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OpenAire: Salinas Aquatic Center Honored as a 2011 Dream Design


The Salinas Aquatics Center in Salinas, California has received top honors in Aquatics International’s 2011 Dream Designs competition, winning the award for Best Competition Pool. The landmark LEED Gold Certified facility features a beautiful retractable pool enclosure by OpenAire.

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Now in its seventh year, the Aquatics International Dream Designs showcase is an annual program that highlights extraordinary aquatic facility design projects. Each year, the industry publication recognizes the most innovative facilities in the world, from fitness centers and schools to community pools and waterparks. They select the 25 most impressive projects and feature them in their popular Dream Designs issue, which serves as an inspiration for designers and builders across the globe.

“Having the Salinas Aquatic Center recognized by Aquatics International is a tremendous honor, ” says Mark Albertine, President, OpenAire. “We’re proud to have been part of the project – and to have made a significant contribution of the success of the Center.”

The Aquatic Center features a 73’ (22.3m) x 75’ (22.9m) lap and activity pool that is protected from the elements by a 100’ (30.5m) x 110’ (33.5m) retractable enclosure. Designed with OpenAire’s exclusive maintenance-free thermally broken aluminum framing system, the enclosure has an operable roof that can open up to 50%. Translucent polycarbonate panels transmit an abundance of natural light, and 15’ (4.57m) high vertical walls made of glass and polycarbonate let in even more sunshine and provide great views of the landscaped grounds.

The Best Competition Pool award winner boasts a number of enviable features that make it a great destination for the entire community. The focal point of a much larger recreation complex, the pool is an appealing space that gets lots of sunlight and fresh air, and can be enjoyed by swimmers, spectators and staff alike. In addition to being used as a competition space, the Salinas Aquatic Center also offers a variety of swim and fitness programs – everything from beginner lessons to exercise classes to team practices are held there.

Built with a high level of environmental awareness, the LEED Gold Certified building exceeds California’s Energy Efficiency Standards by a remarkable 25%. Green features include the use of natural daylight throughout the entire facility, fresh-air dehumidification and natural cooling, plus energy efficient heating, electrical and space conditioning systems, UV water filters, thermal pool covers and more.

“We worked hand in hand with Glass Architects and the City of Salinas to achieve their vision for a great-looking, sustainable structure that residents would truly love to use, ” says Albertine. “This project shows that building sustainably can really pay off – not only is the facility striking, it provides significant savings on operational and energy costs.”

The future holds much more for this community favourite. Designed with expansion in mind, the facility is already planning a multi-flumed water slide, splash-down / therapy pool, a splash pad and possibly other water features.

Read more about OpenAire’s involvement in the project at, and learn about their LEED expertise at

Mark Albertine, President
1 800 267 4877

About OpenAire

OpenAire has been designing and manufacturing beautiful, high-quality, environmentally conscious retractable roof enclosures and skylights for over 20 years. Their commercial projects include the Americana Indoor Water Park in Niagara Falls, Canada, 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.

About Glass Architects

GLASS ARCHITECTS has offices in Santa Rosa and Grass Valley and has been in continuous practice in Santa Rosa for over forty years. The firm specializes in a broad range of project types with an emphasis on public projects including medical, education, religious, high-tech and office buildings, aquatic centers, police and fire stations, courthouses, community centers, wineries, and custom residential. GLASS ARCHITECTS is the continuation of the firm formerly known as Roland/Miller/Associates.

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