Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Association of Professional Landscape Designers Annual Expo

From August 11 through August 15, 2008 James and Hae-Sun attended the Association of Professional Landscape Designers Annual Expo. This year it was held in Tarrytown, NY and toured gardens in Westchester County, NY and Fairfield County, CT.

James and Hae-Sun presented at the Expo with a display on the BioNova Natural Swimming Pools (sometimes called Natural Swimming Ponds) and showed photos of the NSP's and discussed NSP's with APLD attendees. The presentation was very well received and resulted in a lot of contacts and new understandings. APLD members from around the US were in attendance, as well as from around the world. James and Hae-Sun also attended a seminar conducted by renowned British Designer Robin Templar Williams. Robin and his father (also named Robin Williams) have designed several NSP's in Europe that have been constructed by our BioNova British Partner, Martin Kelley of Fairwater Ltd.

Below - Hae-Sun (seated right) next to Robin Williams and Robin Templar Williams.

Below - Hae-Sun pointing at the computer and explaining NSP's to an APLD attendee at the Expo.

Monday, October 13, 2008

BioNova MidYear Meeting June/July '08

At the end of June, Jim and Hae-Sun Robyn flew to Europe for the BioNova MidYear Meeting. Partners were there from not only Germany, but also from Switzerland and a strong contingent from Holland. Our new Partner from the Czech Republic, Josef Becka and his wife also attended, along with a small group from France headed up by Serge Paz of BioNova France. Also attending was the inimitable Anders Ericsson and son, from Sweden. German was the language of commonality for most of the group.

Jim and Hae-Sun drove to visit 3 Public Pools. These commercial NSP's were all designed by Rainer Grafinger, head of BioNova. The local communities clearly love their pools as was attested by the number of swimmers on a temperate Bavarian summer day. These NSP's feature among other things, a stainless steel slide, a swim-in grotto and lots of other fun activities in and around the pools. Here is a diagram of Bad Abbach.

A couple of other photos that were taken by Hae-Sun Robyn.

The next day, the highlight of the visit was the trip to the residence and Hotel Christiane, in the former East Germany, very close to the Czech border. This little hotel, in this tiny little village, has an exceptional pool - also designed by Rainer Grafinger with the able help of Christine Schoeck. The pool features a negative edge and an beautiful dual-chambered regeneration zone. Here it is below.

Also in the system was a beautiful water feature for the handicapped or for babies and little children - notice how incredibly clear the water is in this feature.

But, the really fun part was when the Burgermeister (Mayor) came along with the local newspaper to photograph and interview the BioNova Partners. The hotel management broke out the refreshments and everyone had a great time! Below, Jim and Hae-Sun meet with the Burgermeister.

And, below is Jim and Hae-Sun meeting with the residence hotel owner and BioNova designer Rainer Grafinger. Note: Rainer Grafinger is 7 feet tall.

And here is the hotel owner's granddaughter enjoying the pool!

She swam with enthusiasm the entire time that the BioNova Partners were there. Note the regeneration zone in the background of the photo.

On the next day, the 40 BioNova Partners climbed on board a bus and toured the residential installations of one of the German Partners, Norbert Deppisch. These pools were all located south of Munich and close to the Alps.

Some of the features that jump out about these pools, that make them so very different from pools built in the US are that these European pools all use green pond liners to contain the vessel. They use several different colors of green (and they argue about which color is better), but they always use green! Also, unlike in the US, all of these pools have wooden surfaces adjacent to them. Their patios (often designed to look like a dock) are frequently made from the larch tree. The wooden look does make the pool "read" more like a natural pond. Below are some photographs that Hae-Sun Robyn captured of these gorgeous NSP's.

Above and below - note the floating slat cover that is used as a heat retention cover. It is electrically operated and winds up on a roller that is hidden under the wooden deck.

Below - a water feature using the NSP's water.

Above - a "lilypad" skimmer operating in the Regeneration Zone.

The following day, the group visited the newest BioNova Public Pool installation. The City of Munich had engaged BioNova's Rainer Grafinger to design an all-natural pool for the citizens of Munich and the pool had just opened 3 weeks earlier. On the opening day, 7000 visitors showed up to see and swim in Naturbad Maria Einsiedel. Below are some photographs of that incredible NSP.

Above - Foreground - Regeneration Zone for Naturbad Maria Einsiedel

Below - Rainer Grafinger explains the circulation system to BioNova Swiss Partner Hans Graf.

Above - Siemens built controllers monitor water quality at Naturbad Maria Einsiedel. BioNova staff can access all data on-line remotely.

The final day of touring NSP's in southern Germany wound up with a look at a pool built by German Partner Johannes Folger of Rosenheim.

A very successful trip and a tour of some wonderful NSP's!