Movable floors, movable booms and pool access lifts are the key to designing flexible pools.
A flexible pool enables a single pool tank to be used for a range of different uses, typically from competitive swimming to teaching of toddlers, and can facilitate multiple usage at any one time. A 25m swimming pool with a movable floor at the deep end is a classic example; with the movable floor in the lowered position, the pool can be used for a range of activities such as dive teaching and water polo, and when the floor is raised the pool can be used for teaching and aqua aerobics.
We design in accordance with the Regulations, Standards and Guidelines to provide pool movable floors, booms and access platforms.
Good movable floor and boom design will by necessity address a number of key elements, including:
Movable floors are essentially large platforms, structurally rigid, that can be moved up and down inside a pool tank. The floor will normally have some level of buoyancy, as a minimum to counter the weight of the floor and as a maximum to support all the loads to be applied to the floor.
There are several options for movable floor movement; one approach is to use hydraulic rams with stainless steel cables and pulley blocks to move and locate a fully buoyant floor; the hydraulic rams can be located on the pool tank wall – a direct drive approach – or at pool deck level – the indirect drive approach; strict sizing criteria needs to be addressed for ratios between cable diameters/pulley block diameters to ensure that cable life is not unduly shortened; other options include screw jacks.
Movable booms are either submersible or traversable.
This is housed in a recess in the floor of the pool tank and operated via a poolside electrical panel. This type of boom can only be used in one fixed location within the pool tank; it will require no physical manual input except operating the control panel itself.
This is always on the surface and requires manual input each time the boom is moved along the pool; it can be located in almost any position in the pool tank. This type of boom is often used in 50m competition pools to assist in setting the racing lane lengths to the very strict tolerances as required by FINA.
Pool access lifts are very similar in design to movable floors in that they will have a rigid platform that will be raised/lowered either by hydraulic or electro-mechanical means.
One of the first things to consider are the published Regulations, Standards and Guidelines that should govern how systems are designed; key publications include: