Is it time for an upgrade around your pool? Are you looking for sustainable and green alternatives that not only save you energy, time and money but also help the environment and are aesthetically pleasing at the same time?
This article explores five modern and natural pool design ideas, across multiple scales of intervention, for greener and more sustainable pool areas; wood pool decks, contemporary shading systems, pool covers, dry landscaping with rocks and pebbles and the greenest of all solutions, natural pools.
1. Wood Pool Decks
Wood pool decks are a great sustainable solution for remodeling around your pool. Sustainably sourced wood is a modern pool deck solution, gaining popularity over slippery and hard tile or concrete surfaces. Bio-based liquid finishes are available to provide a soft, sustainable and durable finish for new wood surfaces, allowing the timber to age and silver gracefully without extra maintenance. These wood finishes are a great green alternative to chemically treated timbers.
Decking boards are very versatile and can either replace the existing flooring system around your pool or can be installed on floating pedestal systems straight over the top of your old floor. Pedestal systems allow for a range of adjustment along the deck, to even out any inconsistencies in the old surface below. They can also be adjusted to slope gently away from your pool, so dirty rainwater runoff flows away into gardens or drains rather than straight into your pool.
Wood decking blends with all different aesthetics and designs. By carefully selecting the finish texture, color and width of your new wood decking boards, the new addition can blend with a highly geometric contemporary home or more traditional homes with siding and shingles.
2. Contemporary Shading Systems
The world of pool shading has rapidly evolved in the last decade, offering a wide range of green alternatives. Shading your pool is a great way to save energy, water, reduce evaporation and make your pool area pleasant and inviting year round. Fabric shade sails and stylish retractable umbrellas are now available in a variety of recycled plastics and fibers. Other pool shading ideas include sustainably sourced timber pergolas, retractable enclosures, and cantilevering shading canopies.
3. Pool Covers
One of the easiest and most cost-effect sustainable ideas for your existing pool is to invest in a pool cover for the months of the year when your pool is not in use. Green cities are increasingly mandating pool covers due to their energy saving benefits.
4. Dry Landscaping with Rocks & Pebbles
As the world around us becomes increasingly dry and arid, rocks, pebbles and dry gardens are growing in popularity, offering incredible diverse design solutions.
Rock gardens can be arranged and styled to suit extremely contemporary designs, or more down to earth natural landscapes.
Start your new rock landscape by creating edges, borders, and paths with smaller rocks, picking some larger rocks as markers and sculptural elements, and filling in the gaps with stones and pebbles in a variety of tones and textures.
5. Natural Swimming Pools
If you're ready for a serious design project or your garden is in need of a major design overhaul, natural pools provide a beautiful green alternative. Nature-based pool systems have been popular in Europe for decades but are growing in demand in the United States, as homeowners become increasingly aware of green and sustainable chemical-free alternatives to traditional chlorine-based, mass manufacture pools.
Literally ‘green’ pools or natural pool systems thrive on their own self-developed ecosystem and careful aeration. The pool is kept healthy by planting an exciting variety of plants in various zones of the pool. Popular plant choices include; rushes, water lilies, and sedges. These plants help to clean the water and keep it clear and fresh, and at the same time create a new beautiful green landscape.
The easiest way to start your natural pool project is to begin digging a big hole in the ground. The key to a sustainable pool is having sloped sides if the walls of your pool become too vertical further steel reinforcing is needed.
Next, zone out different areas of your pool, swimming versus plant zones. The deeper swimming area should occupy about 50% of the surface area of water, with the other 50% being shallower ledges for plants to grow on. These ledges should range from 18 inches deep for rushes and reeds, and taper up to areas of only two to three inches deep where smaller plants, bacteria, and algae can grow becoming the natural filters and pumps for your pool.
Go Green With Your Pool!
Find a pool style that fit your personality and lifestyle however, also consider design ideas that are eco-friendly. Gone are the days that going green fall short of aesthetics, these sustainable and stylish pool design concepts are here to stay for years to come.
Start now and your pool will be the center stage of the summer pool parties!