Sustainable aquatic center cuts costs, saves energy

The new aquatic center in Snohomish, Washington, northeast of Seattle, has officially opened.


February 3, 2014

The new aquatic center in Snohomish, Washington, northeast of Seattle, was officially opened on January 25.

The $21 million center, designed by DOWA/IBI Group Architects, boasts recreational and competitive pools, as well as a water slide, spa, learn to swim, zero depth entry, and surf simulator machine.

One major challenge for the design team was reducing operational costs to make it economically self sustaining. “The cost effectiveness of the center was definitely a driver,” said Marc Nordean, project designer. “Equally important were the community water safety goals – generations of children will learn to swim here.”

The sustainable design features of the 52,000 sq ft center include solar hot water, heat recovery systems, and light sensors. The pool’s low-flow fixtures dispense one-third the amount of water of ordinary fixtures.

Designing a sustainable aquatic center that can produce large quantities of running water creates another challenge: the chemicals in the water. The DOWA/IBI Group architects worked with a specialized water technology firm to make sure the chemicals would not cause corrosion. Snohomish Aquatic Center is one of kind with its saline sanitation system rather than chlorine.

“It’s comparable to saline drops,” said Nordean. “It doesn’t irritate your eyes or skin – swimmers love it.”

For more information, contact Janna Stacey.

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