Photo 42132932 © Pominoz |
This water feature in Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia, is an example of what can be achieved with water features in commercial spaces.

Water Features: The Benefits and What to Consider

May 17, 2024
Considering a water feature for your building? They offer many benefits—but be sure you take these factors into consideration first.

Our beautiful cities worldwide have become a concrete jungle through expansion and necessity.

Most people leave the comfort and serenity of their homes to venture out into the city for work and play and everything in between. Shoppers will no doubt be heading to malls in winter and outdoor retail outlets in warmer and drier months.

In all instances, a water feature or fountain will be a point to which many will gravitate to steal a moment to unwind, sit for a spell or take a well-deserved coffee break.

The reason is simply that water has an undeniable effect on humans and wildlife alike.

Studies show that running water relieves stress, lowers blood pressure and calms the mind.

Malls have fountains, which have always been an especially popular feature. Piazzas, plazas and public squares have fountains. Parks have bridges over babbling brooks fed by waterfalls.

There are many benefits to bringing water features into environments such as offices, malls, public and outdoor spaces.

9 Benefits of Water Features

1. Reduce noise pollution: The sound of  running water can drown out less agreeable noise in public and private spaces.

The incessant hum of traffic can be easily masked by the rush of a cascading waterfall. Less rush hour, more happy hour.

2. Water features attract customers: Nothing says next-level luxury like an impressive wall of water, a waterfall or a fountain.

Shoppers will linger in spaces that feel calm and inviting. Diners will feel that they have escaped to a beautiful sanctuary and they too will linger, having that extra glass of wine or special coffee.

3. Create standout properties and eye-catching water features: You can easily distinguish your business from another with the addition of an attractive, eye-catching feature.

Be it a bar/restaurant, a mall or a bank, a fountain will add that extra class and design element that will set you apart from the rest. It also doesn't hurt to help your customers find you more easily. ”It's the red brick building with the big fountain out front”—take that, Google Maps!

4. Air purification, indoors and out: Flowing water is nature's air purifier, attracting dust and allergens and removing them from the air. Make sure that you don’t have stagnant water where you are conducting your work or business. You will create an environment of mold and bugs. Mosquitoes thrive in stagnant water.

5. Stay cool: Water that is in motion will cool the surrounding air. This is something you will see often in warm countries in outdoor spaces such as common areas and outdoor malls and restaurants. This can also be in the form of misters at pools, bars and restaurants.

6. Birds love a bath: If you don’t want to attract winged customers, then don’t install an outdoor water feature, especially a fountain. By and large most people enjoy the added birdsong while connecting with nature. Water and water features create such a beneficial habitat for the city birds that drink from fountains and eat the crumbs left from someone's lunch break special. It's kind of like giving back to the avian creatures whose trees we have removed.

7. Encourage creativity: Immersing oneself in nature allows the mind to open, fostering free flowing thoughts that can spark new and creative ideas. In an office or work environment this can be incredibly beneficial to both employer and employee. The visual and audible stimulation of an office water feature will serve to relax and inspire.

8. Ease fatigue: Your customers and employees will no doubt experience fatigue at some point.

Simply focusing on the effortless flow of water can remind us to slow down and take a moment to reset our minds. Shoppers can catch a second wind to finish their Christmas shopping and employees can muster the strength to get that project in before the deadline.

9. Enhance your decor: Not forgetting the practical benefits, the aesthetic value of these features can uplift an otherwise dull space. Many features today include incredible LED lighting.

Your office may only be able to accommodate a small tabletop fountain. Maybe the addition of a mesmerizing fish tank filled with exotic and colorful fish is more your speed.

Expansive outdoor spaces can showcase larger features such as water walls, rock walls of water cascading into ponds or pools.

What to Know about Building and Maintaining Water Features

Chances are you will not be building any of these water features yourself.

While it may feel for some to be an easy undertaking, there are many steps involved and one misstep can lead to disaster.

Amazon can deliver pretty much any size piece for your needs, leaving you with the task of finding a good installation company if necessary.

There are of course plug-in options with features that are very user friendly.

When choosing your water feature, consider your space and environment. You may be short on space already so a cumbersome and noisy structure may not create the desired atmosphere.

Can you afford the upkeep?

Even humidifiers need to be cleaned and maintained. Without the right cleaning, these expensive additions to your space will eventually break down and need replacing. Fish tanks filled with living creatures need food and clean, pH-balanced water.

Water is corrosive.

Most people forget that the wonderful H2O we imbibe can also destroy rocks and metal. The rate at which it does this depends on a few factors including pH, electrical conductivity, oxygen concentration and temperature. Corroded pipes and lines and pinhole leaks can not only cause damage to the feature but ultimately your property.

Is a water feature what your property needs?

A bigger question would be: do the pros outweigh the cons? Based on the potential benefits, the answer is a resounding yes.

About the Author

Jerry Smith

Jerry Smith is the owner of American Sealants Inc.

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