Watershape University launched its 2021 online educational offerings with a detailed primer on site evaluation and surveying in a January Wolfpack Webinar Wednesdays presentation. Taught by Rob Warren, a member of the International Watershape Institute, the presentation covered what watershapers should keep in mind when gathering key site-based information.
Great projects start with accurate site assessments, a process that requires close attention to a wide range of factors. On January 13th, Rob Warren, IWI, director of design and estimating at Baker Pool Construction in St. Louis, delivered a terrific presentation of Construction 1121:
Prospective Site Evaluation and Survey, as part of WU’s Wolfpack Webinar Wednesdays.
In the hour-long presentation, Warren covered critical steps involved in accurate site surveying, starting with the first land assessment. He went on to address how certain property attributes will affect the design of a planned watershape, he covered how to apply basic surveying techniques, and how to begin compiling the results into AutoCAD or your other preferred design software.
The course learning outcomes include:
 Assess the potential pool site area and determine what appurtenances, landmarks, or other features will be necessary to document and consider throughout the swimming pool design process
 Identify all necessary house characteristics that will influence the design of the swimming pool
 Apply basic surveying techniques to determine the elevation of critical benchmarks as well as spot elevations of the existing grades within and when necessary, beyond the primary build site
 Illustrate and memorialize all collected field data into AutoCAD or preferred design software
“Having an accurate plan is critical – the old phrase, junk-in, junk-out, is true,” Warren noted in his opening comments. “Unless you have a good starting point to base your design, you’re not doing yourself or your client justice.”
Designing without a site plan, he explained, watershapers will likely encounter site conditions that might render the design unbuildable and will require significant reworking, or even starting from scratch.
With that in mind, Warren’s presentation covered a range of important recommendations and basic information, based on his personal experience, including the importance of locating utilities, understanding zoning rules, necessary survey equipment, a checklist of necessary measurements, and basic surveying terms and concepts.
He also included a number of real-world examples to show how the information gathered influenced the design process.
“We want to be sure we’re all working from the same sheet of music and won’t be doing anything that won’t bet past permitting.”
To watch the presentation, you must have a Watershape University Online account. It costs nothing and only takes a few second to sign up, and you gain access to all of WU’s free online offerings, as well as paid programs.
Check out the webinar here.