Simhall Swerea KIMAB

New project on indoor swimming pools

4 March, 2016

People go to the indoor pool to learn to swim, exercise, train, play or just relax and enjoy each other's company for a while in congenial surroundings. At least, that is our expectation of a modern indoor pool facility. But the reality is often all too different, with poor environment, deficient safety, deterioration, leakage and substandard energy efficiency. Of course, this is neither sustainable nor attractive.

The project “Sustainable indoor urban recreation environments – Indoor pools” will focus on the great needs which exist in terms of service life, lower energy consumption and better environment for indoor pools. A kick-off for the three-year Vinnova project was held with about 30 participants in mid-January at Swerea KIMAB.

The project brings together pool users, buyers, industry and researchers to collaborate on finding optimal total solutions of the future. The challenge is to build indoor pool facilities sustainably while also taking safety and health into consideration. The project will focus on total solutions that employ innovative new technology. Seven work packages which together, in one way or another, seek to identify and develop new solutions are included.

We will produce guidelines for materials selection, above all for the parts of indoor pool facilities which today have a short service life. As well, guidelines for methods of renovating older facilities will also be developed,” explains Bror Sederholm, Swerea KIMAB, who is managing the Sustainable Materials Selection component of the project.

Many of our indoor pool facilities which were built in the 1970s and 1980s are now in very poor condition and must be renovated, or even demolished. During the 1970s materials for these facilities were selected on the basis of then-current standards. Today, indoor pool temperatures are often considerably higher than they were in the 1970s, and these facilities are in many cases used as water parks which feature wave pools and flume rides, creating the need for water tanks which have an impact on various structures near the pool. To meet demands arising as a result of new activities such as those associated with water park features, more sustainable materials are needed.

The aims of the project:

  • More sustainable, attractive and safer indoor pool facilities with satisfied visitors, satisfied personnel and satisfied owners.
  • Contractors with a holistic approach, and new, smart and innovative solutions with respect to materials, purification technology and procurement processes.
  • A sustainable knowledge platform that will become self-financing, with knowledge and expertise that endures and develops.

We are doing needs analysis via questionnaire surveys, interviews and literature studies. What works? What doesn't work, and why? What is lacking? What can we do in the short and long term? How can the challenge be met most effectively?

The project is run by CBI Betonginstitutet in collaboration with Swerea KIMAB, SP Sveriges Tekniska Forskningsinstitut, Badmästarförbundet and SFK (Sveriges Fritids- och Kulturchefsförening).

Other participants include: Byggkeramikrådet, GAFS, GPA, GT Plastmontage, NCC, Nordic Galvanizers, Outokumpu, Rebet, Sika, SBB, Sveriges Byggindustrier, Svensk Byggtjänst, Teknikmarknad and We Group. In addition, representatives from several swimming and bathing facilities are also taking part in the project.

Funding amounting to SEK 9,160,000 has been granted by Vinnova for the three-year project, which is part of the Challenge-driven Innovation programme Sustainable attractive cities.