Car Lift – The next generation in parking

Just when you thought you have seen it all, along comes the car lift.

Having your swimming pool removed is one big decision, deciding what to do with the resulting space is another. We have previously spoken about how we have put that space to good use. These projects included smart irrigation, xeriscaping and robotic mowers. Just imagine if budget was no object and you asked us to convert that hole in the ground into a car lift. Well, imagine no further. Take a look here at this clever technology developed in Europe.

What is a car lift?

Car lifts are alternative solutions to the conventional access ramp of a garage.

A car lift is installed where, for space reasons, a ramp can not be built or to maximize the space that would be lost by creating a ramp. This results in a greater number of parking spaces.

Choosing a car lift may also be for aesthetic reasons. The lift becomes an alternative solution to the ramp that combines functionality and aesthetics while keeping and dedicating all the outdoor space to gardens or courtyards. The result is an invisible car lift, with a covering roof resembling the rest of the garden/courtyard.

Car Lift Denver

What about safety?

Safety regulations require that the user, when on the platform, holds down the button for the entire duration of the lift’s journey if the compartment is not completely enclosed, i.e. without cabin doors. Lifting platforms for people also fall under the same regulation and are operated with a dead-switch mode when they have no cabin doors.

From the outside of the platform, the car lift movement can be automatic, by pressing a button.

For platforms with railings (or positioned in fully enclosed compartments) it is possible to call the lift from outside by pressing the button from the floor panel or by using a remote control.

The car lift system has perimeter photocells to prevent the risk of crushing anything in its path.

Other safety photocells are installed on board the platform to prevent the risk of shearing and to signal the correct positioning of the car.

A series of safety measures are also present such as a surface camera, color display and on-board LCD touch-screen that allow to control the system area during all stages of movement.

What happens if there is a power failure?

In the event of a power failure the included uninterruptible power supply will kick in allowing the lift to descend and the doors to open even in the absence of electricity.

Systems with people on board are also equipped with an acoustic alarm and telephone (like with conventional elevators for people). The telephone allows the user to contact the operations center to alert technicians who will be able to identify the system from the telephone number.

It is also possible to install a generator which would also supply the required power to keep the lift operational in the event of a power failure.

Car lift Chicago

How does the car lift handle low temperatures?

The hydraulic control unit of the car lift is equipped with a heating probe to keep the system oil warm avoiding the risk of freezing.

In countries with frequent snowfall, it is advisable to install heating pads similar to those used in heated driveways under the roof paving to prevent snow from accumulating.
It is also possible to use special oils suitable for particularly low temperatures. In addition, by setting the automatic return to the ground floor, the amount of oil present in the pipes is reduced, so that the heating probe is more effective.

What about rain?

Rain is prevented from flooding the underground structure by making use of gutters than run around the perimeter of the covering roof.

In the four corners of the roof there are guttering has drains to channel water into the sewer system.

In the bottom of the pit, however, there must be a well with a safety electric pump as backup.

Is it possible to use the space above the lift to park another car?

It is possible to use the roof of the system for both parking and for the transit of another car. The car lift standard roof can support up to 5500 lbs.

For safety reasons, it is not possible to lift the second parked car while parked on the roof.

What materials can be used to cover the roof?

It is possible to pave the roof in any material to contribute to making it totally invisible and obtaining a prestigious finish. The car lift roof can be covered to blend in with the surrounding landscape architecture.

The materials most often used are grass, marble, teak and stone.

So once escrow has closed on that mansion of your dreams and you’re trying to work out where to park your weekend sports car, consider installing a car lift to keep that beauty protected and secure while still being able to enjoy your uncluttered garden.

With credit to Ideal Park and Cardok.

Ambrogio Robot – Robotic Lawn Mower

In our previous article titled ROBOTIC MOWER – WHICH ONE FOR MY LAWN? we spoke about the features of robotic mowers in general, here we focus more on the Ambrogio Robot series and how they not only meet but exceed these features.

The current Ambrogio Robot series is split into 3 major groups the GREEN Line, the PRO Line and the recently announced NEXT Line.

Ambrogio Robot GREEN Line

The Ambrogio Robot GREEN Line was designed to allow you to benefit from all the advantages offered by Ambrogio’s simple and innovative technology. The four models ensure excellent cut and nutrition of the turf, resulting in a greener, lusher, healthier lawn in a completely eco-friendly way.

Respects the environment, very quiet. The set-up menus are simple and intuitive.

