Case Studies

Aquatic Design & Engineering

Family business designs and engineers engaging water systems with a better future in mind

Founded in 1987, Aquatic Design & Engineering (ADE) is a world-class professional services firm headquartered in Orlando, Florida with branch offices in Dallas, Texas, and Dubai, UAE. After nearly 30 years in business, ADE has become licensed to work throughout the U.S., the Caribbean and the Gulf Corporation Council. The staff at ADE maintains the specialized experience not only to effectively design and engineer high-performance aquatics, but also to navigate the complex approval processes of local government agencies.

ADE was founded by Ken Martin, who is recognized as a world-class aquatic designer and engineer. With 40 years of international project experience, Martin has designed an aquatic feature in every type of climate or condition throughout the world. “I continue to be thrilled and extremely proud when I witness our aquatic creations come to life once they are completed,” says Ken. “The joy, peace, satisfaction, excitement and solitude that these features bring to viewers and our clients is extremely rewarding. I am passionate about what I do every single day.”

Sustainable practices

As part of its company culture, ADE maintains a passion for and commitment to sustainability and is a member of the United States Green Building Council. Providing enduring solutions is part of the mission of the business. For every project the company undertakes, ADE aims to provide the best long-term option for the client. “Sustainability is really a part of our foundation of core beliefs,” says Josh Martin, president and creative director of ADE and son of Ken Martin. “We not only look for the best option from a budget standpoint, but also for the most beneficial impact on the community.”

ADE is able to reduce chemical usage in the features it installs through advanced filtration techniques and other practices, such as reducing backwash and compost storage to lessen the impact of each job. The company also maintains a unique position in the industry due to the numerous types of projects it completes. Working primarily in the resort market, ADE embeds itself in projects that involve nearly any form of what it calls “engaging water,” which includes water systems that people are able to see, touch and play with. “We don’t touch wastewater or sewage,” says Josh. “With our headquarters in Orlando, we have built upon the resort industry.”

In applying these practices, ADE has been involved in a project with Disney where the company is applying its advanced filtration systems to create approximately 98 percent annual water savings. “Traditionally, sand filtration would be used,” Josh explains. “A sand filter backwashes roughly 300 gallons for five minutes three to five times a week. This would give you about 7,500 gallons a week of straight waste. We are installing two regenerative filters, which will backwash about 3,000 gallons of water once a month to every six weeks.”

Not only does this filtration system generate inherent water savings, but it also reduces electricity and chemical waste due to less backwashing of water. “We do that type of lifecycle analysis costing on every job we do,” shares Josh.

ADE has also recently been involved with a project in Belize for Norwegian Cruise Line. This job includes the application of prefabricated stainless steel technology for use in pool construction. This method is cost efficient for all parties involved due to the use of recycled materials and the methods of obtaining those materials. “We only created enough material that was needed for that pool,” Josh explains. “It has the same regenerative-style filtration system.”

In the aquatic engineering industry, Josh has witnessed a shift into the sustainable arena through operational efficiencies. The work that ADE has completed and continues to do from a design standpoint has guided the industry toward efficiency and a streamlined process. Filtration, chemical usage and constructability are a few aspects that have risen to the top when it comes to efficiency in resort-style, engaging water systems. “We do a fair amount of elevated pools,” says Josh. “All of them are done with stainless steel for a variety of reasons including the fact that they are watertight as well as the efficient method of installation.”

Building opportunity

In conjunction with its commitment to sustainability and providing low-impact solutions to the communities it serves, ADE is incorporating substantial growth into its business plan for the near future. As a private company, ADE sets its sights not only on growing for profit, but also on creating a better future. The company’s goal as it expands is to create new opportunities and new positions in its Orlando and Dallas offices. “When we hire someone, we want it to be the last job they ever have,” says Josh. “That is a core guiding principle of who we are.”

By maintaining excellent communication and working hand in hand with development partners, Aquatic Design & Engineering has the expertise and resources to ensure that it consistently delivers unparalleled, world-class professional service.

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Spring 2018

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