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The Pool House

New Build | Leisure
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The Pool House is a private pool and leisure complex for a client loacted in idyllic countryside of County Down. This high end private leisure facility built into a hill with a green roof. The building incorporates a 3m deep pool with moveable floor, 5m high RC retaining walls, extensive basement plant rooms, sauna, steam room, ice room, gymnasium, treatment rooms and kitchen.

The final form of the building is minimalist and contemporary however it is very different to the architect’s original concept of a traditional pitched roof, oak frame pool house that we designed and construction was 50% complete when the client decided it did not fit their needs or aspirations. With the swimming pool walls already in place, we had to design the new substructures for a completely different footprint and minimise the extent of abortive work. We were able to retain all the sub structures and pool walls that had ben cast and supplemented them with further foundation elements.

The Swiss-made 4.5m high windows and sliding doors had extremely tight movement tolerances (<5mm) that required a rigid roof structure, whilst maintaining a shallow roof structural depth. We designed the structure to allow it to deflected under the green roof loading prior to installing the glazing to minimise the structural sizes. Shallow trusses made using 152UC sections were chosen to achieve the 4.3m cantilever roof with a 600mm combined structural and MEP zone.

Speed of construction was a key driver and to achieve this, composite cladding panels typically used in food production factories were used for all walls in lieu of blockwork. This also provided a high performing thermal, acoustic and air tight envelope.

It has to be acknowledged that the nature of the project and client’s aspirations juxtaposed somewhat with a sustainable agenda however the sustainability focus was on the whole life running costs. As structural designers our scope for reducing embodied carbon was limited by the complex building form however we were able to implement lean design of the structural steel frame (light 152UC sections adopted for roof trusses) and detailing the reinforcement laps and curtailment efficiently. The entire structural envelope including the foundations and pool are encapsulated in 200mm high density insulation to achieve a thermal and air tight wrap. The building and pool are heated via geothermal boreholes.

Client: Private Client

Architect: Dot Projects

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