Resources and FAQs – Commercial Swimming Pool Construction
What are pre-manufactured swimming pool systems?
Pre-manufactured pool systems are modular structures installed systematically to custom fit your pool. This method was first introduced in the 1960’s to streamline pool installation and reduce waste associated with pool construction. This method has proven to significantly reduce the risks associated with the construction phase of a project, increase installation precision, and extend the life-cycle of the pool.
Pool sections are produced in ideal air conditioned environments, tested, and shipped in modules. Specially trained installers are able to install the modules quickly and efficiently with little to no waste. These highly engineered systems typically carry long-term warranties, produce a much smaller environmental footprint, and permit accurate operations and maintenance cost projecting, potentially reducing long term operating costs by as much as 90%.
What are traditional swimming pool systems?
Traditional, or concrete, pool systems are structures built directly on site. Just as with pre-manufactured pool systems, there are structural, finish, and waterproofing components. Unlike pre-manufactured systems, these components are typically independent of each other and installed by specialized labour.
Cast-in-place concrete is poured into custom formwork around a rebar structure. After curing and with proper waterproofing, the pool interior is typically finished with either tile or paint. Since a wide variety of colour options are available for the tile, the aesthetics of an aquatic facility can be enhanced by this process.
The durability, efficiency, and aesthetics are largely dependant on the quality of the materials used, environmental conditions, and highly trained installers. These engineered systems typically carry moderate-term warranties. While additional labour, specialized disciplines, and construction schedules are required for traditional pool systems, quality craftsmen can create a very robust pool system with a long lifecycle.
What are the different types of pools?
Competition & Training Pools
A 25m or 50m (and some 20 yard pools in the USA) rectangular pool for competitive swimming, synchronized swimming, diving, and water polo. The dimensions for these pools are regulated by FINA. There are many specific features and amenities for each sport, ranging from floor markings and deck equipment to bulkheads, headwalls and starting platforms. Since the focus is athletics, users will enjoy a colder water temperature, about 21 degrees.
Community & Leisure Pools
Most common is the lap pool, leisure pool, and hot pool combination. Lap pools may or may not meet FINA standards. Leisure pools are typically for fun and can have beach entries, lazy rivers, spray features, waterslides, floor jets, and so much more. Wave pools can host different wave generating equipment. Landing pools, or splash pools, are typically a catch basin for waterslide riders. These are always 3.5 feet to 4.5 feet deep and at least 6 feet wider than the slide. Activity pools are mid range depth pools for fun only. They hold floating features or overhead features. Users will enjoy warmer water, 26 to 28 degrees, and easier entry/exit to a pool that commonly does not go deeper than 1.2m These pools are usually free-form shapes and serve to draw in customers with the promise of entertainment value.
When there is a heated hot spring on a site, the option arises to build a thermal pool to temporarily hold this water. These pools can be any shape, usually free-form, and any depth. Most often we see them used as huge hot pools for relaxing.
Hot pools are intended to be pools for relaxation. Since the primary focus is on the user being seated, all amenities are focused on that – from jets to bubbles. The size and shape of hot pools is centered around the bench seating they provide.
First introduced in the sixties, hotel pools are small and simple. Commonly 20 feet by 35 feet, with a water depth of about 1.1m. These pools may also have a waterslide as an added amenity.
A resort pool is part of a destination package. These pools can be big, free-form, and range in depth for fun and relaxation. These pools typically have other amenities around the pool to create a waterpark feel. Always heated and inviting.
Health & Wellness Pools
This type of pool will have features focused on healthy activities, lower impact exercise, and relaxation. Water temperatures tend to run about the same as a leisure pool but the depth is usually a little deeper.
A true therapy pool is clinical and highly functional in its design. These pools are often found in hospitals, large clinics, and specialized facilities for longer term care. These pools can be about chest deep for adults and are usually smaller in size. Water temperatures run around the same as body temperature except for the hot/cold plunge pools. Amenities include bars, grab rails, steps, and ramps, and are aimed at users who are doing very specific physio exercises that are carefully monitored and programmed.
This type of pool is for users getting back to normal strength and mobility after illness or injury. Since they are not usually in high demand, local community pools are often used instead.
To be considered a waterpark you need three things: a wave pool, waterslides and a kid’s area. Wave pools used to be a very specific fan shape but now come in many shapes, even circular. Kid’s areas can be a shallow pool or a splash pad (spray park) with zero depth. Activity pools, landing pools, social pools and even hot tubs can play a role in a waterpark.
This is where imagination takes over and pools are built to suit very specific needs and often with very specific materials. Luxury residential projects, habitat pools for zoos, fountains, and more.
What are some amenities you can add to a pool?
Designed to increase programming options within the pool’s footprint, a moveable floor system can adjust to any water depth at the touch of a button. From toddler pool to aqua cycle classes, and lane swimming to deep water aqua fit, this feature can easily accommodate the activities of several pools into just one.
Typically found in longer pools, this feature allows operators to create not only varying course lengths but also distinct pool sections for simultaneous activities. Whether dividing the diving area from swim training or creating a variable length leisure pool – lap pool combination, this amenity adds programming options and versatility to any pool with parallel side walls.
Removable or fixed in place, this feature provides a safe platform for the installation of competition touch pads and starting platforms. When an overflow gutter profile is desired on all four sides of the pool a modular headwall will provide the FINA required 30cm deck height above the water level.
Probably the most recognized entertainment amenity for aquatics is the waterslide. Waterslides come in many forms with characteristics specifically designed for medium to high activity levels across many age group categories. A great waterslide design will produce a smooth rider experience, varied speed and g-force sensations, and easy entry into the landing pool or runout lane. Common waterslides include kiddie slides, one or two-person serpentine slides, speed and drop slides, family-group slides, and specialty attractions including water coasters, saucers, funnels, bowls, and walls.
Whether in the beach entry of a leisure pool, a stand-alone fountain or spray park, or around a lazy river, spray features are designed to accommodate any spray effect imaginable into an entertainment display. Features are based on activity or passivity levels, age groups, and instantaneous capacity. Theming and other effects are used to create a unique, healthy, and fun experience for toddlers to adults. For added safety in wet play zone areas, Low HIC Score Safety Padded Flooring is always considered where water depth is minimal.
Universal inclusivity is best achieved through the integration of stairs, ramps and specialty lifts and combinations of the same. Designed to provide safe, independent, and dignified entry and exit from any pool in an efficient manner.
Hydro Massage Features
Historically found only in therapy and hot pools, this feature is now common in hybrid or multi use pools as well. Massage jets may also include bubbles and be incorporated into bench seating, pool walls, and in-pool lounger features.
Pool decks, pool floors and spray parks all benefit from flooring materials with a low HIC (Head Injury Criterion) score. Varied thicknesses and applications are available to add safety and comfort for all age groups.