Watershape University

As existing pools age and ownership turns over to a new generation, major renovations have become a larger and larger part of the watershape construction market. This in-depth, two-day major renovation design course is formatted with a series of targeted lectures supporting an interactive renovation design project.

Learning Outcomes

  • Explore the scope and nuances of major renovation projects.
  • Review images that will inspire design and illustrate key concepts.
  • Develop a complete renovation project from site analysis, troubleshooting existing problems and failures, through first-draft design.
  • Describe the scope of work, design, material selection, structural engineering, mechanical systems, construction considerations and project management.


  • Duration: 16 hours
  • IACET CEUs: 1.6
  • All students who complete the course and evaluation form receive a Certificate of Completion documenting 1.6 IACET CEUs even if they do not continue with the Certified Watershape Renovator (CWR) certification.


There is one option:

Live In-Person

  • See schedule for upcoming classes
  • A typical course runs 8-hours per day spanning 2-consecutive days (16 hours)
  • Complete attendance is required
  • Ask questions as they come up
  • Manual is provided in class
  • Instructors are available for questions during the lectures
  • Travel, lodging and meals are the responsibility of the student
  • Watershape University provides lunch for both days


Check back soon — our schedule may update at any time.

Live In-Person

  • MPG Spring Meeting
  • Birmingham, AL
  • March 20-21, 2023
  • $1,400


Watershape University’s CONSTRUCTION 2711: Essential Major Renovations Workshop instructs builders on modifying pools, spas and waterfeatures beyond their original design concept. These renovations are not simply new coping, tile and interior finishes – they include major structural and fluid mechanics changes such as adding spas, vanishing edges and slot-edges. CONSTRUCTION 2711: Essential Major Renovations Workshop supports the following certifications.
Certified Watershape Renovator (CWR)
Certified Watershape Renovator (CWR)

Licensing and CEUs

The Certified Watershape Renovator (CWR) certification may be used for contractor licensing and required continuing education in certain jurisdictions. The CWR certification builds upon the CWF certification; therefore, all Certified Watershape Renovators (CWRs) are also CWFs which support licensing in the following jurisdictions:


CONSTRUCTION 2711: Essential Major Renovations Workshop is intended for and attended by architects, landscape architects, designers, builders, installers, consultants, contractors, subcontractors, and service and maintenance professionals — particularly those looking to expand their service business into renovations and new construction.

Level: 2 – Sophomore / Novice / Limited Experience

There are no prerequisites for CONSTRUCTION 2711: Essential Major Renovations Workshop, although CONSTRUCTION 2111: Essential Pool Construction is required for CWR certification and strongly recommended otherwise.

CONSTRUCTION 2711: Essential Major Renovations Workshop, or approved equal, is a prerequisite for the following programs:

  • None

Manual Table of Contents

  • The Importance of Design
  • Client Interview & Qualification
  • Introduction to Projects & Project 1
  • Legal Considerations & Project 2
  • Structural Assessment
  • Concept Design Project 3
  • Structural Solutions
  • Solutions Project 4
  • Construction Considerations
  • Structural Modifications & Project 5
  • MEP Assessment
  • MEP Design
  • MEP Project 6
  • Waterstops, Waterproofing, Finishes & Project 7
  • Project Profiles
  • Review & Critique Project 8
CONSTRUCTION 2111 Essential Pool Construction

Authorized Faculty

Ben Lasseter, IWI

Ben Lasseter, IWI

As Partner and Director of Construction, Benjamin is responsible for bringing Design Ecology’s designs to life. He oversees all construction projects from planning to completion while managing a skilled team of craftsmen to provide unparalleled attention to detail. After earning his B.S. in Horticulture at Texas A&M Benjamin gained valuable experience working as Assistant Superintendent on one of the nation’s top resort golf courses. He moved on to manage the construction division of a landscape architecture firm for 4 years where he built luxury estate landscapes and pools. Benjamin opened his own landscape design and construction company in early 2009 & joined with Scott Cummings, RLA, ASLA and CB in 2010 to form Design Ecology.

