover all aspects of watershape construction and design. Offering courses spanning from soils engineering to color theory, and perspective drawing to advanced fluid engineering allows its members to be able to properly integrate their work with other design professionals. The extensive course offerings allow members to personalize their own program to better suit their individual needs but still require general course studies to create an accredited program. The GENESIS® program also uses a community minded approach. Experience and knowledge sharing between members is second to none and is the backbone of our ability to continue to increase our capabilities as an industry.

If you are in the watershape design and construction business and have not explored the education programs offered through GENESIS® and the SWD program, you are doing a huge disservice to your company and our industry. Step up your game!

Rick Chafey

Rick Chafey

Red Rock Pools & Spas
P.O. Box 1270
Gilbert, AZ 85299
T (480) 539-0111
F (480) 632-7594