Why This Sustainability Advocate Chose Endless Pools®

For his LEED-certified house, Glen researched to find the ideal therapy pool.

Glen swims to relieve his back tension. But his Endless Pools home installation is no ordinary therapy pool. His home, called the Natural Balance House, earned a prestigious LEED Platinum certification. The story of his unique home – and his hand-crafted mural backsplash – sets his Performance pool apart!

Glen installed his Endless Pools Performance model outside his LEED-certified home. He created the custom mural himself. He chose to feature “a number of species that were overfished or otherwise stressed.” He likes its placement because, he adds, “it allows me to say that I would be truly ‘swimming with the fishes.’”

Taking the LEED

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Certified by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED homes must meet stringent sustainability requirements. For instance, the home’s lumber had to be certified by the Forestry Service Council as sourced from a responsibly managed forest. “It was quite a journey,” Glen reflects.

The LEED certification was granted for the house’s initial build and does not include the pool. Still, Glen finds that his Endless Pools model suits the Natural Balance House’s overall ethos. “It’s as efficient as it can be. It’s a well-insulated pool. We’re using a propane heater, and that’s pretty efficient. Of course, it’s covered, so we don’t get a lot of evaporation.

“The wall that that mural is on is the exterior wall of a 19,500-gallon cistern. We can run the entire house on rainwater.” They ended up not filling the pool with rainwater “for a number of reasons. That could have made it even more appealing to the LEED people,” he believes.

Working on a 40-degree slope and with a range of local restrictions, Glenn chose an Endless Pools Original Series model. His pool must-haves included “the ability to build it on site” as everything had to be manually carried to the pool deck.

Two Deciding Factors

As Glen considered a range of pool companies, he identified “two things that I was impressed with Endless Pools about. One was the ability to build it on site. No piece was bigger than three feet.” He recalled the process of building his home, particularly when “10 of us had to carry these big steel beams down and hold them in place while they were screwed in. Anything that was going to require manhandling, we had to try to make it as simple as we could. Your pool passed that test.”

A swimmer since age four, he also admired the power, adjustability, and smoothness of the propeller-generated current in our Original Series pools. “I liked the propeller current and what the benefits of a propeller kind of current were.” Using our Demonstration Program, “I did a ‘test drive.’” His Endless Pools representative connected him with a nearby customer who owned an Endless Pools Original model.

“I went down and did a swim in his pool. He had a single propeller,” which is how our Original current is generated. But Glen wanted a wider current. “We went with the double,” referring to the twin propellers of our Performance pool upgrade. “I like the wider current. I’m 6’3” and have a pretty long wingspan.”

Installing on a Slope

“Our house was built on a 40-degree slope to the water and is sited 30 feet back from the bluff going down to the water,” Glen observes. “There was no obvious place to put it that wouldn’t violate all sorts of building codes and variances. Where we live on the coast, there were very severe building restrictions. We decided to put it under our bedroom deck at the base of the mural. 

“The challenges were the narrowness and height of the desired build area and the steepness of the slope.” So Endless Pools’ compact models and their on-site assembly became big plusses, both for the assembly process and for the permitting process that followed.

“The County Building Department wouldn’t approve our permit because they didn’t want a permanent pool that close to the water.  We went back-and-forth,” he recalls, “until I saw that putting in a portable spa would be approved. When I referenced some of your marketing literature that talked about the ability to disassemble the pool and take it with you, the problem was solved, and the permit was approved.”

On the island where Glen lives, “You can only build on 50 percent of the width of your lot, and when we built the house, we filled up that space. So there really weren’t many places we could put this pool.” His vision led him to a modular Endless Pools model, and our flexible design would later help him resolve a permitting snafu!

Swimming to Relieve Back Pain

“About six years ago, I had back surgery, so I needed to be able to swim,” Glen says. “Having the pool made a big difference for me.

“I had a laminectomy,” which is the removal of part of the vertebrae in his lower back to relieve pressure and its resulting pain. “I’d been having back injections for four or five years to the point where they just weren’t working anymore.

“What swimming does is loosen me up a lot, which for me is very valuable. It stretches you. It helps build your core up a bit.” His lumbar issues are aggravated by his work as an artist. (The mural behind his pool is Glen’s own creation!)

“When you’re doing clay sculpture, you’re sitting there for hours at a time. Your muscles bind up, and you get stiff. Having the pool available allows you to jump in and loosen up again.”

A Unique Pool for a Unique Home

Glen lives near open water, on Washington State’s San Juan Islands, but as he notes, “The water varies between about 38 degrees and maybe gets up to 60 in the summertime. It also has a very strong tidal flow. It’s not really good for swimming.”

Before installing his Performance pool, Glen had to commute to swim in a public pool. “We have a gym in town, but that’s almost a half hour to get over there. Then you change, and you wait for a lane, and you’re doing all these other things.” As he realized then, “It would be a major evolution … to just go downstairs and jump in the pool”

“The whole project turned out great,” he says of his Performance pool. “I’m happy with the pool.”

Why did Glen go through “five different green certifications” for his home? “We live in a very pristine place, and we wanted to keep it as pristine as we could.” When this house was built, Glen reports, “We were the third LEED Platinum house in all of Washington state.”

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