David Penton, IWI

David Penton, IWI

Principal — Fluid Dynamics Pool and Spa, Inc.

David Penton, IWI, is president of Fluid Dynamics Pool & Spa Inc. – a Boutique Watershape Construction and Consulting firm located in Southern California. Fluid Dynamics is recognized around the world as one of the premier watershape construction and consulting firms within the high-end, elite estate property marketplace. Penton is also one of the principals for Ask The Masters – an Arizona based LLC focused on continuing education and mentoring for professionals ​working in the outdoor living space. He is a regular host of the Ask The Masters Podcast and has been a guest on CBS This Morning, the Pool Chasers Podcast and WATERtv. He is regularly featured in many trade and consumer publications. Penton is a graduate of Genesis University – where he has been an instructor and served in leadership for years as a member of the Society of Watershape Designers.

David J. Peterson, P.E. IWI

David J. Peterson, P.E., IWI

President/CEO — Watershape Consulting, Inc.

Peterson is President/CEO of Watershape Consulting, Inc., an international planning, design and engineering firm providing owners, architects, contractors, and the legal profession with services relating to residential, commercial and institutional pools, spas and water features.

He obtained his B.S. Civil Engineering at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and is a registered engineer in several states. Peterson has been in the watershape industry since 1994 when he began his career designing life support systems for large aquariums and marine mammal exhibits. He was Vice President Engineering at Polaris Pool Systems where he developed and patented several products.

Peterson reorganized the Genesis 3 Design Group into GENESIS® University in 2012. When GENESIS merged with the National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF) in 2016, Peterson became Director of Education for GENESIS, a position he held until forming Watershape University.

JC Escudero, IWI

JC Escudero, IWI

President/CEO — Aquatic Technology Pool & Spa

Juan C. “JC” Escudero, has a diverse background and heritage with three different nationalities. He has traveled extensively and lived in other countries throughout his life. In 2001, he joined the pool industry and by 2009, JC had already worked on over 1,200 swimming pool projects. JC’s unique design perspective values his client wholeheartedly, ensuring the final product reflects their vision and lifestyle.

Utilizing state-of-the-art construction techniques while producing the most advanced water shapes; JC’s work speaks for itself when it comes to delivering results to last you and your family a lifetime of fun. As an SWD graduate and member of the International Watershape Institute, JC has been recognized among his peers as committed to continued-education programs. His pro-education commitment makes him an active contributor to respective industry and social media education platforms.

Currently, JC operates J Designs Pool & Spa Construction and Service divisions. Since its inception in 2008, JC has continued to exhibit his commitment to innovation with each and every project. He carefully curates each design to fit each client’s individual needs and lifestyle. Along with the design, JC oversees every aspect of the building process. He creates a safe and open line of communication for his clients to be a part of every step of the way in a very professional yet personable manner — a true pool expert.

Paolo Benedetti, IWI

Paolo Benedetti, IWI

President/CEO — Aquatic Technology Pool & Spa

Paolo Benedetti is the President/CEO of Aquatic Technology Pool & Spa and Lux Environs, one of the world’s leading luxury design and build construction firms. Since 1993, Aquatic Technology has been a leader in the aquatics industry, having developed many new and cutting-edge concepts. As a licensed pool builder and general building contractor, he has managed the design or construction of residential and commercial aquatics projects, vacation resorts, and high-end luxury residences. After receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management, Paolo continued his post-graduate studies in construction management and technology, architecture and design, material sciences, aquatic design and hydraulics.

Over three decades in the aquatics industry he has developed a faithful following of loyal clients. Their unwavering trust in his attention to detail, evolved into a parallel firm, Lux Environs. Lux Environs was founded to provide these demanding individuals with luxury residential design and consulting services, construction management, owner’s agent – representative and quality control services. As the fiduciary for these high-net-worth individuals, he frequently collaborates with world-class architects, builders and design professionals. His creative, imaginative and ingenious insights have proven invaluable in resolving design dilemmas with cost effective solutions. Clients include heads of state, billionaires, titans of industry, celebrities, sports stars, and those that simply demand the best life has to offer.

