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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Architects! Sigh!

Those dreaded words:

"The architect has made provision for a Koi pond"

9 little words that somehow manage to get my back up every time. Why is this?

Let's explore this a little. 

Firstly, what is the architect doing making provision? I have yet to meet an architect, any architect that knows the first thing about Koi ponds. So making provision tells me a few things. 

A). The owner is not dictating to the architect to do this and to do that.This tells me he is not a Koi hobbyist to begin with. 

B). Secondly, 'making provision' is another way of saying leave to an expert. This is fine and well but by the time the expert (poor old us) gets involved things are so far gone there is little anyone can do to make the project work as it should. 

C). Budget is completely undetermined at this stage - making provision is generally done along the lines of a swimming pool cost, which means that by the time the poor old expert arrives they are already on the back foot from a budget point of view.

So when I get a phone call that starts off with the words 'Hi I'm looking to find out if it is possible to run a Koi pond on a variable speed pump because the architect has made provision for a Koi pond and as the consulting electrical engineers on the project we need to know what pumps are to be used on the Koi pond' I get extremely short and ill tempered. 

Normally such conversations end up with 'Oh we haven't thought this through and in fact the Koi pond is perhaps not a great idea' which goes to show that sometimes the universe does work as it should. Such a Koi pond has only disappointment and failure etched into it's future - it has no real interest or commitment from it's owner and it is being considered as a feature rather than as a home for the ongoing prosperity and well being of it's occupants. 

Over time the ongoing maintenance and expense is going to sit in the new owner's craw with the feeling that he 'didn't sign up for all of this' and that is going to end only one way, badly. Sadly the fish are the ones most likely to bear the brunt of all of this - and as we don't associate with bad news stories I am far happier talking someone out of such a 'pond' than I would be talking them into it and selling them down the river as to how fabulous it can all be. 

I am not in the business of selling piped dreams. So my approach has always been to level the playing fields and describe the playing rules. There is no point in lying about things - or in leaving out pertinent facts - after a few weeks or months or years everything is going to be exposed anyway! There are no shortcuts, no places to hide and no way to run from the reality of a badly designed Koi pond. 

Rather, we choose to work on stunningly designed, exquisitely crafted and essentially beautiful, functional living organisms called Koi ponds that graft functionality with efficiency. We build ponds that can be run off the grid if needs be, and we build Koi ponds to enrich your life, not detract from it.