Fabric Structures

Project name: Whakatane Pool Enclosure
Material used: PVC 832S2, PVC 402HT, PVC FR700
Fabric Supplied By: Serge Ferrari, Mehlar
Components Supplied By: Ullrich Aluminium, Steel Masters, Structurflex

What did the client request?

The purpose of the project was to cover an existing outdoor heated pool in order to maximise usage over the year, but still allowing natural light and opening sides/walls in the summer and improved heat retention in the winter.

What is unique or complex about the project?

The project was unique because we were working over an existing pool with many challenges under the ground (services). Also, as the pool was right outside the main aquatic centre, we had to engineer a solution that allowed one end to cantilever over an existing changing rooms bulkhead. Also the request to maximise light transmission while also being able to enclose the pool (as much has possible) in the winter made for a unique project given the close proximity to the existing aquatic centre building.

The project was also unique in that in order to deliver the clients brief, we had to use and adapt essentially ‘curtain sider truck curtains’ to provide the seasonal flexibility, while also using for the first time, a standard PVC outer membrane in conjunction with a highly translucent liner membrane, with the hope of still gaining light transmission through both membranes, which was thankfully achieved.

From a heating perspective, for the first time, we also fully enclosed the liner membrane using ‘alcubond flashings’ in order to maximise the heat retention.

What were the results of the project?

The result exceeded the clients brief by allowing the pool to be partially enclosed during the winter months, harnessing the heat from the pool, while still maximising light transmission through the 2 x PVC membranes (using 402HT as the liner), while the sides could be opened in the summer, both working to maintain the ‘outdoor’ feeling of the space. The project exceeded the clients needs in that the overloaded usage in the main pool is now better managed with the second pool still being used in late autumn (and onwards) when traditionally it would have been closed, it has also provided the swimming club with additional training capacity into the winter months. Summary – Essentially it has turned an under used pool facility into a real asset for the council. We have already had plenty of enquiry from other aquatic centres also looking to better utilise their assets.