• CMS Allied Bank WaterfallOur Unique Approach to Fountain Design

    CMS acts exclusively as a fountain design consultant and like most architectural firms is structured for consultation, document production, and design and construction administration. As such, we are dedicated advocates for architects and their clients. By not providing installation services, component supply, or proprietary designs, we are able to utilize a wide range of options to unique challenges.

    We produce discrete sets of biddable fountain mechanical and electrical drawings. Our documentation is noteworthy for its comprehensive approach and unique style. Repeat clients provide more than 80% of our work, clients who recognize the difference a truly complete set of construction documents can make, by easing communication among team members and reducing costs in the field.

    As industry standards evolve, design requirements place more importance on environmental protection. Using innovative technology, CMS continues to develop creative solutions that raise the standard for green water feature designs. We are well-versed in LEED and SITE specifications relating to water feature design.

  • CMS fountain consultants introduction

    Our available Scope of Services meshes well with the professional services of our clients. With decades of experience in the architectural community we are conversant with the issues, interests, and methodology of our clients. CMS has helped pioneer everything from in-house production techniques to water reclamation and LEED certification.

  • CMS Levi PlazaConsultation

    Fountain design is inherently prototypical and requires thorough and unique coordination with most members of the design team.

    Our initial consultation work ensures that water display performance, architectural and safety concerns, structural factors, equipment space requirements, pipe routing, and utilities are fully addressed as they relate to the project's master plan.

  • CMS Dept of TransportationDesign Development

    If required by the project, CMS produces a Design Development package to assist with coordination and pricing. In some cases our Design Development package contains information and detail that exceeds that found in other fountain firms' final CD set. Design Development documents usually include:

    • Schematic piping diagram
    • Equipment space layout plan
    • Pool fitting location plan
    • Site electrical lighting layout plan (if required)
    • Single line electrical power diagram
    • Performance specification for fountain control system
    • Fountain Plumbing and Electrical specifications comprising 40-60 pages
  • CMS fountain consultants introductionInternational Design Development

    For our international projects, we have created an Expanded Design Development package that blends our design services with local engineering. CMS acts as the liaison between the design team, local engineers and contractors. We design water features comprehensively and economically, while emphasizing the importance of long-term viability and natural resource conservation.

    CMS produces piping schematics and electrical documents, details, and specifications that are utilized by the local engineering team to produce the final construction documents. Thereafter, CMS is readily available throughout the construction documentation review process to insure an orderly transition to the local team.

  • CMS Levi PlazaMock-ups

    CMS can design, build and operate mock-ups where circumstances warrant. In some cases, the exact water characteristics may not be completely predicable in regard to the site's tolerance for splash, wind, sound, or lighting. A mock-up can help fine-tune design parameters or sometimes lead to more exciting alternatives. And often a client may want a demonstration of an effect that can't be easily conveyed by other means.

    Mock-ups can be performed at our Santa Cruz location, on site, or another location depending on our client's needs.

  • Construction Documents

    Our construction document package is designed to mesh perfectly into the project document set, taking its place with those of the mechanical, electrical, structural, acoustical, and other drawings. However, fountain design is somewhat prototypical in that familiar mechanical and electrical components are incorporated and arranged in ways that may be unfamiliar to other trades. For this reason, our drawings are unusually comprehensive and detailed. This approach eliminates many clarifications and RFIs, and simplifies the contractor's pre-construction work. The straightforward and inclusive nature of the documents allows any competent contractor to provide an excellent installation even if they don't have specific fountain construction experience. Construction Documents usually include:

    • Schematic piping diagram
    • Equipment space layout plan and sections
    • Pool fitting location plan and coordinated piping plan
    • Installation and fabrication details for all subassemblies and pool fittings
    • Site electrical plan with lighting layouts (if required)
    • Single line electrical power diagram
    • Electrical equipment elevation
    • Equipment space power and control plan
    • Fountain control system wiring diagrams and details
    • Fountain Plumbing and Electrical specifications comprising 40-60 pages
  • CMS Capitol CommonsConstruction Administration

    Our Construction Administration services include the review of fountain mechanical and electrical submittals, plus assistance with RFIs, clarifications and change orders. We provide on-site review of construction, assistance with adjustments, troubleshooting, and instruction of maintenance personnel. Site visits are always followed with a comprehensive report and punch list.

