The construction of roofs for water attractions, such as swimming pools or water parks, poses two major challenges: on the one hand, that of bridging spans that we estimate to be in the order of 30 to 40 metres; on the other hand, that of the proper maintenance of their materials, given their exposure to an environment of constant humidity and the presence of chlorides.
In terms of structure, the roof of a swimming pool or a water park is made of large-edged beams, capable of spanning these large spans. And glulam is perhaps the most appropriate material for them. Why? Because glulam, produced with sawn and glued layers, makes it possible to produce strong beams with large depths and large radii of curvature. In addition to its structural strength, the natural beauty of the wood and the elegance of the arch of its beams.
With regard to maintenance, outdoors, wood is subjected to successive cycles of humidity and dryness, which produces a constant exchange of water vapour with the atmosphere and, as a consequence, the loss of its mechanical properties. However, in indoor swimming pools or indoor water parks, wooden beams are exposed to a permanently humid environment. This physical fact allows them to reach hygroscopic equilibrium humidity, in other words, the wood of which they are composed gains the ideal moisture content, without any exchange with the surrounding atmosphere. Finally, the wood also performs well and is resistant to aggressive chemical agents, such as chlorides in the case of swimming pools and indoor water parks.
By Alberto López García, structural technician in Amusement Logic’s Architecture Dept.