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Pool&SpaIndustry OCT 2012 SPN



By Jim Gordon, a consultant in swimming pool construction, wet leisure facilities and pool water systems, Jim is a member of the SPATA Technical Committee

However, it is critical a swimming pool and wet area specialist joins the design team at the outset, and preferably at the same time as architects are appointed, so that all the aspects of the design are considered and the correct decisions are made and incorporated in the project design.


Swimming pool projects need to be carefully designed from the word go, to establish what the client actually requires, as opposed to what the client thinks he might require. This is probably the most important design meeting of all as any mistakes cannot be rectified once the project has been completed.

Once the client has signed off the project, and particularly the swimming pool profile, the other wet areas need careful consideration, not forgetting that the pool plant and equipment plant room ideally needs situating as near to the pool as possible.

Any other wet leisure facilities, such as spa’s, feature showers, and wet treatment areas/ rooms, plant and equipment, also need to be as near as possible to the feature rooms. Where to store any additional equipment, such as competition equipment, swimming aids and any other equipment that is not regularly used, also needs consideration, so that the swimming pool surround areas are kept clear for client circulation and safe access around the pool. The design of the pool layout must be in accordance with BS EN 15288-1:2008 (part 1: safety requirements for design) and BS EN 15288- 2:2008 (part 2: safety requirements for operation). There are also requirements and

recommendations that should be worked to so as to produce a project fit for the purpose, safe for

wimming pool complexes are not as difficult to design, install and construct as is widely rumoured!

operating, easily managed and easy to maintain. There are many standards, requirements and recommendations that need to be taken into account for commercial swimming pools and any specialist will have an in depth knowledge of these. It is often remarked that warm water and warm air do not make an ideal partnership, however this should not be a problem to the specialist, as it is mainly a question of the correct design and installation, and the choice of the correct plant and equipment for each project. During the design process it is important to consider any equipment that might be needed at a later date, but not necessarily be part of the initial project, as there may be items that need the infrastructure including in the project although the actual equipment is supplied later by others. Another important question is the materials to be used internally in all of the wet areas, such as the pool and other wet area feature rooms and

“Swimming pool projects need to be carefully designed from the word go, to establish what the client actually requires, as opposed to what the client thinks he might require”

changing rooms as these areas will by their very nature all be considered as wet areas. The above will need very careful design as one of the major items to consider is cleanliness, as it is critical that not only is the water safe and healthy to swim in, but that the wet areas are clean and healthy. For example, there is no point in cleaning the tiled areas if a dirty hose pipe is trailed across areas that have been cleaned. All cleaning materials that are used in swimming pool projects must be compatible with the pool water and any other feature water, if not this could have a detrimental effect on the pool water disinfection and water balance system. The cleanliness of pool covers is another issue. It needs to be regularly cleaned on both sides, and consideration given as to what type of pool cover is to be used. There’s no point in installing a pool cover to save energy, if the pool cover is not in position whenever the pool is not being used. The pool and wet area specialist must be involved in the overall building layout and the specification, of the building structure, particularly all the finishes to the wet areas, as special consideration is needed to the materials that are required which may be hidden from view, or inaccessible for regular cleaning and maintenance. This article has been authored by Jim Gordon MISPE, AISRM, AISPAL, from Jim Gordon Associates. spn

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