Vivek Mishra
Real estate prices continue to rise and so is the rise in demand for better accommodation. Each house is sold as a dream come true where they promise proximity to nature, bringing in a forest in the form of a landscape that surrounds a swimming pool. So that's a jungle inside a concrete-jungle for you!

We do understand the aspirations of those who have enough disposable incomes to demand such super luxurious supersized designer apartments. We also are aware of the new demand created by those who would want to reconstruct their old-style villa to match the latest lifestyle trend.

What we don't understand is the lack of awareness amongst these people about a sustainable living. One should be conscious of certain facts like how a badly constructed house that consumes more than the required amount of electricity and the water guzzling swimming pools inside them can cause great imbalance to the natural resources of the already crowded urban areas.

Swimming Pools

Talking about the most important component of life; water, is already an area of contention amongst many Indian states. While the government is trying its best to regulate usage, we all must understand that water is too precious to be wasted.

While we tap water for leisure, we should know that a badly constructed swimming pool can prove too expensive for the environment as well as for you, as a consumer. Each one of us needs to be better aware to demand quality.

The Indian Plumbing Association, in collaboration with the US-based International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO), has drawn up a code for swimming pools in India.

One such code was the need of the hour as the National Building code never had any norms for swimming pools at present. In March 2011, the ‘Uniform Swimming Pool Code – India' was documented. The code provides information on materials to be used, water heating, vents, chlorinators and the piping standards that ought to be followed.

While the manufacturers and construction organizations shall refer to this code, we as consumers should also make sure we do not compromise on quality and standards.

They still don't issue licenses to practice swimming pool construction in India. There are many players crowding the market who commit to projects without knowing the scope of what they are undertaking. Then in order to quote less to bag the project, they mindlessly compromise on quality. The worst part is, they keep the consumer in the dark and by the time your pool is up and working, your costs go up by almost 50%.

For instance, if there are constant problems with filtration, then though the maintenance charges would take care of it, the fact remains that the quality was compromised right at the outset. But, the customer had incurred all the cost for it.

Environmentally, a malfunctioning filtration system proves disastrous. Where the plumbing and filtration cannot efficiently handle the cleaning of pool water, one is stuck with water that is always riddled with dirt and potential disease causing germs. Now cleaning this, would consume high amounts of electricity as the pump for the filter is required to run for a longer duration.

One may decide to sanitize the pool, ending up dumping too many chemicals into the water. This will bring in its own set of problems, and at last you would have no option but to change the pool water. This is what makes you deplete the ground water levels in your area, for your leisure.

The repercussions of not having chosen the right pool builder, is not just limited to frequent draining out of pool water, of late this has resulted into much fatal consequences. Most of us are aware of a recent accident where a gentleman lost his life to electrocution in the pool.

Use of energy efficient lighting is also important. Hardly any one of us is aware of the fact that in an ideal situation there shouldn't be any electrical device operating at more than 12 volts in the entire pool surrounding area. One can ensure safety by adhering to quality standards.

Let's not blame the pool owners alone. We need to be better aware to demand the best quality and ensure that our lifestyle in urban India is not becoming a threat to the other half.

Premium Pool's innovative approach towards sustainability

Be assured that achieving sustainability doesn't mean loss of luxury. It's all about creating a demand for sustainable homes of which innumerable benefits accrue by the way of reduction in water and electricity bills.

With pools, a simple way to ensure happiness is by taking care of durability, comfort and long-term cost benefits. This can only be done by choosing the right builder at the onset.

We at Premium Pools are confident of being an unrivalled pool design and construction company that has helped several green buildings achieve better energy and water efficiency.

World over, this industry is operating within stipulated guidelines and following strict standards with respect to safety and quality. In India, surprisingly, what gets the least attention is safety itself.

With our commitment to make any and every swimming pool safe and clean, we decided to partner with international experts.

Having the distinction of collaborating with America's No. 1 pool builder – Premier Pools and Spas in addition to a tie-up with Europe's largest swimming pool builder, Albixon, for the state-of the art equipment, we have always been inspired to deliver projects that have distinguished themselves in numerous ways.

We are also confident of a great team on board that has to its credit, hands-on experience with some of the prestigious projects internationally, making it easier for us to stick to our commitment to quality.

