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Outdoor Trends for 2018 including wabi-sabi…

With offices on both sides of the Atlantic (North America and the UK) Solus gets a unique insight into the plans of designers and architects.

 

It always leads to some interesting observations and noticeable trends such as water conscious gardening, embracing imperfections and smart home and garden automation.

The Solus Dome water feature embracing wabi-sabi
The Solus Dome water feature embracing wabi-sabi

Water conscious gardening is a movement towards the more considered use of water for outdoor settings. This extends from understanding the most efficient uses of water during droughts to the most elegant uses in water-rich environments. Particularly in drought prone areas outdoor landscape designs are using more appropriate plants, storing and re circulating rainwater and installing irrigation systems that water the roots directly. In more water-rich environments gardeners are installing water features and water gardens to maximise the ambiance of their gardens and outdoor patios.

Smart home automation has been a major trend that is being seen throughout Europe and North America. Products like Amazon Echo and Google Home (that allow you to control everything in your home from your thermostat to your lighting) have made home automation achievable in any home or setting. This trend has been carried outdoors into gardens and outdoor spaces. Firepits, water features, hot tubs, irrigation systems and outdoor lighting are all examples of products that can now be controlled by smart devices. Solus Decor’s water features and electronic ignition firepits can be hooked up to home automation systems.

 

levated Halo fire table in Portland
Elevated Halo fire table in Portland

The Japanese philosophy of embracing imperfection, called wabi-sabi, has become an industry buzz word of late. For gardens using or recycling materials like concrete, stone and wood and avoiding the use of plastics or synthetics wherever possible. These natural materials all are beautiful because of their imperfections and they help reflect the organic nature of a garden. At Solus we embrace this philosophy with concrete product features that are hand cast and imperfectly perfect.

 

For further information on any Solus product please contact us.

 

 

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The Various Benefits of a Water Feature

Whether you’re planning out a landscape design for a private residence, or in the final stages for decorating a hotel lobby, adding a water feature will be beneficial.

 

This is because among the numerous benefits, water has been proven to act as a calming agent for the mind. According to Wallace J. Nichols, a marine biologist, “We are beginning to learn that our brains are hardwired to react positively to water and that being near it can calm and connect us, increase innovation and insight, and even heal what’s broken,” Nichols writes in  Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do. Happiness, however, is only one of the benefits. In this article we’ll take a look at how water features are not only benefitting individuals but also the environment.

 

One of the more unknown benefits of a water feature is that it reduces noise pollution. This is heavily dependent on the type of water feature that is installed. For instance, a stagnant pond is only going to provide minimal noise reduction whereas waterfalls and bubbling fountains are known to absorb noise to a greater extent. Part of the noise reduction is because it has its own soothing sound that an individual is likely to tune into. So it allows them to block out the sound of a barking dog, or the bustle in a lobby.

 

Solus Decor Water Dome
Solus Decor Water Dome

 

In addition to reducing noise, a water feature also helps filter the air in two ways. The first is by attracting dust particles due to the negative ions emitted from the flowing water. The second is through the formation of water vapors that help filter the air.

 

Another benefit of a water feature is that it acts as a focal point for gathering. This happens regardless of the water feature being a pool, fountain, waterfall, or pond. Since people are naturally attracted to water, it means that the conversations will continue longer and the individuals within the circle are more likely to bond.

 

Along with a water feature providing a focal point, it also provides individuality to the landscape. This occurs through the the size, shape, colour, design and placement of the feature. It also provides movement to an otherwise still area in the form of the water rushing and with wildlife visiting the water feature.

 

Solus Decor Scupper
Solus Decor Scupper

 

Another benefit is that the water features require minimal maintenance – as long as they aren’t a swimming pool. Essentially fountains, waterfalls, and ponds continuously recirculate the water from within. This not only limits the amount of water used but also reduces the chances of bacteria growing out of control. Of course, some maintenance must be done initially like filling up the water feature upon installation, but the majority of it is relatively maintenance free.

 

Perhaps one of the more appealing aspects of a water feature is that it raises the real estate value. This is because a water feature enhances the look of the property as it creates a harmonious and relaxing atmosphere.

 

Overall, a water feature is the answer for you if you’re looking to benefit the environment, the landscape, or yourself.

 

This article was written by CADdetails.com, the leading provider of manufacturer-specific building product information, high-quality CAD drawings, 3D models, BIM files, and projects. All of their high quality, digital content is available for download here 100% free of charge.

