THE STRUCTURE OF OUR DESIGN
In this post we want to provide brief overview on the structure of our design process. Of course each individual project will be assessed and designed to suit it’s specific requirements, however this should give you some insight into how we go about producing the final design that you want.
Step 1 - Conceptual Design
In many cases we will be approached with an initial architectural design in place, however if this isn’t the case, then we can provide this architectural concept for you.
Firstly it is key to understand what you, as our client, wants. We can sit down and discuss your project, outlining what key features you require and what specific details you would like incorporated into the design. We offer our advice on what is practical and what may not be possible to achieve within the framework or budget that you are working with.
Once we have formed an idea of what you are looking for, we will prepare conceptual drawings and 3D representations which will give you a clearer vision of the final product. This stage is key because it is sometimes the first point at which our clients can get a picture of what they want, on paper. From this, we can discuss and adjust any little details before proceeding with the next step in our design.
Step 2 - Structural Design
Once the shape and size requirements of the water body are in place, we can put together the structural design that determines the required concrete and reinforcement for your specific project. As qualified civil and structural engineers, having designed numerous swimming pools and water features of all shapes and sizes, we prepare our designs in full accordance with the relevant BS/EN standards (EN 1992 Part 1-1 - Design of Concrete Structures / EN 1992 Part 3 - Liquid Retaining and Containment Structures). With this design you can be assured of the structural integrity of your water body.
Step 3 - Hydraulic Design
At this point we shall look into the hydraulic design of the water body. Certain industry guidelines and standards dictate parameters depending on the type of swimming pool or water body. Please see below a part extract from PWTAG (Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group), which shows the recommended turnover parameters for certain pool types:
Competition Pools 50m Long
Public Pools up to 25m Long
Leisure Waters <0.5m depth
Interactive Water Features
From the conceptual design we also know whether the water body will be freeboard, deck level or infinity (modified deck level), and as such we can design the balance tank volume required (deck level / infinity applications). The balance tank is a key part of the circulation system allowing the displaced bather load to disperse through the overflow channels into the balance tank, which shall replenish this displaced surge after the bather(s) exit the pool.
Based on the volume, surface area and turnovers, we will then design and ancillary equipment including heaters and water treatment equipment etc, depending on the client’s requirements.
Once all of this information is gathered, we can then size the required filter vessel(s). There are many filter types and filter medias available, some more beneficial than others in specific circumstances. For example, we would generally consider a low-rate filter with pre-filters for a water body that may have a high number of suspended solids (e.g., an Equine Pool), or a cartridge filter may be best suited to a water body with a low volume, as the volume may not be sufficient to allow the backwash procedure of a silica sand filter vessel.
In addition to the filter vessel(s), we design the circulation pump requirement. It would seem logical that the pump selection fits the required flow rate shown in the product catalogue, however it is imperative that before this is done, the head loss is calculated for the flow/return system (we would have to consider the other items within the system including filter vessel(s), heating and water treatment equipment etc), as well as the length and static height between the water body and the plant room and pipework sizing. Having calculated this information, we can then accurately select the required circulation pump(s) based on the head loss curves specific to the pump models.
So now we have a clear idea on the filtration and water treatment system, we need to look at how to efficiently and safely distribute and collect the water from the water body. Considerations must be made to ensure the delivery of water allows for sufficient water movement, preventing any stagnant areas, with the suction points being correctly positioned and sized (flow rate and velocity) for not only efficient water flow, but for safety purposes as well. There may be additional design details that we would also consider, for example, weir flow calculations should there be any cascade features or effects within the concept.
Stage 4 - Finishes
After the mechanical design is concluded, we would look to finalise the finishes, with the finishes in any water body generally being determined through the conceptual discussions with the client. The options for finishes range from mosaic tiles to natural marbles and stones to architectural exposed aggregates, with all manner of options and colours in between. This is where we would offer our advice to the client so that they are able to make a decision that meets their vision on how they would like their project to look, with careful consideration on usage and maintenance requirements.
Stage 5 - Conclusion of Design
With the final submission to the client, we provide full detailed specifications and design/construction drawings that can be implemented into the project drawing package, or used by the builder to give a clear understanding on how the water bodies should be constructed from start to finish. We can offer advice and support throughout the construction phase to assist the contractor on any issues relating to our design. Should the client require advice on specialist contractors, then we can propose specialists who can carry out the construction with minimum hassle and considerable knowledge and experience in the construction of water bodies.
Keep an eye out as we will shortly be providing various design and equipment packages for standard and bespoke swimming pools, complete with all necessary installation instructions, working drawings, supporting calculations and the supply of M&E equipment and Finishes. We are very excited about this next step, and should you have any questions then please do not hesitate to get in touch and we’d be happy to go through your requirements.