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Aquatic Centre, Hay River

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The Hay River Aquatic Centre is a multi-use aquatic facility that is complexed with the Ben Sivertz Recreation Centre. PSAV Architects Ltd. worked with Barr Ryder Architects & Planners on this project with the design of the facility began in December, 2003 with construction complete in June, 2006.

The Aquatic Centre incorporates leisure and lane swimming pools, a steam room, a hot tub, a waterslide, change rooms, wet and dry viewing areas and an office area. The Natatorium is a two storey volume, containing all of the wet activities, including the hot tub and steam room. A ‘beach’ entry provides barrier free and child access to the shallow leisure tanks. A two storey waterslide provides a 36 metre long run.

Designing an aquatic centre requires a thorough understanding of programme and technical requirements. As well as recognizing the complications that designing such a facility in the North can entail. One such consideration is how to maintain an interior environment with higher than normal temperature and humidity levels and the corresponding energy consumption required to maintain these levels. Add to that the design of a building envelope that prevents this moisture and heat from escaping through the building envelope and the design process can become even more interesting.

Incorporating the programme requirements with an effective energy strategy are found in many of the design decisions:

  • Programme requirements for swimming pools have moved far beyond the single rectangular pool basin, especially in the North where indoor recreation activities are used much more intensively and for longer periods of time than in the South.
  • High humidity levels characteristic of aquatic centres must be controlled to prevent damage to the building and it’s systems,  as well as reduce energy loss, this is ensured by:
    • incorporating a building envelope with a continuous 
      MBM air/vapour barrier sealed to the exterior walls and roof
    • A mechanical ventilation system that maintains the required humidity levels
    • A control system that enables the building and water systems to be maintained within strict limits
    • Daylight: the design incorporates windows at the north wall, allowing daylight into the natatorium without any glare

Consultant Team:

Architects / Prime Consultant: PSAV Architects Ltd.
Barr Ryder Architects & Planners

Pool Consultant: Smith Recreation Group

Structural Engineers: Williams Engineering Canada Inc.

Mechanical Engineers: Williams Engineering Canada Inc.

Electrical Engineers: Williams Engineering Canada Inc.

Civil Engineers: Maskwa Engineering Ltd.

Geotechnical Engineers: EBA Engineering Ltd