Monday, September 22, 2014

Hamptons Swimming Pool Designer Consultant

Gone are the days, when a backyard swimming pool was a one size fits all.  

Architects & Landscape Architects

We routinely consult with design professionals, to help them bring their vision to fruition.  We show them the how and the why.  

We generate construction details to hide the "uglies" - pool lights, junction boxes, remote controls, skimmers, drains and the like.

We even perform periodic site inspections to ensure that everything is being executed properly.
Art and Architecture

People have come to realize that most of the time that they are merely looking at their swimming pools. 

So why not create something that is beautiful too look at?  Something that is integrated with the architecture of the buildings, landscaping and scenery? 

Swimming pools have become an art form.  There are swimming pool contractors and there are swimming pool designers.  

But there are very few swimming pool artists.  There are even fewer who can actually build what they envision!

Luck for you, you have found one very such person !
Paolo Benedetti - Aquatic Artist, Watershape Consulting, Owner's Representative, Construction Management, Expert Witness

You may contact Paolo Benedetti at: or 408-776-8220 
©2013, Aquatic Technology Pool and Spa
All rights reserved.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

International Watershape and Aquatic Consulting

Aqua Design, International Watershape Consulting, Swimming Pool Construction, Owner's Representation and Expert Witness

With a 23-plus year background of actually designing and building swimming pools and managing their operations, we deliver thoughtful designs with an emphasis on reducing reoccurring maintenance, operational and labor expenses.  

Our practical experience actually operating swimming pools, aquatic facilities and resort watershapes, provides us with an invaluable insight into the typical inherent design flaws and oversights.  Simply put, we know what works and where the hidden maintenance and operational costs lie.

Focusing on the ROI, drives our design decisions.... the REAL definition of VALUE ENGINEERING.

A few extra dollars spent upfront can bring a significant savings in maintenance, operating expenses, service calls, labor, downtime and ease any future expansion plans... not to mention reduce end user complaints.

A simple example was an entire equipment room whose gear was mounted directly onto the concrete floor.  After 10 years of rinsing and flooding of the equipment room, valuable equipment needed to be replaced.  Simple concrete blocks could have elevated the equipment off of the floor, greatly extending their lifespan.

Penny wise, experience poor, and pound foolish.


Combining two plus decades of actual construction experience, watershape consulting, owner's representation, quality assurance, construction defects inspections, expert witness litigation, a formal business degree and graduate courses in watershape design and aquatic facility operations - our background is unparalleled in the swimming pool design or construction industries. 

We are not "self-trained," or taught my manufacturer's peddling their equipment. 

Our founder, Paolo Benedetti is rather one of a few industry professionals uniquely educated, trained, experienced and qualified to design and engineer complex hydraulic systems and concrete pool structures.  

With a proven track record of consulting on international projects and functioning as the owner's project representative, Paolo is uniquely qualified in the entire world.

Educator and Published Author

Paolo has authored 100+ articles on such topics as swimming pool design, watershape consulting, design details, electrical safety, concrete construction, glass tile mosaics and construction defects.

He has taught courses on watershape design, pool construction, tile installation, masonry and concrete construction, outdoor kitchen design, fire features, waterproofing, automation, water chemistry, Certified Pool Operators, perimeter overflow pools and aquatic design to international audiences.

Uniquely qualified in all of the world - personal and affordable enough to be yours.

Paolo Benedetti - Aquatic Artist, International Watershape Consultant and Construction Defect Expert Witness

You may contact Paolo Benedetti at: or 408-776-8220 
© Aquatic Technology Pool and Spa, 2013 
All rights reserved.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Swimming Pool Expert Witness Drownings

Swimming Pool Expert Witness: 
Safety Devices, Barriers, Maintenance, Supervision & Personal Responsibility


No matter how you slice it, the loss of a loved one is tragic.

It is human nature to want to lay blame when one experiences a traumatic event.  

When deficiencies in a project's design, specifications or construction contribute to the loss of life, then someone contributed to that loss.


