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Pushing to Improve Sustainability in Aquatics

by Josh Martin, President, Aquatic Design & Engineering

Aquatic Design & Engineering (ADE) was founded 28 years ago to provide sound engineering for aquatic features. Over time, we have refined and focused in on what our mission and values as a company should be — specifically with regard to developing enduring engineering solutions. As we moved toward those goals of sustainability and innovation, more and more our company’s mission became aligned with that of the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF), and now in retrospect, it is no surprise to me that we found a home with this organization.

ade-pullquote-300

At its core, the Landscape Architecture Foundation is a community of thought leaders who are passionate about elevating the practices in our industry. ADE became involved through LAF board members reaching out to their development partners, consultants and clients. I got a phone call from then- board member Gregg Sutton of EDSA telling me that LAF was something that ADE had to be a part of. He was right. I think that Gregg and others saw that ADE was interested in sustainability, but had yet to be challenged to really elevate its practices. Being involved with LAF has stretched us to do that.

While our company focused on delivering engineering that placed an emphasis on high-performance systems, we had not engaged fully with the industry’s movement toward sustainability. One of the main reasons was presumed additional costs for developers. Through our discussions with LAF board members and using the resources of LAF’s Landscape Performance Series, we have been able to develop life cycle costing for key components and provide sustainable engineering practices. The inspiration and passion of those board members encouraged us to continue improving the way water features and aquatic facilities are engineered.

ade-polytechnic-600wADE provided the hydraulic, pneumatic, and electrical engineering services for Florida Polytechnic University's lakes, which include air pods, an aeration system, and special technology at the litoral shelf.

ADE has placed a focus on innovating new, sustainable systems for our aquatics over the last few years in a fresh way. To echo the sentiments of LAF, we believe that water is a precious resource, but also a resource that can help create more engaging environments and amenities. Eliminating water features altogether in the name of sustainability would have a negative impact on future projects like community parks, public plazas and commercial developments. Instead, we focus on engineering these features in a sustainable way, thus enhancing the environment and helping the community as a whole.

An example of sustainable aquatics is a project ADE is working on for Walt Disney World’s multi-year transformation of Downtown Disney into Disney Springs, a vibrant district that celebrates the turn-of-the century lakeside towns that dotted the Florida landscape. “The Disney Springs” is a water feature that will utilize the highest performance technology available. ADE has implemented filtration technology that creates as much as an 80% reduction in water lost to waste.

Outside of our work with Walt Disney World, our team is designing low-chlorine fountains and pools that use only the minimum required amount of chlorine. We also place a strong emphasis on incorporating design methods to reduce water lost during non-peak hours. These are just a few of the ways that ADE is innovating to improve sustainability in aquatics, and LAF has been a source of support and inspiration for that growth.

Josh Martin, MBA is the president of Aquatic Design & Engineering in Orlando, Florida. ADE specializes in sustainable, innovative aquatic features that create engaging environments for the community.

Thanks for an Extraordinary Year!

The Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) invests in research and scholarships to increase our collective capacity to achieve sustainability and cultivate the next generation of design leaders. In 2014, LAF marked an important milestone, having awarded over $1 million to over 500 students since 1986. During this same period, LAF also invested $2.2 million in research initiatives.  

As 2015 gets underway, we’d like to send out a big thank you to all of our friends, donors, and partners whose support helped us accomplish the following in 2014:toast-crop

  • Awarded $122,500 to students.
  • Launched the next-generation Landscape Performance Series as its own website: LandscapePerformance.org.
  • Produced 20 new LPS Case Study Briefs through the Case Study Investigation (CSI) program with 7 faculty-student-practitioner teams.
  • Recognized 75 new Olmsted Scholars, including the $25,000 graduate and $15,000 undergraduate national winners.
  • Awarded $12,500 in mini-grants to faculty to develop and test models for integrating landscape performance in design education.
  • Launched a new “5 Questions with…” interview series with top leaders in landscape architecture.

