Aqua Blue Designs is a Spata award winning company which specialises in the design of wet leisure buildings. We are proud to have this challenging project on our portfolio, which includes similar work in 27 countries to date.

Aqua Blue was called in by the owners of Broadstone Physiotherapy, a well-established practice near Poole, to design a new building complete with all the specialist requirements of a 21st-century hydrotherapy clinic, to augment their existing dry treatments.

Mindful of the high energy demand of a pool heated to 35° C and high ancillary heating demands, the proprietors prevailed upon the designer to deliver a truly energy efficient building with U values superior to current building regulations. Aqua Blue were pioneers of the earliest energy-saving systems in Britain.

Propitiously, a plot of land was available, adjacent to the original clinic and Aqua Blue steered the project through the planning and design phases to create a building which was almost a mirror image of the existing building but with an open, full height interior which offers patients a lighter more uplifting experience than with a conventional ceiling height.

To achieve the target energy efficiency, the Logix ICF block system was used, faced with brick slips, achieving a U value of 0.21 for walls.

A Kooltherm system was utilized in the roof, achieving a U value of 0.16 and triple glazed units allowed a value of 0.6 to all glazing.

The 3 x 5-metre pool is an example of the best-insulated pool system on the market, supplied by Polypool Ltd. The pool water is sanitized via a UV unit with low-level auto chlorine dosing (to meet Public Health and Spata standards) from Certikin Ltd.

The whole pool hall is heated and dehumidified using a Heatstar, Gemini air handling unit. The underfloor ducted system maintains temperature and humidity at comfortable levels for patients.

Within the limited space available, the design had to accommodate adequate changing and showering facilities, in a welcoming style plus plant room and storage.

An overhead mechanical gantry was included to give access to the pool for disabled persons.

A mezzanine floor accessed via spiral stairs allowed extra staff changing and office space. This area incorporated the latest Stiebel Eltron air to water heat recovery system to reclaim excess heat from this area, which is utilised to meet the high demand for patient showers in an economical way.

The Stiebel units also create a more comfortable temperature on the mezzanine floor in hot weather.

The end product and pleasing finishes embody much of the proprietors’ input. They were also available to coordinate activity on site, with FJL builders and Moormead Leisure Ltd, the pool engineers, and this helped them to realise their goals.

This new investment of approx £350k, including the land, meets a growing demand for water-based treatment for back and joint ailments and postoperative therapy in Dorset. These services are now delivered in the latest facilities, with a personal touch by the proprietors and their dedicated team of therapists.

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