Pooling your resources

 It’s a fact  - aside from academic rigor, one of the factors that tops most parents’ wish lists when looking for a school is sports provision and a sparkling, inviting swimming pool is one of the most obvious manifestations of a school’s commitment to sport. Even in hard economic times, swimming pools, particularly in the independent sector, are regarded as a vital ingredient of the sports provision mix. It’s ironic then that when it comes to implementing belt-tightening measures, a pool can often be the first casualty. Which is why it is vital that schools, and bursars in particular, keep abreast of all the latest developments in wet leisure, many of which could save significant amounts of money.


The maintenance of swimming pools is considered to be one of the most costly and complicated in a school’s budget yet there are many ways of minimising these outgoings to more manageable levels. Aside from financial exigencies, recent legislation is also forcing us to take the whole subject very seriously. For instance, the Government’s recently introduced Part L building regulations,  with its focus on ‘reduced energy consumption’ is now beginning to bite so it is beholden on us all to address the issues and now!

The pool industry is currently working hard on green issues. Renewable technology is continuously being developed to make life easier for the pool manager and put less strain on the school purse. Throughout Europe, heat pumps have been an accepted technology for well over 20 years and new generation heat pumps, saving even more energy, are being developed all the time. The Government's target of 15 percent of energy to be derived from re-newables by 2020 assumes significant growth in the use of supporting technologies in order to meet this commitment.
Aside from heat pumps and dehumidifiers, there are other ways to reduce energy consumption such as heat retention covers, enclosures, water circulating pumps, chemical dosing systems – all of which have seen huge energy saving advances in the last few years.

Schools need to play their part and adopt a pro-active energy saving programme that includes, good design, planned and efficient pool maintenance, good housekeeping, backed with the provision of energy efficient products.

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A pool without cover is like a house without a roof! Insulated swimming pool covers are under-estimated as a method of reducing heat loss (by up to 70 per cent) from a swimming pool, indoor or outdoor, and there will be plenty on show at SPATEX 2016 to look at.


Case study

A lesson in how to harness the heat and extend swimming pool provision!

The good old British climate is less than predictable as this summer has more than amply demonstrated! Enclosing an outdoor pool is the answer to cancelled swimming lessons during inclement weather as Heath Mount School in Hertfordshire, renowned for producing competition-standard swimmers, discovered.

The Endless Summer telescopic enclosure has received top marks from the pupils and, now, instead of cancelled swimming lessons, the only decision that needs to be made is whether to have the enclosure open, partially open or fully closed.

The 13 bay, 24.8m long enclosure is made of aluminium and acrylic and, with its unique concertina doors, ranks as the most versatile on the market. The custom-built enclosures, which in most situations do not require planning permission, can easily be opened or closed in just a matter of minutes, thanks to a quick release device. The enclosures can accommodate almost any shape of pool and pool surround materials.

The enclosures make huge economical sense as the roof sections of each bay are glazed with a high-tech, long-life polycarbonate which limits heat loss and maximises internal reflection.

To ensure that the pool is usable twelve months of the year, a multi-layered de-humidification system was also installed.

Find out how YOUR school can save money:

If your school has a pool or is considering adding one, then SPATEX 2016 is an exhibition you simply can’t afford to miss. It’s not often that you will find the majority of the UK and European suppliers/manufacturers of swimming pool products and hot tubs conveniently situated under one roof and it’s an ideal opportunity to source cost-saving new products for the 2016 season. Supporting the exhibition is the ISPE (the Institute of Swimming Pool Engineers) who are organizing a series of free informative seminars by industry figureheads who are first in their field of expertise. If you have any queries about your own school pool, these are the people to ask.

Also present and of interest to all schools will be STA (Swimming Teachers’ Association). As one of the world’s largest swim teaching and lifesaving organisations, it delivers the highest quality training across four key business areas - Swimming Teaching, Lifesaving, First Aid and Leisure Management.  As a multi-service provider, STA are experts in the development and delivery of the highest quality vocational training.

SPATEX 2016 Sunday, January 31st to Tuesday, February 2nd at the Jaguar Exhibition Hall, Ricoh Arena, Coventry - easy-to-get-to and 2,000 free on-site car parking spaces. Pre-register now for FREE at www.spatex.co.uk. For further information, please contact Michele or Helen in the SPATEX office T: 01264 358558, helen@spatex.co.uk  michele@spatex.co.uk

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