Landscape Contractor / Design Build Maintain

JUL 2016

LC/DBM provides landscape contractors with Educational, Imaginative and Practical information about their business, their employees, their machines and their projects.

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Page 33 of 71

As a contractor who specializes in water features, Jerry Romano, owner of Liquid Designz, LLC in Washington Township, N.J., can take on just about any commercial or residential landscape project that involves water. Streams and waterfalls, pondless wa- terfalls, koi ponds, water gardens, and even rainwa- ter harvesting — Romano does it all. Yet even he was surprised by the "hybrid" water feature envisioned by a homeowner in Bergen County, N.J. Could he design and install a water feature with the flexibility and versatility to serve as a patio and a fountain and a splash pad? The easy part was designing an aesthetically appeal- ing and visually integrated extension (12' x 16') from an existing Belgian block patio. The challenge was fig- uring out how the new space could fulfill three such different functions: additional space for extra seating, a relaxing water feature, and a safe, non-slip splash pad for active play. The design fit the new patio-fountain-splash pad into a space defined by the edge of the existing patio, a wading pool/pond, and a new ledge created on the two other sides with rock bench seating. "The excavation aspect of any landscape design and installation is critical. In this case, even more so," said Romano. "In contrast to the typical water feature, the floor bottom had to be perfectly level and tightly compacted because of the seating space and splash pad functions." Once the excavation was finished, Romano and his crew installed a 45 mil rubber pond liner between layers of geotextile fabric. They then situated the rain tanks (40 blocks) and snorkel for the water reservoir. For added compressive strength to support the surface they would install above the reservoir, they zip-tied large panels over the top of the constructed rain tanks. This increased the strength of the tanks by 50 percent while decreasing the size of their openings. Above: Jerry Romano and his company Liquid Designz, LLC of Washington Township in Bergen County, New Jersey, were asked to design and build a splashpad and fountain that could also serve as a seating area as needed to extend an existing Belgian block patio. The material selected to accomplish that was Porous Pave XLS, a pour-in-place permeable paving material made from recycled rubber chips with a liquid binder. Useful Wet Dry or By David Aquilina, Strategic Storyteller 34 LC DBM

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