When dealing with the question of fountain design, quite often a few simple and efficient initial recommendations are required, as are replies to questions that are more frequently asked than you might imagine. Therefore, both this and future posts on this blog are going to set out a series of considerations to be taken into account when tackling the design of an architectural fountain. As altogether there are quite a number of points to be considered, this post focuses on the technological and construction parts as well as analyzing architectural fountains with nozzles.
1.-Technology … has to be permanently at the service of your imagination. Once you have your ‘idea’ of an architectural fountain in terms of space, acoustics and color, its image will represent a more or less complex composition involving water jets, fans, falls, run-offs, water mirrors, sound and light effects calling for various technological, sculptural and construction items:
- Location of the water feature fountain: (public park, square, gardens, shopping mall, covered patio, indoors, other);
- Reason for its use (main attraction; to separate areas as a type of barrier,…)
- Esthetic requirements for the water feature- the formal project will be improved if handled by an artist rather than a water technician or hydraulics expert, whose job is to use the available technology to produce the artwork and make it unique
3.-Avoid excessive use of visible technological parts and tiresome repetitions of jets and water-falls. Why restrict yourself to being a ‘copycat’ when you can be a creator? Creating is to combine a synthesis of knowledge and imagination within the laboratory of the individual or group fantasy you belong to.
In order to make fitted nozzles, piping, etc. less visible, i.e. even when the architectural fountain is not in operation, you can choose to conceal them among stones (gravel, ‘Chinese’ stones, river and beach pebbles, artificial stones, etc.) and different construction shapes which, once built into the design, will help to blend them into the background design of the fountain.
4.-Analysis of fountains with pumps and nozzles.
- Choose the water jet features you require (“solid or continuous water jets”, frothy jets, ‘cascade jets’, etc.) as the types of nozzles depend on them.. For example: if you have chosen to use ‘solid’ water jets for the architectural fountain, you can use lance jet nozzles I, II and III to obtain heights of between 0.25 and 100 meters.
- Determine the heights of the vertical jets. The choice of jet diameter and height depends on the artistic design of the fountain.
- Determine the falling distance for parabolic ‘solid’ or ‘continuous’ jets. That can be estimated for wind-free situations by using Spreadsheets, for example.
- Use the Technical Manuals to ascertain : flow and pressure rates required to meet the design expectations.
- Example: Imagine that you want to create an architectural fountain with a circuit of continuous vertical jets of 10 mm in diameter and 3 meters in height. Using the technical charts that accompany Safe Rain Nozzle I, you can find the flow rates in liters per minute and pressure rates in mca (1 mca = 1,42 lb. per sq. inch) that you need to deliver to each nozzle in order to achieve the required result.
- In the above example, in order to achieve a 3 meter vertical water jet using Lance Jet Nozzle I with an outlet diameter of 10 mm, you need to supply a flow rate of 42 liters per minute to each nozzle at a pressure of 3.70 MCA.
- How can you guarantee flow and pressure requirements to a nozzle in order to meet the expected height required for the jet?. To solve this and other questions, we will publish new posts on this blog concerning ‘Hydraulic calculations for architectural fountains’.
- Consider organizing your fountain using groups or sets of nozzles.Grouping nozzles into sets that can be fed independently of each other enables the architectural fountain to work at a reduced level at times and on dates when there is less public presence. This helps to reduce operating costs and provides flexibility for maintenance.
In future posts on this blog, we shall continue to list recommendations about architectural fountain design, starting with an analysis of water storage