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Designing the Future of Adventure

From early concepts to sealed engineered drawings, Bonsai’s design department has full design and drafting capabilities.  Utilizing multiple software platforms and a strong working knowledge of engineering principles, our design team works collaboratively to create stunning course designs that capitalize on the marriage of form and function, art and architecture. 

We are consistently driven by the primary goal of creating world-class participant experiences on courses that are designed to be compliant with the strictest of industry standards.

Beyond our in-house capabilities, we work with a wide range of industry professionals including architects, landscape architects, engineers, geotechnical engineers, surveyors, and arborists to deliver a full-service design process.

Whether we are rendering an initial concept to support funding and the acquisition of capital, using drone data to lay out a tour with precision, creating structural drawings for steel fabrication, or working on a wildly authentic course design, Bonsai’s design department is fully equipped to actualize your Aerial Adventure ideas.

Bonsai’s Design Process

Bonsai’s Design Phase is a collaborative concept-to-design process.  In short, this phase takes the client from plausible concept design to a stamped set of construction documents.  The process will include working with existing proposed concepts and layouts and incorporating them with Bonsai’s innovative design strategies and master planning experience.

Any resultant design documents or drawings are meant to provide adequate reference for Bonsai crew and any potential subcontractors during installation, training and operations and are available to the client as a good faith representation of the overall project’s progress.  Engineering services, building inspections, collaborative review of safety systems, attachment methodologies and value engineering are all included in Bonsai’s design management purview.

Conceptual Design

The Conceptual Design phase often begins following a Site Visit to a client’s identified location. 

Schematic Design

During schematic design, Bonsai begins to describe the project three dimensionally. This includes concept design development for all component systems, as well as preemptive logistics for preparation and approval for the other phases.  Individual element specifications are defined, and functional and performance requirements are addressed.  One or more concepts are usually generated and rough sketches or CAD models are created to convey the product’s fit, form and function.  A concept review evaluates the options, selects the best option and establishes the criteria for the next steps in the design process. 

Services Provided:

  • Generate preliminary sketches for component systems.
  • Analyze feasibility of concept layout at Client ownership level.  A predesign conference is held to confirm that all issues have been listed for address.  All interested parties should participate in the conference.
  • List and document plans to manage how the tour affects other aspects of the property
  • Conduct site review
  • If necessary; meet with City approval group and discuss/document their requested documentation for how we mitigate fall hazard, equipment, etc.
  • Develop preliminary concept models for any and all termination and component systems required
    • Tower systems: pole configurations, platform, access stair systems, guy systems & terminations, zip, brake cable and brake system terminations
    • Challenge systems; decks, element choices, layout considerations, program heights, program difficulty, view station options.
    • Bridge systems: termination break overs, load analysis
    • Optional free-fall jump element structures
    • Etc.
  • Review systems selection with Client ownership group – adjust as necessary

Upon authorization to execute; phase one typically takes three weeks to prepare adequate documentation to present to Client ownership group.  Engineering review can happen concurrently or immediately after Client group if no significant adjustments are requested. 

Schematic Design is considered complete when preliminary concept systems have been delivered for review by both Client and the local consulting engineer.

Architectural Design Development

During the Architectural Development phase, final layout is confirmed and plans are developed for each termination zone.  Drawings, specifications and documentation are produced in order to realize the Schematic Design concepts and move forward with engineering. In order to ensure the designs meet the Client’s desires and vision for each property, Bonsai works directly with project representatives throughout the process of placing site layout and aesthetic design elements.  The correct and accurate layout usually require intensive survey and civil engineer site review services which will be intermittent and ongoing throughout the design and installation process.

Services Provided:

  • Final maps, civil and architectural plans of all termination layouts
  • Spatial accommodations for each zone confirmed
  • Equipment and furnishings, building design and retrofit requirements proposed
  • Materials and colors proposed
  • Complete definitions of all systems serving the project are developed (construction netting, walkway roofs, etc…)
  • Support for regulatory approval processes via extensive on-site collaboration between Bonsai personnel and designated Client representatives and approval bodies as necessary (building inspector, city, county?)
  • Oversight and collaborative effort with engineer to ensure all elements are developed within acceptable tolerances for subsequent engineered analysis
  • Program and tower-based vertical element descriptions and specifications
    • Operational specifications
    • Training and rescue program specifications
    • Equipment maintenance and handling specifications
    • Other infrastructure needs
  • Drawings
    • First phase construction documents created and delivered for engineering analysis
    • Code compliance table generated and reviewed
    • Braking, trolley and associated safety systems documents created
  • Master Flow Plan Description and Specification
    • Establish location of check in, gathering areas and routes required in each building to support the tour
    • Recommendations as necessary for transportation specifications: roadway crossings, safety envelopes, interaction with the public, PPE
    • Participant volume estimates
    • Staffing requirements
    • Consultation and assistance in rough location and/or specifications of other infrastructure requirements such as check-in, gear-up and orientation facilities, maintenance and staff facilities, vehicle storage and transportation facilities, etc.

Architectural design is considered complete upon review and acceptance of the proposed plan set by: Client, consulting engineer and preliminary city review.

Architectural plan development could take from three to six weeks, depending on access and availability to individual building plans or subsequently developed documentation.

Construction Document Development

The construction Document phase consists of final revision of architectural documents, and preparation of all engineered detail drawings as necessary.

Services Provided:

  • During this phase, the consulting engineer confirms or adjusts all architectural assumptions and documents revisions as necessary.
  • All necessary shop drawings are created
  • Component plan set is stamped and delivered for submittal to permitting entity.
  • Revision requests attended as necessary.
  • Finalize participant capacities, daily, hourly, etc.
  • Final specifications for course equipment
  • Final operational specification
  • Final staff training agendas and plan for ongoing training
  • Establish individual component construction and installation costs.
  • Deliver installation contract including provisions for Training and Safety Equipment

Actual completion timeline dependent on city review and approval, however, this phase generally takes 3 – 6 weeks.

Additional Design Services

  • Reverse Engineering
  • Analysis and manufacturing of components