Designed for small to medium sized properties, it moves with extreme agility and is completely safe.

Ambrogio Green Line

Ambrogio Robot PRO Line

The Ambrogio Robot PRO Line series of lawnmowers is designed for those who want a professional and excellent product. The ten Pro Line models all have brushless motors, powerful lithium-ion batteries and advanced cutting systems to meet the needs of homeowners who want to keep their lawn in pristine condition, all year round.

Ambrogio does not need to work continuously during the day and night when used on average-sized properties. Powerful batteries and careful programming allow Ambrogio to stay in the recharging base all night and part of the day (or vice versa, according to the needs of the owner).

Ambrogio easily handles the most difficult slopes, up to 29° for the L85 Elite model. The stainless steel blades ensure precise cutting on any type of grassy surface.

Ambrogio’s rain sensor signals the robot to return to the charging station in case of rain. Ambrogio’s flexible programming options are easy to set-up.

Ambrogio Pro Line

Proline “i”

As an upgrade to the PRO Line there are also the Ambrogio Robot i series elite models. They add the following extra features.

The processors are faster and can process more data at higher rates, with less power consumption.

This new ZCS-labeled device allows you to connect and interact with the robot anytime and anywhere (with your own smartphone or tablet). By using the Remote Ambrogio App, it is possible to setup the robot time-profiles, verify its location (geolocalization), isolate and/or work in specific areas of the yard (Go Away), monitor the status of the robot and receive alerts if it is removed from the yard (Geo fence alarm, an evolved anti-theft system). Thanks to the Go Home and Work Now functions, it is possible to force the robot to return to the recharging station or to work in the yard.
* Free traffic data for two years. Renewable on expiration.

The interactive and intuitive touch display allows interacting with the graphic interface of the operating system by simply touching the screen with your fingers, without having to use
physical keys.

The communication technology that allows updating the software and driving the robot in close proximity.

Ambrogio Proline "i"


The Ambrogio Robot NEXT Line

This newly released 4.0 range takes the Ambrosio Robot features even a step further.

4.0 Basic

The 4.0 Basic model is ideal for those who want a simple and reliable robot that adapts to changes. Its flexible, yet solid and secure structure enables the installation of three different types of Power Units, which allows it to convert from a robot small- to medium sized yards (with Power Unit Light up to 1/5 acre or with Power Unit Medium up to 1/3 acre to a solution that covers up to ½ acre (with PowerUnit Premium) with extreme precision. The brushless motors, rubber wheels and soft bumper complete the profile of an innovative robot that meets the most varied needs. Equipped with Bluetooth receiver, it can be controlled independently by a dedicated App. The new design also allows greater autonomy: the body designed around the blade provides quick and safe self-cleaning. The Basic 4.0 is the only customisable robotic lawnmower that changes with your yard!

4.0 Elite

The Elite model combines the features of flexibility and modularity with 4.0 technological innovation.
It comes with a ZCS Connect device that allows the safe connection of the robot anytime and anywhere, by means of GPS, Bluetooth and GSM technology.
With a simple touch, the robot can be stopped and started and areas can be excluded. The Geofence Alarm allows the system to alert the user when the robot is taken from the yard. In this way, you will always be informed on the movements of your Ambrogio 4.0., with its evolved anti-theft system.
It can be combined with the Medium, Premium and ExtraPremium Power Units going from ½ acre up to 3/4 acre coverage.
The Extra Premium kit permits equipping the robot with the inductive recharge. Ambrogio only has to touch the station, which is now smaller and less bulky, to recharge itself.
Inductive recharge avoids regular cleaning of the contacts. The adjustment of the blade height, now motorized, is also easy to operate, thus facilitating the use of your robot.
ZCS technology is more user-friendly and interactive for easier maintenance of your lawn in a completely autonomous manner. Always, anywhere, anytime… super smart Ambrogio!

Ambrogio Next Line
Ambrogio Next Line


What is ZSC?

With the ZCS CONNECT MODULE* the future is here and now!
The new ZCS labeled devices allows connection and interaction with the robot anytime and anywhere (with your own smartphone or tablet). By using the Remote App Ambrogio, it is possible to set-up the robot time-profiles, verify its location (geo-localization), isolate and/or work on specific areas of the yard (Go Away), monitor the status of the robot and receive alerts if it is taken out of the yard (Geofence alarm, an evolved anti-theft system). Thanks to the Go Home and Work Now functions, it is possible to force the robot to return to the recharging station and to work in the yard.

