THE RENOVATION OF THE AQUARIS IN BORSTEL
Old dogs, new tricks
HOW A SMALL COMMUNITY IN LOWER SAXONY RENOVATED ITS SWIMMING POOL AND LED THE WAY IN THE PROCESS.
Damage such as defective pipelines is often the reason for closures of municipal baths, especially given the already enormous financial burdens caused by Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine.
Smaller communities in particular are heavily burdened by the operating costs of their baths. If there is also damage, closure is often the result.
The Samtgemeinde Siedenburg, the smallest Samtgemeinde (association of municipalities) in the Diepholz district with almost 4,600 inhabitants, boldly took a different path: after a construction period of about one and a half years, the “Aquaris” was reopened in November 2022. The result of this pioneering project was not decommissioning and demolition, but the cost- and quality-conscious renovation of the baths.
The already high operating costs of the Aquaris Borstel (especially for water, chemicals and heating costs) became more and more problematic due to the daily water loss. Therefore, the Samtgemeinde Siedenburg – an association of five municipalities from the Lower Saxon district of Diepholz, including Borstel – commissioned an expert opinion in 2019.
This report came to the conclusion that the heavy water losses were caused by defective pipelines. This is a common problem in older baths. Damage such as this is often the reason for closures of municipal baths, especially in view of the already enormous financial burdens caused by Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine.
D – 26029 Hatten
“YOU CAN’T TEACH AN OLD DOG NEW TRICKS.”
The increasing number of closures of baths is also dangerous from a social point of view. Around 20 percent of German children between the ages of six and ten could not swim in 2022. This was the finding of a Forsa survey for the Deutsche Lebens-Rettungs-Gesellschaft (DLRG). In 2017, the proportion of non-swimmers of primary school age was at just ten percent. Those who do not learn to swim as children will have a much harder time later on.
In addition, our swimming pools are important social meeting places for all age groups.
So the Samtgemeinde’s council reacted boldly and awarded the renovation contract to Deye Consulting in Hatten.
THE TECHNOLOGY USED IS CALLED “RENOVACTION” AND IS SUCCESSFULLY USED BY MYRTHA POOLS FOR THE RENOVATION AND RENEWAL OF EXISTING BATHS
The focus of the modernisation was the new pool. The worn–out ceramic pool was replaced by a stainless steel pool with foiling – a proven and unbeatably efficient system. The technology behind it is called “RenovAction” and is successfully used by Myrtha Pools for the renovation and renewal of existing baths. This modular approach is suitable for the renovation of individual areas such as walls, overflow gutters or floors, but also for the renovation of the entire pool structure, as was necessary in Borstel.
Another highlight of the Myrtha technique is “Softwalk”, a soft, closed-pore foam pad which has been inserted on the pool floor under the PVC coating and makes movement through the water noticeably more pleasant and safe.
The swimming area received a wide staircase; the water depth in the access area was reduced from 1.55 m to 1.20 m. Both of these measures make access noticeably easier. This has been very well received, especially among the older age groups, and makes it possible to adapt the usage concept of the Aquaris Borstel to all age groups – and therefore to significantly improve the utilisation of the baths.
The pool is now 16.66 m long and eight metres wide. Although the area is slightly larger overall, the reduced depth results in a volume of 240 m3, which is an energy-saving 20 m3 less than before the renovation.
Before the renovation, the water quality was guaranteed by the large make-up quantity of drinking water. This is no longer necessary, and the drinking water and the lost thermal energy are now saved.
The water treatment of the baths has been brought up to the state of the art, so that the water quality is guaranteed even at the higher load.
The measuring water, pure water and surge water pipes have been completely renovated. Now there are energy-efficient pumps and a control technology which minimises operating costs. The facilities in the technical room have been fundamentally modernised. Here there is now the most modern technology in the area.
Since the pipes in other parts of the building also proved to be in need of renovation, the work had to be expanded. The entire sanitary and shower area has been newly planned and modernly designed. In addition, the supply lines were also renovated here.
A SMALL BATHS, IN OTHER WORDS, WHICH, THANKS TO PLANNING SKILLS AND SUSTAINABLE MODULAR CONSTRUCTION, MAKES A VITAL CONTRIBUTION TO BORSTEL’S CHILDREN BEING ABLE TO LEARN TO SWIM.
The total costs amounted to around 1.2 million euros. This includes funding in the amount of €480,000.
For this very modest sum in bathroom construction, the Aquaris in Borstel received a generation-appropriate, blue stainless-steel pool with a foil floor in the most modern modular design, a completely new technical room with sustainable equipment, as well as new showers and changing rooms.
The Aquaris Borstel is not a sports and competition pool, but it is record-breaking in terms of its usefulness and sustainability. 20 sports courses are already taking place here; in addition, schools, kindergartens, the community college and out-of-town clubs have reserved bathing times.
A new addition to the programme is an offer for toddlers from twelve months. A small baths which, thanks to planning skills and sustainable modular construction, reflects on its tasks of public services and makes a vital contribution to the fact that at least Borstel’s children can learn to swim.
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