  • CMS fountain consultants introduction

    Over the years, the CMS office environment has been a comfortable place to work in a San Francisco area beach town. We feel that an environment without a rigid hierarchy promotes discussion and rethinking of design and administrative issues, and our combined talents offer the best solutions.


    The roots of CMS are traced back to 1964 when Richard Chaix oversaw the fountain division of the engineering firm Beamer Wilkinson. In doing so, Dick effectively established the concept of an independent fountain consultant, providing an unprecedented level of expertise and professionalism to the architectural community.

    Dick's open personality and genuine interest in advancing the state of the art allowed a free exchange of ideas with industry professionals and clients. This open approach is still very much part of the CMS philosophy. In 1981, with the addition of Tom Mallonee, Richard Schuder, and Diane Schuder, the partnership of CMS Collaborative was formed, bringing enhanced design, technical, and coordination abilities to the firm. In 2001, with the retirement of Richard Chaix, Richard Schuder, and Diane Schuder, the firm continues as CMS Collaborative, Incorporated.

  • Tom Mallonee


    Tom has been active in fountain design since 1971. By working with fountain equipment suppliers, contractors, and some of the most prominent landscape architects, Tom developed extensive expertise in all aspects of fountain design. This foundation was greatly enhanced by the enduring collaboration with fellow CMS founders Richard Chaix, Richard Schuder, and Diane Schuder. Tom oversees the design aspects for most of CMS' major projects. He is known for his ability to quickly consider and integrate conceptual, architectural, and mechanical aspects as they relate to the master plan.

  • Roy Kaplan


    Roy has designed mechanical and electrical systems, written control software, and supervised CMS project commissioning for more than 25 years. His pragmatic and intelligent design approach, aided by a broad interdisciplinary background, results in water features that are safe, robust and maintainable. His field experience is always fed into the design phase, constantly improving the state of the art. He has shepherded some of CMS' most significant projects through construction and commissioning, such as The National World War II Memorial, The National FDR Memorial, and The Pentagon Memorial.

  • Nadine Nemec, ASLA


    Nadine has worked with CMS for over 25 years and takes a lead role in creative front-end design. She explores innovative aesthetic and technical solutions with clients, and is the lead designer and manager of water effect and lighting mock-ups. She has helped to refine solutions for such projects as Chicago's Lurie Gardens, the Seattle Civic Center, and The Pentagon Memorial. Nadine is a true world traveler and has become an enthusiastic student of the symbolic and artistic importance of water throughout many diverse cultures.

  • Tanya Larson

    In Memory

    Tanya Larson, our partner and dear friend, passed away on January 17, 2014 at the age of 39 after a brief but intense battle with cancer. Her personality, kindness, drive and expertise became the glue that held CMS together, and those qualities will never leave us. In 2001 Tanya came to us as a student, but she quietly became our teacher. We'll always carry a profound sadness, but that surely will be tempered by the wonderful time and laughter she shared with us and with all of those around her. Thank you, Tanya.

  • Chris Cook, PE, LEED GA, ASLA


    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 been the lead mechanical designer for over one hundred water features. Recently, he has taken on the Project Management role for several prominent projects.

  • CMS fountain consultants introductionReferences

    When I began working with Dick Chaix in 1977 I was so impressed by the professional relationships and friendships he developed and nurtured. Whether it was celebrating the completion of a successful project or working with a client to solve difficult issues, Dick taught everyone the importance of staying with a client and project until it was truly finished. Dick freely exchanged ideas and experiences with clients and competitors alike to raise the state of the art. These standards are still core to CMS and continue to flow down to our younger principals.

