Landscape Creations, based in Saunderstown, Rhode Island, was hired to build a custom infinity pool for their client, located in Jamestown, Rhode Island. The client wanted to form a stronger connection between the indoor and outdoor space, so he decided to enhance the backyard area with a customized pool and numerous outdoor areas for relaxing and entertaining with family and friends. The size of the client’s vision for the rear area was significant, so he hired Landscape Creations to take on the installation of the project.
Due to the successful outcome of the project, Landscape Creations received a Gold Award in the 2022 Awards of Excellence.
The client hired an internationally acclaimed team to lead the design since his vision for the rear area was so large. The design that was created for the backyard is centered around a 2,500-square-foot pool with a 200-foot infinity edge. The infinity edge is constructed of bluestone and features a swim-up bar and an integrated spa with “floating steps.”
While the end result was incredibly successful, but it did not come without its own set of challenges.
Site access was an underlying issue during all phases of construction throughout the project. The job required a temporary access road so that the transportation of heavy equipment and vehicles could be made easier.
“From facilitating heavy equipment to bringing in 10 tons of steel to form the pool floor, the job required a durable temporary access road that could handle massive cranes, gunite rigs, tri-axel dump trucks, concrete trucks, and pumps,” says Rochelle Zeyl, executive partner at Landscape Creations.
Constructing the temporary access road involved the removal and preservation of sod and topsoil, the placement of sand to protect tree roots, as well as the laying of crushed stone, filter fabric, and gravel on top to ensure proper drainage.
A massive mechanical system was needed to operate a pool of this magnitude. Concealing this system was a key focus of the project, resulting in the construction of a large underground vault that needed to blend in with the property.
To make sure the mechanical vault was concealed, it was constructed and capped with a cast-in-place structural concrete slab roof which is now also used as an elevated terrace that homeowners can use to look out at the ocean.
There was stonework done on the exterior of the vault walls, allowing it to blend seamlessly with the home’s existing architecture.
Drainage was another challenge due to the grades, and the vault was the low point.
“To account for the potential water in the vault, we located drains and sump pumps and redundancy,” Zeyl says. “Site drainage required careful planning since all the drains were set in concrete with bluestone grates.”
Due to wall-to-wall hardscape, there was no place for the water to sheet off, so it had to be captured and piped to dry wells.
In order to secure the large, honed bluestone weir stones to the pool shell, Landscape Creations had to work with a structural engineer; they were able to devise a method to hold the 5’ by 5’ sheets to the gunite as well as to waterproof the seams.
Since the bluestone is set on concrete, all electrical units, including electrical conduits, gas lines, speaker conduits, and irrigation to planters needed to be placed prior to the concrete.
“Only three 90-degree sweeps were allowed in the pipeline runs to still be able to pull wire, and conduit runs were carefully considered and planned to maintain the separation required by code when running gas and electric,” Zeyl says.
Construction went on for two years without any delays from mud or access issues. Once construction had been completed, the access road was removed, and the original soil and sod were replaced to recreate a landscape that would not show any signs of previous construction.
Interested in participating in the Awards of Excellence? Be sure to enter your projects when entries open in February 2023.