As an operator of a health and sports club, what sets you apart from your competitors? What value are you offering your members and potential members that they can’t get anywhere else? In particular, what do you have to offer when it comes to your swimming pool? Are you running an outdoor pool? An indoor one? If you haven’t made the transition to a year-round pool with a retractable roof, OpenAire would like to take this opportunity to not only explain to you why you should, but also to demonstrate to you why you should also be very careful when choosing your supplier. Retractable roofs are an increasingly popular choice for swimming pools in the health club industry. Should you decide to follow the trend, it’s vitally important that you opt for a reputable supplier.
The first and simplest answer to the question of why you need a retractable roof system is that it enables you to offer your members the best of both worlds - a space that can function as both an indoor and outdoor part of your facility. Aquatic or otherwise.
Why is this important? Firstly, it offers a variety and standard of experience that people are not generally used to when visiting a public pool. Most pool users are accustomed to either being outdoors or indoors.
Secondly, they enable a year-round facility perfectly adapted to seasonal changes – outdoors in warm weather, indoor when it turns cold. Indoor pools have long been the standard for health and sports clubs. While these are great, and enable you to run your pool throughout the year, they obviously can’t offer an outdoor experience, which might make members less inclined to use them on hot summer days. When the weather is fine, people will prefer to swim in outdoor pools – or the ocean, if they are lucky enough to live near the coast.
So, both outdoor pools and conventional indoor ones have limitations with regard to the experience they offer to users. Outdoor pools have to shut down in winter, while indoor pools simply don’t hold the same attraction in summer as they do in the colder months. Enclosures with retractable roofs offer the perfect in-between solution. Keep the roof closed when it’s cold, and open it up in pleasant weather so your members can enjoy the open air during their swimming workout.
From a purely aesthetic point of view, retractable roofs offer a touch of luxury, a wow factor that will set your club apart as being able to offer a premium experience. It’s a unique selling point that you can leverage to draw new members. So, an investment in a retractable roof can definitely help you to increase membership and, therefore, revenue.
However, there are also some practical, health-related benefits to retractable roofs. Fresh air can circulate in these enclosures. This allows pool operators to keep ideal temperatures and excellent air quality. When you open the roof and windows, a natural chimney effect is created, which moves the chemical-laden air up and away, while fresh air from outside is allowed to enter and circulate. Operators of pools that are now under OpenAire enclosures have all reported improved air quality and a more pleasant atmosphere. This not only brings in more swimmers, but it also encourages them to stay longer.
While there are various suppliers that can offer you retractable roof systems, OpenAire’s systems have several unique benefits that have given us an edge over our competitors, such as:
It sounds too good to be true, but rest assured! OpenAire enclosures require no maintenance at all. The secret is the thermally-broken aluminum framing system, which withstands moisture and chemicals and, therefore, never needs to be repainted.
The thermally broken profiles reduce heat transfer through the structure. Thermal breaks and vapor barriers control condensation. The operable roof panels open and close at the touch of a button, reducing the need for electric lighting and allowing fresh air through. Dehumidifiers can be switched off when the roof is open. The reduced use of lights and dehumidifiers leads to lower energy bills. When the roof is closed, there are still high levels of winter solar heat gain. Pool owners can save up to 27% annually on their energy costs.
The maintenance-free framework and the energy savings add up to lower operation costs. This means that OpenAire enclosures offer great long-term value, making back the initial costs in a relatively short time.
OpenAire enclosures are extremely lightweight compared to those with steel frames, placing a far lighter overall load on your building’s structure.
OpenAire approaches each of its projects with a unique, customized approach. There is no such thing as a standard enclosure. Each one is specifically designed to suit the client’s needs and the specific demands of the existing structure.
By 2016, OpenAire’s enclosures had acquired such a reputation that we found ourselves called upon to deliver a demanding, high-profile project on a former Olympic Aquatic Arena. The Luzhniki Olympic Complex in Moscow was to undergo massive renovations in anticipation of hosting the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Among the many upgrades being made to the complex, which had become world-famous when it hosted the 1980 Summer Olympics, was a customized, retractable skylight for the formerly outdoor aquatic complex to turn it into an indoor recreation center and water park, known as the Water Palace.
OpenAire created a giant, curved roof enclosure covering 7,000 square meters (75,000 square feet). Swimmers can enjoy the sun and fresh air on warm days in the indoor-outdoor-style waterpark, while those in the gym can workout in a bright light space. And, they also do not have to hesitate to get into the water during Moscow’s bitter winters, as the roof closes securely against the elements.
OpenAire was entrusted to make a major contribution to one of the world’s largest, proudest, and most famous sports complexes, leaving no doubt that our innovative addition lives up to Luzhniki’s illustrious history.
The enclosure measures 51 m (167 ft) by 139 m (456 ft) and rests on two 1 m high sidewalls and two vertical ends. There are a total of 10 motorized roof panels that open smoothly on a custom-design rack and pinion motor system. The result is a state-of-the-art skylight that opens and closes quickly and smoothly, while giving an unobstructed view of the outside sky.
With the Luzhniki Water Palace, OpenAire effectively created an outdoor atmosphere inside a massive indoor facility for the state of the art waterpark. The waterpark also enjoys the energy and maintenance savings outlined above, with a drastically reduced need for air conditioning in the summer and the benefits of some solar gain to reduce heating requirements in the winter. The year-round natural light eliminates the need for artificial lighting during daylight hours. The all-aluminum truss system is fully corrosion-proof and completely maintenance-free.
OpenAire’s work on the Luzhniki complex was among the biggest in our entire portfolio, and certainly one of the highest-profile ones. It is certainly also one of our proudest achievements. We can now boast an international sporting venue among our projects, an Olympic-level facility to which we added our touch. If we have what it takes to partner with an Olympic venue, we have what it takes to handle any project. So, can your health or sports club make use of our Olympic-level skills and experience? Partner with us for a retractable roof solution that will enhance the aesthetics, function, and revenue capacities of your club, while also reducing your running costs.
OpenAire specializes in translucent enclosures for use over health clubs, water parks, public swimming pools, restaurants, and other facilities – complete with retractable roof systems. Our aquatic portfolio includes multifaceted projects that we have undertaken for municipal pools and water parks across North America and beyond, all with differing requirements. Each one of them has reported seeing all the benefits we have outlined here.
Among the successful health club projects we have completed so far are:
We have also worked with a large number of water parks in the US, Canada, and Russia, among other locations. Take a look at our extensive aquatic portfolio for more information on our completed and in-progress retractable roof projects.