We can advise on the construction of swimming pools and pool enclosures
The structural challenge is in keeping the water in and stopping it mixing with the surrounding ground. There are some unique load combinations to consider when compared to traditional schemes.
When a pool is full the water pushes on the base and sides of the subsoil. The pressure created by the weight of the water pushes back but the pool is invariably heavier and so wants to sink into the ground. Because water is lighter than soil, when the pool is empty the structure wants to float, so the structural design must be able to withstand the uplift. The pressure when the pool is empty can easily cause crazing and cracking, so it’s vital to get structural engineering advice early on in the planning and design stages.
The design of the pool is balancing two extremes; when the pool is full of water and in use and when the pool has been emptied ready for cleaning. A full pool will exert the maximum pressure on the founding soils.
When the pool is empty, hydrostatic uplift of the base slab and design of the pool walls are the critical checks we have to consider.