Stromlo Aquatic Centre

SEED was approached to assist with the mechanical design of the new aquatic centre at Stromlo. The leisure centre consists of: an eight lane 50 metre lap swimming pool, capable of being split into 2 x 25 metre short course swimming pools; a twenty metre program/warm water multipurpose pool for swimming classes, exercise, and rehabilitation activities; supplementary facilities to support the pool including front out house areas, amenities, plant/store rooms, and general circulation areas; and a spash park and gym.

COX Architecture have done an amazing job on the design, making it one of the most beautiful aquatic centers SEED has been involved with. As part of the architectural narrative, COX designed a glue laminated timber roof structure over the main pool hall. Whilst common throughout Europe and other parts of the world, large timber framed structures are still rare in Australia. The glue laminated timer will provide a beautiful connection between the building and the natural landscape of the Stromlo Forest Park.

Client: Climatech
Work Type: New-Build Design, Design for Sub Contractors, Pool Hall Environments
Sector: Lifestyle
Size: $36M
Disciplines Engaged: Mechanical
The Challenges Faced
The project was on a particularly tight budget and, at the same time, it had big ambitions for energy efficiency.

One of the largest challenges was minimising condensation. The expanse of glazing in Canberra’s cold climate was a big consideration. SEED had taken some thermal scanning the year before and we had recorded “night sky” temperatures at -30C. Night sky cooling was likely to be a huge impact on the glazing. Further, the client did not want to use pool blankets.

The Solution Provided
We had several unique approaches:

We used an old concept of “heat and vent”, as we determined there would be significant condensation occurring in the heat exchanger and it would be difficult to keep it hygienically clean.

We also created a micro-climate over the spectators so they would sit in cooler 100% fresh air, whilst the remainder of the pool hall was heated to prevent condensation.