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2019 Handbook Sneak Peak: Behind the New Indoor Swimming Pools Chapter

2019 Handbook Sneak Peak: Behind the New Natatorium Chapter

From eSociety, November 2018

In response to industry demand and the growing number of natatoriums, the 2019 ASHRAE Handbook—HVAC Applications will include a new chapter dedicated to the design of natatoriums. A member of TC 8.10, Mechanical Dehumidification and Heat Pipes, explains the significance of the new chapter.

By Harry Milliken, Life Member ASHRAE
Non-Voting Member of TC 8.10

Since the formation of TC 8.10, Mechanical Dehumidification and Heat Pipes, in the mid-1990s it was always a goal of the TC to write a dedicated chapter for natatorium design.  

Although through the years the TC was making minor updates to the content of the natatorium section included in the “Places of Assembly” in the ASHRAE Handbook—HVAC Applications, we knew a major overhaul was needed.  

The TC members were seeing an increase in natatorium construction as the healthcare and fitness industries, competitive swimming organizations and indoor water parks were turning to indoor facilities all over the country.  

Indoor air quality was becoming a common complaint at many facilities. Some members were also working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop the Model Aquatic Health Code. They were at first working independently from ASHRAE. The CDC soon realized that they needed to refer to all ASHRAE standards and information since these were already proven methods of design.  

An indoor swimming pools chapter will make its debut in the 2019 ASHRAE Handbook—HVAC Applications.

The new chapter has updated the air distribution section, which now includes comments regarding low returns and dedicated source capture type exhaust systems. The chapter also addresses the increase in evaporation due to increasing the air movement over the surface of the water and how it will affect the equipment sizing.  

The chapter includes:

  • more information regarding pool water chemistry and how it can affect indoor air quality,
  • information on building envelope design,
  • suggested method of evaluating the evaporation loads of water park features
  • and the recommendation to use the ASHRAE Dehumidification Weather Data when calculating the effects of the ventilation air.

This is the first attempt to expand knowledge and design recommendation to this growing building type. 

The TC will be continually adding to this new chapter as new industry evaluated design information and research becomes available.