Austin, Texas, residential pool project

Spot Aq 808 I want the swimming pool 100 feet from my house, and I want it at the level of the second fl oor," the homeowner told Andre Del Re, co-owner of Da Vida Pools, Austin, Texas, before construction began.

In order to build the 10-foot-deep, negativeedge pool-and-waterfall combo 23 feet in the air to meet up with the second level, "smart engineering was key," says Del Re.

Da Vida used 16-by-4-by-3-foot Styrofoam blocks, each packed with seven yards of fi ll, to pack the void between the ground and the bottom of the pool. Because Styrofoam is non-compactable, says Del Re, it is more stable over time than settled dirt, which can drop 4 to 6 inches throughout the years.

The pool and deck were built as a separate entity from the house and fl at deck, so it was imperative that construction be completed precisely at the same level so they could later be joined by steel and blended into a unified deck.

Iridescent blue glass tile, a feature the homeowner fell in love with in Mexico, adorns the entire waterscape. He really likes the look of the bright hues the culture is known for, adds Del Re.

"When you look at the swimming pool, the blue that comes through is so beautiful," says Del Re. "And it never stops glimmering. So when the waves are coming across the water and the wind is beating it, you just see this glow in the water on a consistent basis."

Capping off the "sky high" project is a wall of fi re on the front end of the negative-edge spillway. The 23-foot-long wall burns on propane and can warm up the entire 1,300 square foot deck in the wintertime, says Del Re.

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