Life comes with responsibilities.  And those responsibilities include supervising children.
  • At the beach or lakefront, there are no safeguards, so guardians must be ever vigilant.
  • Living near a busy road requires that the children are watched whenever they are outside.
  • Owning firearms includes keeping them safe and secure.
  • Cleaning solutions, medicines and poisons need to be kept in child resistant containers and cabinets.
  • Driving in the car, requires that children be secured in safety harnesses or car seats.


When a property contains a swimming pool, spa, watershape, pond or fountain, the owners (tennants) bear a responsibility to maintain the safety devices and barriers.  Owning a pool requires "personal responsibility" on the part of the guardians and care givers.  Relying on devices in lieu of adult supervision is insufficient.

Though a project is built to comply with the building codes, accidents can still happen.
  • Perimeter fencing can fall into disrepair, fence boards can break, gate latches fail and spring closures become weak.  
  • Child safety fences get left open.
  • Pool covers get left off or are allowed to decay and tear.
  • Door alarms or their batteries are removed.

The owners have a responsibility to ensure that the safety devices are maintained in a good working order.  Though annoying and troublesome, they are a good back-up for that momentary lapse in supervision.

Screen doors should include secondary barriers to prevent "push through" accidents.  Doors to the pool area should have secondary locks out of reach of young children.

Take Responsibility

Taking personal responsibility for the supervision and safety of children under one's care is paramount.  Maintaining the proper function of the back-up safety devices is step two.

A swimming pool should be a place of joyful family gatherings and lasting memories.

Paolo Benedetti, Aquatic Artist You may contact Paolo Benedetti at: or 408-776-8220 © Aquatic Technology Pool and Spa, 2013.
All rights reserved.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Swimming Pool Expert Witness Watershape Consultant

"Failure to Notify" is an issue that arises in many construction defect cases.

What is failure to notify?  A contractor or subcontractor has the duty to notify the project owner of any deficiencies that they observe on a project.

This may even require notification of deficiencies that they observe that are outside of their trades, if they have personal knowledge of the error.

For instance...
  • a swimming pool contractor who read the project's soils report, remembered that particular drainage details were specified behind retaining walls.  Yet he failed to notify the owner when he observed the landscape contractor omitting the drainage.
  • an electrician installed the incorrect type of wiring in underground conduits.  The landscape contractor failed to notify the owner when he discovered the error while connecting landscape lighting.
  • the stucco contractor failed to notify the owner that flashing around some windows was incorrect and proceeded to stucco anyway.
These are just some examples of failures to notify.  There are an infinite number of examples, because the work of many trades relies upon the workmanship of the prior trade.

The law is not trying to create a bunch of tattle tails.  It is just trying to ensure that the owner's interests are looked after.

It is also in a subsequent trades interest as well, as their work may rely upon the shoddy work of another trade.

Paolo Benedetti, Aquatic Artist 
You may contact Paolo Benedetti at: or 408-776-8220 
© Aquatic Technology Pool and Spa, 2013 
All rights reserved.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Hamptons Swimming Pool Design Expert Witness - Placement of Concrete Reinforcement

Watershape Consultant and Aquatic Designer Paolo Benedetti discusses the proper placement of reinforcement steel within concrete slabs and the requirements of ACI 318.

Steel Reinforcement - Where does it go?

The reinforcing steel in most slabs-on-grade are installed in the improper location.  

Welded Wire Reinforcement (WWR) is frequently placed underneath the concrete, directly on the sand or gravel sub-base.  

Deformed bars (commonly known as "rebar") is often times placed too low in the slab to be provided sufficient protection.

Sheer Laziness

The improper placement of the reinforcement, whether WWR or rebars, is almost always due to the laziness of the concrete company.

The American Concrete Institute (ACI) has published standards regarding the placement of the reinforcement within "slabs-on-grade."  These very standards have been adopted by almost every building code in the United States.  Yet, incorrect installations occur every day by the thousands.

ACI 318-11 specifies that the reinforcement must be placed and supported to prevent deflection or displacement during placement of the concrete.

