Natatorium Design Saves Space and Money

The new 85,000-square-foot Oak Point recreation center in Plano proves the old adage that everything is bigger in Texas. However, thanks to new technology and natatorium design concepts, designers managed to make the pool equipment room for the complex's 50-meter indoor pool significantly smaller than a typical natatorium.

12/01/2000


The new 85,000-square-foot Oak Point recreation center in Plano proves the old adage that everything is bigger in Texas. However, thanks to new technology and natatorium design concepts, designers managed to make the pool equipment room for the complex's 50-meter indoor pool significantly smaller than a typical natatorium.

The heating, ventilating and air-conditioning system and other innovative proposals from the design team saved approximately $38,000 on the $13 million project. Much of the credit goes to the project's design consortium: Brinkley Sargent Architects, Dallas; G and S Consulting Engineers LLC, Dallas; and H and G Systems, Garland, Texas.

The consortium specified a newly developed swimming pool dehumidifier, and by eliminating the need for conventional swimming pool water heaters, the chosen equipment saved several hundred square feet of space in the pool equipment room.

Dehumidifier/boiler combination

A natatorium of this size typically uses dehumidifiers to remove moisture from the air and sometimes to recover energy to heat the pool water. Large boilers are usually required as primary heaters, backup heaters or secondary-stage heaters during dump/fill periods.

At Oak Point, however, two rooftop dehumidifiers are fitted with modular gas boilers totaling 1.5 million British thermal units. The dehumidifiers keep the space dry and recover enough energy to heat the main pool's 624,000 gallons and the adjoining leisure pool's 48,000 gallons of water to 82°F. An on-board glycol-to-water heat exchanger provides supplemental or backup heating, if needed, from a glycol loop connected to the boilers. The boiler/glycol-loop combination is also responsible for heating the 30,000-square-foot indoor pool area to 84°F via an additional on-board water-to-air heat exchanger.

Air distribution

Instead of a single return-air wall diffuser, the design team proposed a system in which return air is handled by 20 18-inch spiral aluminum ducts along the pool's exterior wall that drop down to 12 inches above the pool deck. To further improve air distribution, each duct has a balancing damper.

"We think this is the better way to handle return air and eliminate the possibilities of air stratification," says Paul Joyce, senior design manager for G and S Consulting Engineers.

For more information about Dry-O-Tron dehumidifiers from Dectron, Inc., circle 102.





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