Design Coordination

One of the most important issues during design is the proper coordination of all disciplines as they relate to the fountain. Often these issues are overlooked and surface as RFI and/or change order requests by the contractors, leading to higher installation costs. Remember, someone has to organize and coordinate the following items with the other consultants, which may or may not be in their scope:


  1. The structural engineer (or sometimes the civil) will have to detail the fountain basins, underground equipment vaults or slabs (if used), penetrations through footings, slabs and beams.
  2. If the fountain is very large, the structural engineer has to detail expansion joints and consider the placement and specification of waterstops at all cold joints.
  3. If the concrete is to be inherently waterproof, the structural engineer should write a Division 3 specification for waterproof concrete.


  1. The civil engineer will be responsible for bringing water, sewer and storm water connections to the fountain or equipment vault if the entire project is outside. The points of connection to the fountain contractor’s work should be agreed upon and shown on the drawings.
  2. Backflow prevention for the water supply has to be considered, as most municipalities will not allow a backflow preventor to be installed in an underground vault.

Landscape Architecture:

  1. The landscape architect will be responsible for sighting the fountain if it is outside, as well as detailing the pools and finishes. This requires an understanding of materials to be used in submerged conditions.
  2. The landscape architect should show waterstops on their drawings to make sure they are included.
  3. The finishes are specified by the landscape architect and should be coordinated with the fountain hardware.
  4. Grading in and around the fountain has to be worked out so that the fountain can properly drain and so that storm events do not carry debris into the fountain.


  1. If the fountain or equipment space is inside, the MEP engineer has to bring water, sewer and power to the fountain equipment. The fountain equipment will require a backwash tank to provide an air gap to sanitary and this should be shown on the plumbing drawings.
  2. Ventilation and heating of the equipment space will have to be considered by the MEP engineer.
  3. Power supplies to the fountain equipment should be coordinated and points of connection shown on the drawings.

Next: Waterproofing