There is a reason that humans crave spending time in the mountains, near streams, waterfalls, lakes, and oceans. Studies have found that the negative ions that are naturally formed by moving water can improve energy levels, mood, relieve depression symptoms, reduce anger, among other mental and physical health benefits. Indoor and outdoor water features have grown in popularity post-pandemic as architects and designers work to incorporate design elements that can reduce stress, support good mental health, and benefit overall well-being into projects.
There are many benefits of incorporating water features into indoor and outdoor commercial spaces. First, they create a unique gathering place for everyone who uses the space. People are naturally drawn to sit around the edge of a fountain and watch the water while they eat, converse, take a moment to themselves, or while kids play. Water features increase the value of a commercial space by amplifying its usability, attracting people, and encouraging them to linger longer, and improving aesthetics.
The scope of the type of water features that can be built today is only limited by imagination. More common water features include fountains, large format fish tanks, and reflecting pools, but even these more prevalent water features can have elevated designs. Acrylic panels can be incorporated as the walls of fountains and reflecting pools to give the appearance that water is suspended in space as it cascades over the invisible edges. Water walls and even water rooms, where a seating arrangement is surrounding by water on all sides, are also possibilities.
Each water feature design is unique. Some projects will incorporate components like structural metal work, concrete forms, and even wood structures that act as a base support or complimentary design aspect for the water feature. In other cases, the entire water feature may be built from acrylic panels that are manufactured offsite, and then assembled at the building site. Regardless of the materials required by the design of a water feature, the most important part of the construction is the waterproofing. Working with water feature experts versus general contractors who occasionally build water features can be the difference between a water feature that springs a leak within a few months and seals that last for years.
Regularly inspecting water features to ensure that all components are working properly, the proper water and chemical levels are being maintained, and the integrity of seals has not been compromised is important to ensure the longevity of the feature. Outdoor water features that are exposed to extreme heat or cold and other elements can require more maintenance and diligent inspections than indoor features. Even if no problems are detected, the beauty of water features can be preserved with regular polishing of acrylic surfaces every few years.
Nothing can compare to the peace and tranquility that a water feature brings to a space. Whether it is an enormous fish tank pillar that can be seen from every corner of a room to a statement-making two-story water wall in a lobby or a more diminutive fountain in a courtyard, the aesthetic and health benefits of water features are priceless.
Author Bio: Heather Smith, has had a successful career within the habitat construction industry. For the last 17 years, she has championed the organizational leadership within American Sealants, Inc focusing on aquatic and zoo exhibits and high end residential swimming pools. A few of their key clients include Sea World, St. Louis Zoo, Disney, Bass Pro and the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas.
*Featured Image Source Courtesy of Heather Smith