These Ambrosio Robot Robotic lawn mowers are the latest in unattended mowing solutions. Compare the different models here.

Having your pool removed and the resulting space professionally landscaped could leave you with a wonderful stretch of lawn. With these great products from Ambrogio there’s no need to worry about how to keep it looking trim and neat.

Contact us and we will facilitate installation as part of our landscape architecture services in both the Denver and greater Chicago areas.

Garden trains – after the pool removal

Garden trains? What has this got to do with landscaping? Read further.

That pool in the yard has been an eyesore for many years and you have eventually decided to have it professionally removed. The question is what to do with all of that newly generated real estate and how to keep the kids entertained. As members of the American Society of Landscape Architects many of our customers contract us to stay on site to design their landscapes after the pool removal is complete.

Specifying a design possible of incorporating garden trains is something that we have been asked to do in the past.

We are able to provide the landscaping and retaining walls and design and plan out the layout. In other instances we can work with someone who already has a plan in mind.  In an existing garden we could build the natural stone retaining walls and excavate and provide power.  Some hobbyists may want to handle some of the finer details, others would want us to provide a complete turnkey package.

When considering garden trains the kinds of aspects that we would need to take into consideration include the following:

  • Consider How Much Yard You Want To Leave in Lawn
  • Consider where your focus Points Should Be
  • Know Your Trees and Know Your Shade
  • Consider the Yard’s Slope
  • Consider Privacy
  • Consider Water Runoff
  • Decide HOW Your Focus Points Should Interrelate
  • Balance Your Features
  • Provide Vertical Interest
  • Plan Access to Features
  • Plan Routes Among Features
  • Use Lines to Draw Attention
  • Vary Textures to Draw Attention

Now that we have your interest piqued, where does one start with garden trains?

One of the most important aspects is the type of rail and track. This is one area where you must not skimp as this must last a long time under varying weather conditions.

Rail is usually made from either Brass; Aluminium; Stainless Steel or Nickel Silver. All these metals have their advantages and disadvantages but overall brass seems to have the edge. All of these can be mixed on your layout apart from aluminium which can apparently react adversely to other metals.

By far the most common sectional track is made from heavy solid brass rail mounted on injection molded imitation wood-textured sleeper  strips usually made from UPVC plastic with UV protection against the effects of the sun’s rays. Even longer lengths of flexible track trend to use multiple short sections of webbed sleepers.

Then there is decision about locomotives, rolling stock, figures, power etc. etc.

Take a look at this wonderful design by Dennis Cipcich.

Bottom line? If you reside in the greater Chicago or Denver areas, already have your own garden train design or need a turnkey job done all you need to do is contact us and we’ll get right back to you.


Denver Pool Removal

We received an inquiry from our Colorado office from a prospect looking for a reputable Denver pool removal company. Removing a swimming pool is quite a big undertaking and clients like to do their due diligence before selecting a contractor. While chatting with this prospect these are some of the questions that they had.

Do you have any examples of other Denver pool removal jobs?

We have been in the Denver pool removal business for many years. We have removed many pools from the areas within a 15 mile radius of Denver, and have many satisfied customers. Take a look at just a few of these here.

Lakewood, CO

Greenwood Village, CO

Littleton, CO

What methods do you use?

We have continually refined our processes in order to do the job as quickly and efficiently as possibly. Long gone are the days of the wrecking ball. We are able to minimize collateral damage by using new and improved low impact techniques.  Our main tool to achieve this is the compact excavator.  We also make sure to do inspections long before we start to ensure that everything runs without a hitch.  Additionally we are a complete turnkey solution company with ASLA (American Society of Landscape Architects) certifications allowing us to not only manage your Denver pool removal but also to leave you with a beautifully landscaped garden afterwards.

How environmentally conscious are you?

Where possible all the concrete associated with the pool removal is completely demolished and processed into 8” fracture concrete gravel similar to PGE and used as fill in the resultant hole.  Because we process the concrete associated with the pool into fill material, also called our low impact method, it reduces heavy truck loads of concrete out and then heavy truck loads of fill back in reducing trauma to your property and public roads.

We also recycle all the pool heaters plus whatever other material is recyclable.

What about OSHA?

We continually keep abreast of the latest OSHA requirements to ensure a safe working environment for both our employees and for our customers.

As you can see there is a lot to consider before choosing your Denver pool removal contractor. Get the facts, make an informed decision and be happy with the outcome.

Still not sure? Contact us for a free consultation.