Episode 251: Design Ecology / Design Aquatics: Landscape Architecture & Luxury Pool Design/Build Firm Based in Austin, TX with Benjamin Lasseter


Greg and Justin sit down with Benjamin Lasseter of Design Ecology, an award-winning landscape architecture and luxury pool design/build firm based in Austin, Texas.

Listen in as Ben gives his thoughts on the state of the pool building space in Austin. He runs through his pool building process, from the design phase to the specialized trades that come in, and his passion for incorporating water elements into his designs.

Ben also discusses his journey from graduating with a political science degree to his foray into the pool business, eventually meeting Scott Cummings who would become co-owner of Design Ecology. They built their success in the industry by consistently standing by their philosophy of being generous with his knowledge, resulting over time in a loyal client base.

Asked about Design Ecology’s unique process to pool building, Ben talks about why he’s partial to perimeter overflows and why he prefers a minimal contemporary style over free-form pools. Plus, we touch on considerations regarding skimmer bottoms and dealing with flooded gutters, building surge tanks, plumbing, as well as how to plan in advance for minimal noise from the overflow.



  • [00:01:30] About recording location in Austin, TX
  • [00:03:02] Who is Benjamin Lasseter?
  • [00:05:28] Austin market conditions
  • [00:06:55] The journey to building pools
  • [00:10:03] Job site and soil conditions
  • [00:13:32] Education in luxury pool construction
  • [00:19:21] Competition in Austin and what sets Design Ecology apart
  • [00:20:01] Lyon Financial
  • [00:20:54] Advantages of  being a licensed landscape architecture firm
  • [00:22:18] Working with general contractors & homeowners
  • [00:24:14] Building perimeter overflow pools
  • [00:26:36] Dampening sound by planning in advance
  • [00:28:32] Speaking up about access to the pool and equipment room
  • [00:31:07] Gravity collection by plumbing or collecting in the gutter
  • [00:31:45] Vertical & horizontal pickups
  • [00:33:27] Dealing with jump from gutter to basin
  • [00:37:30] The Snorkel method for sound
  • [00:40:47] Building pools for the average user 
  • [00:43:15] Working with surge tanks
  • [00:46:32] Pedestal deck systems
  • [00:49:11] Who does your plumbing?
  • [01:00:48] Favorite pool built
  • [01:02:40] Ben's philosophy and mission  each day


People & Resources Mentioned