Paolo’s projects have spanned the globe, Africa, South America, the Caribbean, Middle East, Europe and across North America. He is court recognized as an expert in construction practices, building codes and trade standards. His firms provide design & consulting services to other builders, property owners and developers; corporate training, project and process evaluations; workmanship assessments; forensic investigations; construction defect inspections; expert witness services; and personal injury litigation support.

Paolo’s work has graced the pages of Architectural Digest, Dwell, LUX, Luxury Real Estate, Residential Design/Build, Dream Home, Millionaire, Conde Naste, Ambiance Piscines, Home World, Ocean Home, LA Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and has appeared on countless TV programs. His projects have twice been granted Masters of Design Awards by Pool & Spa News Magazine. One of only 17 Masters within the Genesis Design Group, Paolo brought his talents to Watershape University upon its inception. He is currently a member of the Watershape University Leadership Team and one of a few that have achieved membership in the prestigious International Watershape Institute (IWI).

Rick Chafey, IWI

Rick Chafey, IWI

Co-Owner — Red Rock Contractors | Red Rock Pools & Spas

Richard T. Chafey is one of the owners and managing members of Red Rock Contractors, Red Rock Pools and Spas and Red Rock Design; one of the Nation’s leading luxury design/build contractors. Red Rock’s mission is to build lasting relationships with customers, subcontractors, vendors, and employees as well as the communities it does business within. Their emphasis on relationships and quality construction is what has fueled their success and growth.

Since 1998 Red Rock Contractors and Red Rock Pools and Spas, has been one of the nation’s leading custom building, pool, water feature and landscape Design Build Contractors. Red Rock has grown and continues to evolve into one of the most dynamic and diverse custom building contractors nationwide; offering their customers a single source solution to all of their luxury design/build needs from commercial building construction to residential landscape design and installation. Our work has graced the pages of countless magazines, newspapers, and has been recognized nationally on the Travel Channel, HGTV, Animal Planet and the Discovery Channel over a dozen times. We were named 2014 Masters of Design by the Pool and Spa News Magazine. We are the recipient of numerous International Awards of Excellence by the Association Pool and Spa Professionals.

Rick attained Master status within the GENESIS 3 Design Group, one of only 17 designers in the world to obtain that level of training in the pool and spa industry. He is a current member of the International Watershape Institute and is on the Leadership Team of Watershape University. Chafey’s and Redrock’s specialties include: Luxury Home Design and Construction; Custom Water Feature Design and Construction; Commercial and Resort Pool Construction; Custom Landscape Design and Construction; and Luxury Residential Pool Design and Construction. We also offer 3D Computer Rendering, Project Management, Construction Consulting, Forensic-Expert Witness Investigation Services.

William T. Drakeley, ACI, IWI

William T. Drakeley, ACI, IWI

President — Drakeley Pool Company

William Drakeley is an award-winning shotcrete technologist specializing in concrete science and construction, particularly shotcrete applications, techniques and standards, with thirty years (+) experience in shotcrete installation, waterfeature and geotech design and construction. Services include consultation and review, training and testing and expert testimony. He’s principal and founder of Drakeley Pool Company, a luxury design and build firm based in New England; and, Drakeley Industries, an international consulting firm focusing on shotcrete applications and techniques, notably providing training for the New York City Metropolitan Transit Authority underground tunneling projects.

An educator and advocate for high industry standards, Bill has most recently developed and launched Watershape University (WU) with colleague David Peterson, P.E. to provide the highest quality of live instruction of business, design, engineering and construction programs to students of all levels of pool, spa, aquatics and outdoor living sectors. Bill has conducted trainings for the Colorado School of Mines, the American Society of Landscape Architects (CT), World of Concrete, GENESIS 3, Aqua Show, NESPA, and others. His technical writings have been widely published in trade magazines and e-publications.