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A building that’s making waves: OpenAire enclosure part of Canada’s greenest indoor pool

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Related: OpenAire Profile / OpenAire retractable pool enclosure is the most affordable option for California pool / Toronto Cricket Club’s beautiful retractable pool enclosure sets a new standard for private club aquatics / OpenAire COO nominated for 2010 RBC Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award

Canada’s greenest residential swimming pool is now a reality, thanks to an elite green building team led by design build firm Poolscape Inc., and featuring a retractable building by OpenAire. Geothermally powered, fully automated, and remarkably efficient, this private luxury pool sets the standard for green aquatic construction.

The homeowners wanted a 2000 square foot addition with a lap pool, chill pool, stand-up hot spa, steam room, and underground bunker. They were looking for a high-quality, low-maintenance structure with one key feature: a zero increase in their home energy costs.

“It was a definite challenge, ” says Barry Justus, President, Poolscape Inc. “Because indoor pools are notoriously inefficient – water evaporates, air quality must be constantly maintained, air needs to be constantly conditioned to reduce moisture content – building something that efficient involved some truly innovative thinking.”

To achieve the level of quality and efficiency their clients wanted, Poolscape leveraged cutting-edge design, insulation, heating and cooling, electrical, hydraulics and water management techniques and technologies to make the project as efficient as possible. After looking into other systems, including solar panels, they brought in OpenAire to create a retractable enclosure for the pool.

“Poolscape chose us because we specialize in creating energy efficient buildings and helping clients maximize their outdoor environments, ” says Deborah Baker, COO and CFO, OpenAire. “Whether it’s residential or commercial, it’s about creating an eco-friendly space that conserves energy, offers long-term benefits, and effortlessly combines indoor and outdoor spaces for an appealing experience.”

OpenAire designed, manufactured and installed a custom solution that helps maximize efficiency while offering an appealing, sunlit structure that combines the benefits of an indoor pool with the perks of an outdoor environment. The enclosure is 58’ 7-1/4” long and 32’ wide with 8’ high side walls, and includes a 23’ x 6’ 9-1/4” enclosed walkway from the pool to the home. The enclosure features 12 operable roof panels with insect screens, 12 sliding patio doors and one full gable end that opens up a major portion of the wall area to the outdoors.

Having an OpenAire retractable building offers the homeowners a number of benefits:

  • Free heat. When the roof is closed, the operable Low-E insulated glass panels admit passive solar gain, which the geothermal system stores for later use.
  • Free ventilation. When the roof is open, there’s no need to run energy-intensive A/C and dehumidification systems; the air vents naturally. On hot days, natural convection draws heat up through the open roof.
  • No maintenance. The exclusive, thermally broken aluminum framing system withstands moisture and corrosive chemicals and never needs to be repainted.
  • Clean, breathable air. Thermal breaks and vapour barriers control condensation and air filtration. Sliding doors and retractable panels let the air flow freely.
  • Warm evenings. In the spring and fall, the homeowners can open the roof during the day to let in the warmth, then close it in the evenings to prevent cooling.
  • Easy operation. The roof features automated controls and rain sensors that close the roof at the first drop of rain.
  • Striking beauty. The dramatic all-glass design offers loads of natural light and an appealing place to relax any time of year.

“Having the OpenAire building gives them a net gain in energy efficiency, ” says Mark Albertine, President, OpenAire. “Plus, the overall aesthetics, the natural light, the option of an open air capability, the absence of insects and the ability to enjoy the pool year round – these are all added bonuses for the client.”

“It’s a groundbreaking project that is redefining residential pool construction, ” says Justus. “Everything from the way the air flows through it when it’s open to the way it captures heat when the roof is closed is designed to lower energy consumption and use the free energy that nature provides. In an industry that’s notoriously inefficient, it’s exciting to be forging a new path towards green building.”

The final product is a stunning, luxurious space where the homeowners and their guests can comfortably swim, relax and enjoy the view any time of year. They have a (bug-free) outdoor pool in the summer, an indoor pool in the winter, and a lovely, green, remarkably energy efficient space all year round.

About OpenAire

OpenAire has been designing and manufacturing beautiful, high-quality retractable roof enclosures and skylights for over 20 years. Their projects include the LEED Gold certified Salinas Aquatic Center in Salinas, California, Roseville’s Mike Shellito Indoor Pool, Big Splash Island in French Lick, Indiana, the Palms Casino & Resort in Las Vegas and the world’s largest indoor waterpark with a retractable aluminum dome in Ukraine. By combining your unique vision with OpenAire’s expertise, incredible venues are a reality.

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