Structural Design of Swimming Pools: Process and Analysis before ConstructionBlog | June 12th, 2018
Terracing frames a shaped swimming pool. The water sparkles as family members’ splash. Elsewhere, water cascades down several steps before it arrives at a reflecting pool. There are classical elements and contemporary lines everywhere, but these exterior features take time to develop, unfortunately. More importantly, though, they have to be hung on an expertly engineered substructure, a foundational component that exists on paper before a single tool is ever lifted.
Gathering the Analysis Prerequisites
Can’t a contractor just dig a hole in the garden, one that roughly matches the size and shape of the swimming pool? Frankly, that’s not a realistic approach. Consider the following facts. First of all, concrete is a heavy material. Next, the volume of water occupying that sparkly lagoon isn’t weightless. Water is heavy, especially when it collects in large volumes. With that mass in mind, the analysis process turns to the soil. Is the ground level? A levelling attachment is probably necessary, so that requirement is documented. Then there’s the location of pipes and power lines to consider. Even soil toxicity is an issue because acidic soil leaches strength from concrete.
Conversely, alkaline chemicals and powdery runoffs can escape a concrete swimming pool basin. The chemicals taint garden flowers and lay waste to the lawn. The structural design stage, still in the pre-construction phase, adds drainage channels to the foundations. Now the reinforced steel and concrete are supporting a high-capacity drainage system, plus the underwater lights and pool pump/water conditioning system that threads its way around and through the construct. The design is almost complete. Next, the ground and garden factors are weighed, the residential lines are relocated, and the pool capacity is calculated. And remember, this is all before the construction work begins. Refining the process, the reinforcing bars are graded for installation, then they’re spaced on the design blueprint. All-in-all, a number of tasks are now logistically organized, goals determined, resources decided, and existing land features handled, so now the excavators are rumbling into place, with the contractors close behind.
Layed in bricks or sprayed as shotcrete, the foundations are applied. They encase tied steel reinforcing bars, all precisely spaced according to the recorded project analysis data, and then formed into a waterproof basin. The soil is level, chemically neutral, and free of obstructions. With that solid basin in place, all of the exterior elements take shape, then the water fills the swimming pool, and that sparkling blue surface is made ready for the first swimmer of the season.
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