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New aquatics Down Under

Exteriors, Features | May 1, 2010 | By:

A regional aquatic center in northern New South Wales zips up the place with tensioned fabric

A revamped Tweed Regional Aquatic Centre in Murwillumbah—near the Queensland and New South Wales border and 132km south of Brisbane—serves the area well with an interior lap pool, an outdoor interactive children’s leisure pool, waterslide, barbecue and picnic area and covered grandstand that overlooks a refurbished outdoor Olympic pool for year-round use.

In addition to the retrofitted smaller interior pool, there are several shade structures over the toddler pools, as well as a shade cover over the grandstand seating that flanks the 60m main pool.

Inside the Aquatic Centre, the Australian tension structures firm Fabritecture LLC has spiffed up the place with a clean, taut ceiling of white mesh fabric. A polystyrene composite roof perforated for acoustical reasons arcs over the pool to bring down the sound levels normally found in hard-surfaced pool rooms. To further reduce reverberation, Fabritecture fitted the ceiling with a stretched vinyl-coated polyester mesh fabric attached to the roof joists by a system of shock cords and hooks that tension the wide fabric panels. Although the hooks and shock cords are a proprietary system from Ferrari Textiles, the mesh supplier, the slot track and mounting hardware are off-the-shelf from local sources to keep costs down and meet the building budget.

As with all facilities of this type, the Aquatic Centre is required to meet the national Building Code of Australia (BCA) Section J for energy requirements and material thermal values, which it does easily.*

*The BCA Section J addresses specific selection requirements of insulation for each class of building.

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