Kelowna Pool Builder Wins International Award on Geo-thermal Vanishing Edge Pool

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Gene brown of Valley Pool and Spa, Kelowna BC received a coveted "International Gold Award" at the APSP-sponsored annual conference in Las Vegas last week. The award recognizes excellence in the area of vanishing edge pool design . Entries came from as far away as Australia and the Middle East. This Canadian pool stays open year-round by using excess geo-thermal heating from the home to heat the pool.

This was our first project together, but it went very smoothly. We've done many more since then. I don't know if they'll all win awards, but we can hope.

Valley Pool and Spa of Kelowna BC received a coveted "International Gold Award" at the industry's annual conference in Las Vegas last week. Sponsored by the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP), the association recognizes achievement in the area of pool and spa design excellence. The international competition includes entries from as far away as Australia. With four different levels of recognition, the Gold award is the highest level to be awarded by the association.

Gene Brown of Valley Pools built this award-winning pool on a hillside overlooking Lake Okanagan. "It's loaded with everything you could ask for in a backyard pool," said Brown. "It has a beach entry with natural boulders and natural stone tile throughout. It has grotto waterfall, a long underwater bench, LED lights and built-in umbrella stand. And of course, the vanishing edge gives the illusion of the water flowing right into the Okanagan." The award from APSP specifically acknowledges Brown's achievement with the vanishing edge.

Valley Pools worked in cooperation with Richard Hewitt of Hewitt Designs and Neil Miller of Neill Miller Homes, both of the Kelowna area. Skip Phillips, a world-renowned San Diego pool designer and owner of Questar Pools also participated in the project.

As the home designer, Hewitt set the general design of the pool, with a goal of making it look like an extension of the house. Miller, Brown and Phillips then worked together to finalize the plans and build the structure. "There's a lot of coordination required during construction," said Miller. "The two companies have to work closely together. It's almost like being married." Brown concurs. "This was our first project together, but it went very smoothly. We've done many more since then. I don't know if they'll all win awards, but we can hope."

Year-Round Swimming Pool
One special aspect of coordination involved connecting the home's geo-thermal heating to the swimming pool. The unused heat from the home keeps the pool at a toasty 82 degrees most of the year. "We super-insulated the sides and floor before construction, to help keep it warm," said Brown. "In the winter, the geo-thermal heat keeps the pool well above freezing. So they never have to close the pool. They can enjoy the infinity edge all year long."

This project was Brown's first entry into the international awards competition. And his first win. "We would have been happy with bronze or silver. But it certainly was nice to come out of the chute winning gold."

Valley Pool and Spa is located at 1659 Cary Road in Kelowna, BC. They can be reached at (250) 860-2266.

More info on Valley Pools at
More info on the International Awards of Excellence Program at
More info on Hewitt Designs
More info on Neill Miller Homes at
More info on Questar Pools at

High resolution photos available on request.


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