This year, LAF will continue to build on these transformative initiatives with new website modules, enhanced communications, and expanded outreach. Look for our much-awaited guidebook on evaluating landscape performance, a powerful new clearinghouse of teaching tools for landscape architecture faculty, and even more resources to help you design better and make the case for sustainable landscape solutions.

We couldn’t do what we do without our many supporters! As another ambitious year gets underway, please consider investing in the foundation by making a contribution online or learning about the many ways to support LAF.

Remember LAF in Your Year-End Giving

Through its leadership, the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) continues to expand awareness about the value of landscape solutions to create healthy, resilient, livable places. LAF’s research and scholarship programs increase the capacity of not only the landscape architecture profession to create change, but also the many professionals and advocates who share LAF’s mission and are critical to its success.

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In 2014, LAF celebrated these key milestones, which would not have been possible without the generous support of our donors and sponsors:

  • Awarded over $1 million in scholarships to over 500 students since 1986
  • Recognized over 300 Olmsted Scholars since 2008
  • Launched the next generation of the award-winning Landscape Performance Series: LandscapePerformance.org

2015 will be another ambitious year for LAF. Your support of the Foundation by year-end will help us to continue to deliver innovative programs and expand our impact. Show your commitment and give back to the profession by making a tax-deductible contribution online, making an honor or memorial gift (you’ll get a printable certificate to share), or learn about the many ways to support the Foundation.

LAF is a tax-exempt organization under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Your charitable contribution is deductible to the full extent allowed by law.

In Remembrance: Joseph J. Lalli, FASLA

We were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Joe Lalli on October 25, 2014. Joe was a great friend and supporter of the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) and was a key force in building the organization and developing what have come to be signature programs for us.

joelalliImage courtesy of EDSA

Joe served on the LAF Board of Directors from 2004-2009. During that time, he was Vice President of Development for 4 years, creating the annual Sustainable Destination Sweepstakes and raising over $145,000 for LAF with an EDSA match to its employees to build the EDSA Minority Scholarship. Through his Board service and ongoing leadership with EDSA as a Founding Sponsor, Joe helped to develop and enhance LAF’s renowned Olmsted Scholars Program.

“Joe is a very special person who has touched my life and LAF in a very meaningful and extraordinary way. He had such a giving and gentle but powerful way about him and a sensitivity that manifests in his work and the EDSA culture. Joe led and sustained a culture of philanthropy and giving back that is the heart and soul of EDSA. LAF wouldn’t be who we are or have accomplished what we have for the betterment of all without him,” said LAF Executive Director Barbara Deutsch, FASLA.

More about Joe’s life and legacy can be found at:

Join LAF at the LA Expo Leaders' Reception

The 2014 LA Expo, a two-day trade show and educational conference in Long Beach, California, will feature a special Leaders’ Reception with all proceeds supporting Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) research and scholarships.

parkers-lighthouseParker's Lighthouse overlooking the harbor

Join LAF on Thursday, February 13 at Parker’s Lighthouse, known for its spectacular views of Long Beach Harbor. The event starts at 6pm, and the $75 ticket includes food, live music, and a hosted bar for the first hour. The evening will include a panel discussion with leaders in landscape architecture Mia Lehrer, FASLA, Susan Goltsman, FASLA and Stephanie Landregan, FASLA. Event sponsors include: ValleyCrest Landscape Companies, IRONSMITH, Landscape Architect and Specifier News, Scofield, SWG Trees, Old Town Fiberglass, Rainbird, and USA Shade & Fabric Structures, Inc. Many thanks to the LA Expo for this opportunity.

Purchase tickets here.
View sponsorship opportunities here.

The LA Expo also features a “Complimentary Learning Lab” with LAF Executive Director Barbara Deutsch, FASLA on Friday, Feb 8 from 10-11am. Barbara will present the Landscape Performance Series, an online set of resources to quantify benefits, show value, and make the case for sustainable landscape solutions.

The LA Expo is the largest western trade show and educational conference for landscape architects, specifers, and design/build professionals. The LA Expo is produced by Landscape Communications, Inc and provides a regional venue where over 1,200 design and development professionals can exchange ideas, explore new products and technologies, and establish business relationships.