• Continuing Education

    Four decades ago our founder, Dick Chaix, established the concept of an independent fountain consultant. He had a genuine interest in exchanging ideas with industry professionals and fostered an educational approach to working with clients. Following this philosophy, CMS offers courses registered with LA CES that are designed to share the technical and aesthetic experience we've gained through 30 years of designing architectural water features.


    Our presentations are typically 35 minutes followed by 20 minutes of Q&A, and offer one hour of continuing education credit through either the LA CES or AIA system. They also meet HSW standards. CMS offers two sessions:

        · Less is More: The New Aesthetic and Engineering of Green Water Features in       Architectural Design
        · Natural Water Features – What Are They and Why Should I Care?


    Each session provides an in-depth discussion concerning the inclusion of water features in your design by considering factors that advance Sustainable Sites and LEED credits, overall feasibility, budget, safety and maintenance. CMS provides lunch for the attendees and we enjoy brainstorming your designs with you especially as they relate to architectural and environmental concerns, and how the designs might promote LEED and Sustainable Sites points.

  • Session Descriptions

    Less is More: New Aesthetics and Engineering of Green Water Features in Architectural Design

    As cultural paradigms shift from flamboyance to conservation and stewardship, water feature designs must adapt to these rediscovered sensibilities. This adaptation may soon be required to justify the building of new water features. Through case studies, theoretical discussions, examination of “living systems”, and from an engineering as well as an aesthetic perspective, we will compare various water effect types in terms of energy and water consumption, light pollution, chemical use and discharge, and construction budgets.


    Natural Water Features – What are They and Why Should I Care?

    As the concept of sustainable sites becomes increasingly important, the Natural Water Feature provides the rejuvenating and life-affirming elements of water, while maximizing a site’s sustainability factor. We will provide strategies for designing water features that maintain aesthetic integrity, while at the same time being stingier resource users. Water effects using green systems will be compared from an artistic perspective, but viewed through the lens of how these aesthetics relate to LEED and Sustainable Sites advancement.

  • Speaker Biographies

    Nadine Nemec, ASLA, is a Principal at CMS Collaborative, Inc. where she has worked for over 25 years. She explores innovative, aesthetic and technical water feature solutions with clients, and is the lead designer and manager of water effect and lighting mock-ups. She helped refine solutions for such projects as Chicago's Lurie Gardens, the Seattle Civic Center, and The Pentagon Memorial. Nadine is a passionate world traveler and an enthusiastic student of the symbolic and artistic importance of water throughout diverse cultures.


    Chris Cook, PE, LEED GA, Associate-Principal. Chris joined CMS in 2006 as a designer after honing his skills as an R&D engineer in Silicon Valley. Before beginning his professional career he taught physics in French for the Peace Corps in West Africa. His diversified background and passionate desire to learn has served CMS well. Chris is heading up CMS’ sustainable design efforts and has taken on the project management role for several notable projects including The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Iris Campus (Seattle, Washington) and Tarrant County College (Fort Worth, Texas)

  • LA CES LogoSchedule & Registration

    If you would like to schedule a presentation for your firm, please contact | 831-359-2808


    If your firm has scheduled a presentation and you would like to sign up, please contact | 760-873-4000

  • Good Reads

    Cullen SlotThese links and references are intended to provide avenues for information or further study. If you have suggestions for additions or corrections, please email us by

    Light and Water  Ando, Tadao.
    Monacelli, 2002.

    Life’s Matrix, A Biography of Water  Ball, Philip.
    Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2000.

    Waterscapes – Planning, Building and Designing with Water
    Drieseitl, Herbert; Dieter Grau, and Karl H.C. Ludwig, ed.
    Birkhauser Architectural, 2001.

    The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
      Halprin, Lawrence.
    Chronicle Books, 1997.



  • More Good Reads

    Levi Plaza FountainStone and Water. Leccese, Michael. Robert Murase:
    Spacemaker Press, 1997

    Water and Architecture. Moore, Charles W., and Jane Lidz.
    Harry N. Abrams, 1994.

    Fountains: Splash and Spectacle: Water and Design From the Renaissance to the Present. Symmes, Marilyn, and Kenneth Breisch, ed; and Cooper-Hewitt Museum.
    Rizzoli, 1998.

    Aquascapes II: Water in Japanese Landscape Architecture. Hirota, Hauro, ed.
    Books Nippan, 1994

  • Design Links


    Levi Plaza FountainCMS Collaborative site designed by:
    Focus97.com