Natural Ventilation and Sunshine for Indoor Aquatics

The installation of retractable roofs has brought a new dimension to aquatic center design. It turns out facilities who have done this already are ahead of the curve. These spaces are healthier and safer for guests and staff and are proven to save owners money. Here is why:
  1. A natatorium has 3x the moisture level per unit than a typical building. An aluminum enclosure can stand up to these conditions because it will not corrode so there is no risk of structural failure. 
  2. Aluminum is lightweight, high-strength, corrosion-resistant and widely recycled. Buildings have been proven to last for multiple decades with minimal maintenance, lowering the lifecycle footprint of a building. 
  3. We use properly coated aluminum which can reflect up to 95 percent of the solar energy that strikes it, dramatically improving energy efficiency.
  4. Experts agree that using as much fresh air for natural ventilation as possible is safer and healthier for both staff and guests. Plus you can save up to 30% a year on energy costs (vs. traditional natatorium construction)
For additional information on the benefits of aluminum see: Additional references for the health and safety of naturally ventilated may be found through the CDC and WHO websites. We are happy to provide an additional list of resources. Or download our articles to see specific references.

Examples of Unique Retractable Roof Solutions

Richmond Swim Center: In Richmond California, at a community school pool facility, OpenAire added a retractable roof to an existing glulam aquatic center roof to rid the space of heavily chlorinated air and convert the pool into a bright sunlit space that’s now indoors and outdoors.

Epic Waters Waterpark: For the city of Grand Prairie Texas, OpenAire designed and installed a massive 62,000 sf enclosure for a waterpark, which since opening in January 2018 has ranked top indoor park in Dallas, #2 in Texas and #5 in the USA, and just Won the 2018 World Waterpark Association’s Leading Edge Award,  surpassing ALL client expectations

Pocahontas Aquatic Center: In Pocahontas, Arkansas OpenAire was tasked with building a small 13,000 sqft year-round, weather-resistant, facility for a community of 6800 people. The solution a 91 ft x 147 ft enclosure offers year-round programming for all of the residents of Randolph County and has been a major success for the local Parks and Rec department.

Find out more here about our 4 main types of Aquatic Venues:

Whether you need just a skylight or an entire roof/wall enclosure – we can design a retractable roofing system that fits your structure! Check out some of our retractable roofing system projects here and here.


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