Many concrete contractors are lazy, and place the reinforcement directly upon the sub-base.  Then during the placement of the wet concrete, they attempt to lift the reinforcement up into the concrete with a hook.  This process is called "hooking."  But as they walk through the wet concrete with their boots, they press the reinforcement back down to the bottom of the slab.  The final result is an unreinforced concrete slab.

Sliced Too Thin

The American Concrete Institute (ACI) 318-11 (2011), section 7.7.1 specifies certain slab thickness (dependent upon the thickness of the reinforcement used). 

It specifies 3 INCHES of concrete between the earth side (regardless if it is soil, sand, gravel, rock or protected by plastic) and 1.5 inches of top coverage for #5 bars (5/8 inch) and smaller.  Thicker bars may require even greater coverage - 2 inches of coverage for #6-#18 sized bars.

Remember when determining slab thickness that the bars cross each other - resulting in steel TWICE as thick as a single bar.

Therefore, if you are using #4 bars as reinforcement in your slab, you would have a minimum 5.5 inch slab (3 inches + 0.5 inch steel + 0.5 inch steel + 1.5 inches). 

Using wire WWR is difficult, because you cannot maintain the required placement of the reinforcement within the slab - it bends & deforms too much as it is walked on.

Paolo Benedetti, Aquatic Artist, Watershape Consultant, Swimming Pool Expert Witness - Construction Defects
You may contact Paolo Benedetti at: or 408-776-8220 
© Aquatic Technology Pool and Spa, 2013.
All rights reserved.
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Monday, September 1, 2014

Indoor Pool Dehumification and Water Vapor Protection

The building codes in California, New York, Florida, Texas, Arizona, Hawaii, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and the rest of the United States are not very specific when it comes to indoor pool dehumidification and water vapor transfer into the surrounding building envelope.  

Some codes have sections regarding water vapor transmission, but do not discuss the specific issues relating to indoor swimming pools, spas or steam saunas.


Absent specific building codes, design and construction practices must then rely upon published trade standards and accepted industry practices.

Those standards and practices must be adhered to whether the project is built in Miami, Maui or the Hamptons.

Paolo Benedetti, Aquatic Artist 
You may contact Paolo Benedetti at: or 408-776-8220 
© Aquatic Technology Pool and Spa, 2013 
All rights reserved.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

How to Hire a Swimming Pool Expert Witness

How to Hire a Swimming Pool Expert Witness

Step One - Determine Area of Expertise:

Determine the swimming pool expert's area of expertise.  It may be construction and design defects, glass mosaic tile, facilities operation and maintenance, accident reconstruction, water chemistry and clarity, indoor air quality, lifeguards and staff training and management, product liability, equipment maintenance and operation.

Step Two - Background, Education & Training:

A swimming pool expert witness must meet minimum levels of education and training.  An engineer may be "book smart," but does not possess the field experience to apply that knowledge to the facts of a case.  

Practical and field experience is an asset that is difficult to obtain.  Though one may have spent years behind the desk at a swimming pool construction company, they may not possess any practical or applicable knowledge about "how things are done in the field."

A swimming pool expert witness will possess a complex set of training and experience that will not be available to an engineer or public sanitation worker.

Step Three - CV/Resume:

A swimming pool expert witness will have an up to date and current cirriculum vitae (CV).  If the swimming pool expert witness is relevant, their CV will have recent courses, published articles and references.  Case citations alone will not ensure that the swimming pool expert witness is staying up to date in their trade subject.

Extensive trail experience can mean a few things: (a) they are terrible at what they do and the cases always cases proceed to trial or (b) they make their living off of being a swimming pool expert witness and the fees that they collect.

The lack of trial experience may mean a few things: (a) they are detailed and thorough in their analysis and most cases settle prior to getting to trial, (b) they are inexperienced and just do not have the credentials.

Step Four - Fee Schedule:

A swimming pool expert witness will have a standard fee schedule.  Swimming pool expert witness fees vary, based upon the expert's experience and how much they are in demand.

Paolo (Paul) Benedetti
Swimming Pool Expert Witness

Paolo Benedetti, Aquatic Artist 
You may contact Paolo Benedetti at: or 408-776-8220 
© Aquatic Technology Pool and Spa, 2013 
All rights reserved.