Working close to such standards, every year, we have turned down projects looking on to the psyche of Indian customers and people involved with a swimming pool. Sadly, the mindset remains restricted to treating a pool as a commodity. In fact, we can go on to the extent of saying that it's better not to have a pool than end up having something which is a great financial as well as environmental burden.

This industry remains unregulated with no entry barrier and it is upon us to help streamline things to help the industry gain a proportionate capital share to help every business concern sustain itself to offer the best of swimming pools that are a good investment in every respect.

Currently, the industry can't look within to compete as there is lack of expertise and hardly would you find someone living upto the claims of making a good pool.

In fact, a great way to help the industry see new heights is by coming at par with other industries where people are tapping luxury in every way looking on to the kind of incomes at their disposal.

Unique Projects Undertaken

Aahana Resort

Jim Corbett National Park situated at Nainital district Uttrakhand is one of the oldest Tiger Reserves known for the preservation of the endangered Bengal tiger enjoys unique geographical features that have made it one of the most sought after tourist destinations in Asia. It is just a 4 hour drive from Delhi NCR. Tourists apart from exploring the beauty of the jungle through nature walks, jeep or elephant safari also enjoy the world class human innovation i.e. the resorts.

Aahna Resort Jim Corbett

While you have almost all the resorts along the river, Ahana – The Corbett Wilderness broke the conventional tradition as it touches the forest of Corbett all along its entire length on the north-eastern boundary. The founder of the property Mr. Kamal Tripathi while creating his resort had in mind to make it a spa destination incorporating in it all the five elements of nature i.e air, water, sky, fire and earth, and hence ensuring it to be at par with any world class spa destination. Therefore, the challenge before Premium Pools was to design the entire Landscape in a way that the pool completely blended with the forest in the backdrop, giving an impression like it always existed there and is not a man-made structure.

With the innovative approach that Premium Pools follow, the end result has been that the pool completely blends with the jungle creating a reverse infinity effect on its back, and the vanishing edge of the pool towards the side facing the restaurant gives it a floating restaurant effect.

Pools at The ATS Village, Noida

The ATS Village pool brought out our best in terms of our creative efforts. This pool, like many others, has certain distinctive features.

The ATS Village mega pool is a sunken pool. This means it is built below the land level. We planned everything down to the tiniest detail, including the kind of plantation that would surround it, the colours that would best go with the spirit of the housing group, the way sunlight would fall on the structure and so on and so forth.

We also brought in tiny twists that would make the pool a conversation piece in its own right-the bubbling water, for instance. Water bodies are equally loved for the distinct bubbling sound they make as for providing refreshing coolness. At ATS, we built little bubblers into the pool and constructed a stone set-up to have waterfalls cascade.

So, just sitting by the poolside relaxes busy people back from a hectic day at work.

We also built 39 individual pools for penthouse and row house owners. These pools are family hangout junctions which add an exotic element to the living space. At night, the pools provide a party point for the residents and add luxury to everyday living.

The ATS Village pool was a turning point in the Premium Pools story, as it catapulted us into a different creative zone.

Mr. Gitambar Anand's faith in our abilities helped us push many creative boundaries. With this project, Premium Pools started functioning on a wider orbit.

Wave Pool at Paramount Golf Foreste, Greater Noida

A wave pool is a swimming pool with wave generator fixed at the deeper end, that creates waves in the water by compressing the water beneath, with the release of air through air compressor. With the wave being generated at regular intervals the swimmers in the pool get a tacit feel of swimming in ocean. The earliest wave pools date to the 1940s in the United States, and the concept has since spread widely across the world.

Now we have a few of these being done in India as well, with the latest one being at Paramount Golfforeste which was a big challenge in itself, as we had to do away with the conventional funnel shape [funnel shape is given to the wave pool as the wave is generated at the narrow end of funnel and it terminates at broader shallow end] but still had to have the wave of same intensity. The shape of the pool was a constraint as this was the first wave pool in the country, which was to be used as group housing pool, hence apart from the technical prerequisites, even the aesthetic aspects of landscape were not to be compromised with. This pool is spread over an area of 8000 sqft and boasts of one of the finest landscape architecture.

Wave Pool Paramount Golf Foreste

Apart from creating the waves in the pool, various other features like having sunken bar attached to the pool, having a small pool for toddlers which had to remain immune from the waves that were generated, and incorporating all this, given in the shape which we had been restricted to, was a task to reckon with.