Supplement Feature - February 2012
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The ABCs of Aquatic Design

An Alphabetical Stroll Through the Latest Trends

By Dawn Klingensmith


H

Heat. In virtually any aquatics operation, energy consumption is the primary expense. So anything you can do to reduce the cost of heating the pool is smart. The use of high-efficiency pool heaters and pump systems as well as automated filtration systems has long been championed as part of good pool design. Less common, though highly effective, are pool covers used after hours to reduce evaporation and trap in heat.

HVAC. Modern HVAC systems offer energy savings, smaller footprints and corrosion resistance. Computer-controlled master handlers allow for programming of occupied and unoccupied areas.

I

Interactive skill-based attractions. Skill-building experiences and attractions like a stationary wave generator or surf machine hold the interest of teens by giving them an opportunity to improve their performance and safely "show off." The wave generator allows novice or experienced surfers and body boarders to test their skills on a thin sheet of water. At the same time, onlookers enjoy watching as much as participants enjoy riding, so there's a social component that also appeals to teens.

J

Jump rocks. Said to be safer than a diving board, a natural-looking rock in the right location can offer many hours of entertainment for kids while adding aesthetic appeal. For a bigger thrill, install a poolside climbing rock wall, angled slightly over the water so climbers make a splash when they let go or fall. Some walls are made up of modular panels, so you can create new configurations to keep things fresh and exciting.

K

Keller Pointe. They say things are bigger in Texas, and The Keller Pointe recreation center is no exception. Its aquatics program includes indoor and outdoor leisure pools with interactive play features, slides and current channels. The outdoor pool is 28,276 square feet with a sprayground and two water slides. There's also a separate toddler's area. That's a lot to keep an eye on! The design and layout of waterpark-caliber facilities call for special safety measures. The Keller Pointe requires all employees to be certified in first aid and CPR; however, the aquatics staff undergoes much more rigorous training. Aside from several additional certifications, the aquatics team receives training that includes emergency action plan rehearsals and a minimum of three hours of in-service instruction per month.

L

Lap pools. Lap swimming is a popular form of exercise and can continue even as other activities take place in the pool by leaving a couple of lanes open. There's no reason why lap swimming and swim lessons can't take place at the same time, Rowland said. Just make sure to post signs stating when some lanes will be closed so lap swimmers can plan accordingly.

LED lighting. Not only is LED lighting energy-efficient, but it also offers an opportunity to "transform seemingly ordinary spaces into a rich and vibrant experience" to create branded or special themes and moods using lighting, Kempfer said. Some LED options are full programmable to produce different colors and intensities, she added: "The lighting sequences can be changed easily and reprogrammed, allowing us to adapt the lighting colors and sequences for the seasons."