    Tom Mallonee, President

  • Guida Moseley Brown ArchitectsGuida Moseley Brown Architects

    Guida Moseley Brown Architects

    Harold Guida

    “CMS designed a number of water features for one of our firm’s mixed-use projects in Hong Kong. CMS collaborated with the design team (with key members based in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Australia)

    in a positive and creative manner, developed prototypes to illustrate and test unusual features, and ultimately produced high quality details and documentation for the client to tender.

    CMS was adaptive to the inputs and limitations of the project, responsive to clients, and timely in the delivery of designs and documentation.”

    Harold Guida, LFRAIA AIA

  • Gustafson, Guthrie, Nichol, Ltd.Gustafson, Guthrie, Nichol, Ltd.Gustafson, Guthrie, Nichol, Ltd.Gustafson, Guthrie, Nichol, Ltd.KogodGustafson, Guthrie, Nichol, Ltd.Gustafson,Guthrie, Nichol LTD.Gustafson, Guthrie, Nichol, Ltd.

    Gustafson Guthrie Nichol, Ltd.

    Kathryn Gustafson

    "CMS has been proactive in modifying designs to match both budget and artistic changes as the projects evolve. They have also worked with the team to identify energy and water conservation technologies that further enhance the water feature's long-term viability. We definitely recommend using CMS Collaborative services and enjoy their creative and professional approach."

    Gustafson signature

  • The Office of Lawrence HalprinThe Office of Lawrence HalprinThe Office of Lawrence HalprinThe Office of Lawrence HalprinThe Office of Lawrence HalprinThe Office of Lawrence HalprinFDR memorial

    The Office of Lawrence Halprin

    Dee Mullen, Partner

    "CMS has served as our fountain mechanical and electrical consultant for over 25 years. This ongoing relationship has evolved because of their technical strength, their responsiveness, and their ability to meet our high standards for desired aesthetic results and long term durability."

    Halprin signature

  • Friedrich St. FlorianFriedrich St. FlorianFriedrich St. FlorianWWI Memorial - CMS referencesWWII Memorial

    Friedrich St. Florian Architects

    Friedrich St. Florian

    "I am very pleased to recommend CMS Collaborative to prospective clients. The design and engineering tasks (for the National World War II Memorial) were exceptionally complex and demanding. CMS' work was first rate, highly professional and on time. Everything worked the way we envisioned it. The credit for this goes to CMS for work well done."

    Friedrich Signature

  • SWA GroupSWA GroupSWA GroupSWA GroupSWA GroupSWA GroupSWA GroupSWA GroupSWA GroupSWA Group

    SWA Group

    William Callaway, CEO

    "We have been working with CMS for 40 years on dozens of projects all over the world. Besides being thoroughly professional, technically innovative and precise, plus on time and on budget, the quality I most value is their creative collaboration.

    CMS is a rare combination of engineering expertise and design talent. They are passionate about water. I can heartily recommend them to potential collaborators and owners alike."

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  • SWA GroupSWA Group

    Wallace Roberts & Todd

    Ignacio F. Bunster-Ossa, ASLA, LEED AP

    “I am very pleased to affirm on behalf of Wallace Roberts & Todd, LLC CMS Collaborative’s high level of creativity, technical competence and teamwork skills related to the design of water features.

    CMS provided vital information related to health codes, pumping and vault requirements, aesthetic effects, and cost and maintenance implications. The Design Guidelines for the project won a 2009 Honor Award from ASLA.”

    swa signature

  • CMS fountain consultants introductionGiving Back

    Through Engineers Without Borders (EWB-USA), we hope to make a difference by supporting sustainable engineering projects in developing rural areas. CMS is also working with Water.org to bring awareness to the world's #1 health problem and create accessible, safe water supplies to communities world wide.