Watershape University

DESIGN 2131: Essential SketchUp Modeling Workshop for Beginners

This 16-hour class provides students with a wealth of tools, techniques and instruction needed to conceptualize, present, refine and execute watershape designs using FREE 3D modeling software. Students explore how today’s digital tool belt can be used to unleash their creativity and dazzle their clients.

Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate 3D-modeling tools including SketchUp, SketchUp Pro and SketchUp LayOut.
  • Define axis, drawing tools, solids, extrusions, layers, styles, paint and other applications.
  • Explore plan views, sections, elevations and other details used to develop presentation models.
  • Contrast two and three-point perspective.


  • 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 Builder (CWB) certification.


There is one option:


  • 8-hours online on-demand plus 8-hours live in-person
  • See schedule for upcoming live in-person classes

Online On-Demand Units:

  • Start online units immediately at your convenience
  • Available 24/7/365
  • Start and stop at your own pace
  • Repeat content as needed
  • The course is organized into roughly one-hour logical units of study. You can tackle one at a time or even stop after 20 minutes and start over later or simply resume where you left off.
  • The manual is available as a PDF download
  • Instructors are available for calls during normal business hours
  • No travel or lodging expenses!

Live In-Person Units:

  • A typical course runs 8-hours in a single day
  • 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


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


  • Typically $1400 although other fees might apply
  • Begin Online On-Demand units immediately
  • One-day Live Online project with Dave Peterson is June 10, 2023 8:00 am PDT to 5:00 pm PDT


Watershape University’s DESIGN 2131: Essential SketchUp Modeling Workshop for Beginners trains builders how to model and document their projects for better execution in the field, reducing errors, coordination issues and change orders with subcontractors.

DESIGN 2131: Essential SketchUp Modeling Workshop for Beginners supports the following certifications:

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

Licensing and CEUs

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


DESIGN 2131: Essential SketchUp Modeling Workshop for Beginners 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 DESIGN 2131: Essential SketchUp Modeling Workshop for Beginners

Manual Table of Contents

  • Introduction to SketchUp
  • SketchUp and Basic Navigation
  • Basic Drawing and Modification
  • Staying Organized with Components and Tags
  • Basic Object Modeling Exercise — “Thing #1”
  • Watershaping with SketchUp — “The Spa”
  • Watershape Modification
  • Watershaping a Rectangular Pool
  • Review Geometric Pool/Spa Combo and Add Sections, Dimensions and Notes
  • Explore Views, Walkthrough and Movie
  • Model Circular Spa
  • Model Freeform Pool with Tangential Curves
  • Model Freeform Vanishing Edge Pool
  • Add Circular Spa to Vanishing Edge Pool
  • Layout for Printable Scaled Drawings (Pro Version $)
  • Rendering (3rd Party Plug-In $)
DESIGN 2131: Essential SketchUp Modeling Workshop for Beginners

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.

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.