Building a pool at the Monolithic Research and Industrial Park

My son Frankie trying in vain to win a chicken fight with me in our pool.

Chicken fights with my son in the finished pool. Those chickens are hard to keep above water—even without a skinny kid trying to push you off.

Mike South

2020 was quite a year. One exciting thing we did here at Monolithic was build our first swimming pool as a crew. My wife and I had been thinking of putting in a pool for years, and it was finally time to pull the trigger. We decided to situate the pool next to our Gazeedome that houses our outdoor kitchen and dining area and got to work on the design.

We put a lot of time and thought into the design and, because it was a smaller pool, I think I thought it was going to be easier than it was. I will tell you; it was a learning experience. Unlike shooting shotcrete on domes, a pool requires a lot of hand work and a lot more volume of concrete. When we started, we pulled out our big industrial Schwing concrete pump and sprayed a lot of material.

Javier and Jesse start spraying the first layer of shotcrete to the pool walls. A lot more shotcrete is used on pool walls than thin-shell concrete dome walls.

After that, we wanted some smaller batches so we could fill in around the hot tub and fine-tune different details. Unfortunately, we were having trouble with the concrete supplier not giving us the kind of concrete we wanted. So, we pulled out our mixer and little GHP 1500 peristaltic pump. I was pleased with how well that worked. Many pool contractors would be interested in a system like this, which was much smaller and a little more modular.

At one point, we had some rain that caved in a small portion of the hole for the pool and I was nervous about a second cave-in. I realized I should’ve immediately sprayed an inch of concrete on the whole thing as soon as we dug the hole. That would have given it that initial strength and resistance to the rain and flooding I needed. Come to find out; it would have worked perfectly, making a great little business in and of itself. If someone had one of our pumps and mixers, they could go out and flash the pools — give them one inch of concrete. They could mix it right on site, pump it with our small pump, and spray that pool in no time, which would make a great little business.