Watershape University

CONSTRUCTION 4114: Essential Advanced Watershapes – Wellness

Wellness is a broad term that encompasses everything from diet and exercise to mindfulness and physical therapy. As the watershaping industry embraces this healthy trend and growing market it is with little guidance on the underlying principles and risk in the design and construction phases. There is tremendous potential for our industry to become the leaders in this emerging space and it begins with the dynamic duo of Wallace J. Nichols, Ph.D. and David J. Peterson, P.E., IWI who will list several wellness elements and explain the physiology, design, construction and operation thereof. Examples include dry saunas, steam rooms, aromatherapy, clay ball, heated rest, light therapy, Hammams, hydrotherapy, cold plunge, pools, hot tubs, massage and many more.

Learning Outcomes

  • List wellness elements that builders and retailers can add to their portfolios, expanding their business into new profitable offerings with little or no competition.
  • Describe how wellness elements such as hydrotherapy, aromatherapy, light therapy and thermal therapy, affect mental, emotional and physical health and how to use these elements to control physiology in beneficial ways.
  • Discuss design principles important to the success of any wellness center from layout to details such as core elements, colors, materials, lighting and HVAC.
  • Appraise the importance of certain construction and operation considerations including vapor barriers, waterproofing, finish materials and building trades that may be unfamiliar to many pool builders.


  • 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 Professional (CWP) 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

  • Fall 2024 (Tentative)
  • Instructors: David J. Peterson, P.E., IWI and Wallace J. Nichols, Ph.D.


Watershape University’s CONSTRUCTION 4114: Essential Advanced Watershapes – Wellness is one of three options required for the Certified Watershape Professional (CWP) certification.

CONSTRUCTION 4114: Essential Advanced Watershapes – Wellness supports the following certifications:

International Watershape Institute (IWI)
International Watershape Institute (IWI)
Certified Watershape Professional (CWP)
Certified Watershape Professional (CWP)

Licensing and CEUs

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


CONSTRUCTION 4114: Essential Advanced Watershapes – Wellness 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 business into high-end vanishing and slot-edge pools and waterfeatures.

Level: 4 – Senior / Advanced / Applied Theory

CONSTRUCTION 4114: Essential Advanced Watershapes – Wellness requires the following prerequisite course, or approved equal:

  • CONSTRUCTION 2111: Essential Pool Construction more→

Manual Table of Contents

  • Introduction and History of Wellness
  • Biology, Physiology and the Five Senses
  • The Seven Stages of Water and an Introduction to The Seven In-Class Projects
  • Natural Waterbodies — Oceans, Lakes, Ponds, Puddles, Rivers, Streams, Canals, Waterfalls, Hot Springs
  • Immersion Elements — Pools, Hot Tubs, Cold Plunges, Ice Baths, Natural Swimming Ponds, Float Tanks
  • Cultural Immersion Elements & Rituals — Baptismal Fonts, Roman Baths, Mikvehs, Monastery Pools, Ritual Baths, Ablution, Pedilavium
  • Texture and Colors — Tides, Waves, Currents, Reflective, Laminar, Turbulent, Aerated, Transparent, Translucent, Hues, Lightness, Darkness
  • Steam Rooms and Hammams
  • Dry Saunas
  • Cryogenics
  • Vapor Therapeutics — Aroma Therapy
  • Clay Ball, Cupping
  • Massage, Hydrotherapy
  • Acoustic and Light Therapies
  • Core Elements — Restrooms, Dressing Rooms, Showers, Linens, Water Stations and more
  • Standards and Codes Summary
CONSTRUCTION 4114: Essential Advanced Watershapes - Wellness

Authorized Faculty

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.

Wallace J. Nichols, Ph.D.

Wallace J. Nichols, Ph.D.

Dr. Nichols helps people reestablish healthier, more creative and regenerative relationships with themselves, each other and their environment through water, wonder, wellness and wildlife.

Dr. Wallace “J” Nichols — called a “Keeper of the Sea” by GQ Magazine, “a visionary” by Outside Magazine, a “water warrior” by AQUATICS International, a “friend of the sea” by Experience Life Magazine, and “the godfather of water” by Irish Life Health and Santa Cruz Waves Magazine — is an innovative, silo-busting, entrepreneurial scientist, movement maker, renown marine biologist, voracious Earth and idea explorer, wild water advocate, bestselling author, sought after lecturer, and fun-loving Dad. He also likes turtles (a lot).

Dr. Nichols collaborates tirelessly and artfully to create the new story of water and share it with the world. This story includes the vast cognitive, emotional, psychological, social, physical, and spiritual benefits that we can all derive from healthy waters and oceans throughout our lives.

Nichols’ experiences and creativity as a field research scientist, government consultant, founder and director of numerous businesses and nonprofit organizations, teacher, mentor, parent, and advisor all support his quest to build a stronger, more inclusive, innovative and diverse blue movement.

Formerly a Senior Scientist at Ocean Conservancy, Nichols holds a B.A. degree from DePauw University in Biology and Spanish, an M.E.M. degree in Natural Resource Economics and Policy from Duke University, and a Ph.D. degree in Wildlife Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Arizona. He received a Bradley Fellowship to study the impacts of sea level rise at Duke University Marine Lab, a Marshall Fellowship to study conservation while at the University of Arizona, and a Fulbright Fellowship to study at the Universidad Autonoma de Mexico marine station in Mazatlan. In 2010 he delivered the commencement address at DePauw University where he also received an honorary doctorate in science. In 2011 he was inducted as a Fellow National member of the Explorers Club. In 2014 he received the University of Arizona’s Global Acheivement Award and in 2019 The Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences presented him with The NOGI Award for the Enviroment, considered “the Oscar of the ocean world”, the oldest and most prestigious award in the recreational diving world, recognizing individuals who have made significant career contributions to the sport, the industry and the world in the arts, sciences, environment, sports/education and through distinguished service. “Wallace J. Nichols, PhD, is likely the world’s foremost authority on the mental-health benefits of spending time near, in, on, or under water — what the marine biologist calls a Blue Mind state.” ~ Experience Life Magazine He has authored more than 200 scientific papers, technical reports, book chapters, and popular publications; lectured in more than 30 countries and nearly all 50 states; and appeared in hundreds of print, film, radio, and television media outlets including NPR, BBC, PBS, CNN, MSNBC, National Geographic, Animal Planet, Time, Newsweek, GQ, Outside Magazine, USA Today, Elle, Vogue, Fast Company, Surfer Magazine, Scientific American, and New Scientist, among many others.

Just getting started?

Most students begin with our 3-day pool construction course.

Online On-Demand

Watershape University’s Certified Watershape Foreman (CWF) certification is recognized by the following jurisdictions for continuing education and licensing purposes:

Core Class Refresh

Would you like free access to our core online classes, including our 3-day Essential Pool Construction, 2-day Essential Fluid Engineering Workshop (with the latest worksheets!), Color Theory, Principles of Design, and others?

Watershape University provides free access to individuals that have already completed equivalent courses with other institutions. We recognize that our students often want to refresh their knowledge in specific subjects but it doesn’t make sense to repeat a paid class when there are so many other new opportunities to expand knowledge through advanced classes, our webinars, our magazine, etc.

Our Core Class Refresh program is available to authorized employees of Certified Watershape Companies (CWC). To get authorized, simply upload your complete transcript(s) from other institutions so that we can verify which courses you are eligible for. You may upload transcripts through the Portal. Please contact Charlie with any questions.