Step-by-step design advice
in 30 short video segments
Our complete Natatorium
Design Manual in PDF format
A helpful 9-point natatorium
A natatorium is one of the most notoriously difficult facilities to design because there are so many critical considerations that, if overlooked, can develop into problems with the building structure or into complaints from the occupants. The designer must take a complete system approach, from basic engineering issues to the more subtle details in the air distribution. Experience and a complete understanding of the design issues help the designer satisfy:
Temperature and relative humidity play a critical role in human comfort levels. It is essential that both are controlled and stable. While temperature control is generally well understood and mastered by designers, it is important to recognize what temperature levels natatorium patrons want. The space temperatures in a natatorium are unique to each project and assumptions must never be made.
Proper control of relative humidity levels are also a concern because of the direct effect on human comfort and health. Figure 1 shows that relative humidity levels outside the optimum zone 40% - 60% range can result in human vulnerability to disease. These diseases include bacteria, viruses, fungi, Mites and other contaminants that lower air quality and will potentially lead to respiratory issues.
While 40% is certainly an acceptable indoor relative humidity level, most indoor pools do not operate at lower than 50% RH due to significantly increased operating costs.
The type of facility being designed will typically dictate the space temperature. Table 1 helps target some typical conditions. It is critical to understand who will be using the facility in order to deliver the conditions most likely to satisfy them.
|Typical Natatorium Design Conditions|
|Pool Type||Air Temperature (°F)||Water Temperature (°F)|
|Competition||75 to 85||76 to 82|
|Diving||80 to 85||84 to 88|
|Elderly Swimmers||84 to 85||85 to 90|
|Hotel||82 to 85||82 to 86|
|Physical Therapy||80 to 85||90 to 95|
|Recreational||82 to 85||80 to 85|
|Whirlpool/Spa||80 to 85||102 to 104|