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Solus Decor Renovation and Relocation

Hemi Outdoor Fire Pit Solus

Solus Decor Relocation

 

After many happy years at 1445 Powell Street in Vancouver we are relocating to a much larger facility at 109 Braid Street with a mix of emotions. We have many happy memories from Powell Street looking back at what we have achieved and seeing how the fire and water features have developed.  However, we are hugely excited about 2017 and the additional space at Powell Street allowing the team to have greater space and efficiency for the manufacture of our fire and water features.  All our products are made from hand cast concrete, a skilled technique requiring specialist equipment and an accomplished team to manage all aspects of the processes.

 

Solus Decor Renovation

 

The Renovation of the new facility has been spearheaded by our General Manager Gam Yeo who has given the same attention to the renovation and relocation as he does with our fire and water features on a day to day basis.  The relocation and greater space has enabled us to invest in new equipment, which in most cases have been custom made for Solus Decor products.

 

 

Solus custom hopper for pouring concrete to create firepits
Customized Hopper

 

 

Our custom hopper above is for pouring concrete, this hopper will significantly increase our efficiency in pouring. It can hold enough concrete for up to four 36’’ Hemi Fire Bowls, whilst providing our pouring team with much improved ergonomics.

 

Click to find out more about our Hemi Fire Pits

 

 

One of the big changes in the new facility is the new push rack system, but what are the benefits of a push rack system?

 

 

New push rack system

 

  • Exceptional use of space, eliminating unnecessary aisles – good use of space is good, green thinking!
  • Allows for both selectivity and dense storage
  • More picking face locations
  • Fewer moving mechanical parts
  • Accommodates all pallet sizes
  • Allows us to rack, cure and store 560 units in a footprint of 40 feet x 70 feet

 

It’s safe to say we are looking forward to an exciting 2017 in a new location, working with our customers on their own renovation projects.

 

Click here to get in touch and see how we can help you with your own renovation project.

 

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Concrete water features new at Solus



Querini Stamppalia Foundation,Venice.
By Carlo Scarpa.
Photo Jean-Pierre Dalbera.

IBM Plaza
IBM Plaza, Honolulu.
By SurfacedesignInc.


Court of Lions, The Alhambra, Granada.
Photo by Carlos Jiménez Ruiz.
contemporary water feature
‘Dome’ in Halva & stainless steel.

contemporary water fountain‘Scupper w Basin” in Halva & Stainless

1/twelfth.  a new solus monthly
 
 
A few changes.
Solus has been creating concrete objects for the past 19 years. That’s a long time. In an effort to keep things fresh, we’ve decided to change things up a bit. This revamped newsletter/blog is just one
of many exciting things we will be trying in 2016, including a new website and some new products. So, please subscribe and share! 🙂

1/twelfth will be an exploration of things that interest us in the world of design and the built environment. Our bias is towards concrete, but we will also explore designers and makers of cool things around Vancouver, in BC & Canada, and the rest of the world too. So, on to our 1st post!


Water. Reflective, mercurial, living.
Concrete. Sculptural, solid.

Projects that incorporate water create tranquil and engaging spaces. The Alhambra in Spain, Carlo Scarpa’s geological constructions and the IBM Honolulu Plaza are all examples of how water can be used in architecture and landscape as a formal and functional element. Water beguiles us with its mercurial nature and sound. Water is fundamental and this is why we have started to design and make water features.

Our water bowls will alter the feeling and working of spaces by adding a visual focal point, reflecting light and adding sound. They can be a beautiful and functional part of a drainage, pond or pool system. And if you don’t have a larger set up such as this, we have self contained models too.

Self Contained water features allow you to incorporate the experience of water into a setting which does not have an existing water source.
Once you assemble your water feature and add the required amount of water you simply plug it in and enjoy it. This type of configuration holds and circulates all of its own water and only requires a standard electrical connection for the internal pump. Minimal maintenance is required to keep the bowl clear and the water level steady.

We offer 2 different self contained designs in 26”, 36” & 48” sizes, each has a unique nature. The ‘Scupper with basin’ creates a continuous curtain of water flowing from a wide metal spout and The ‘Dome’ highlights the rippling movement of water across a reflective surface.

In our next installment we will look at a few more examples of watercourse projects and some of our solutions for landscape integrated water features.
solus decor
contemporary fountain‘Scupper with Basin’ in Halva & stainless steel.