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    Buchan designs sustainable aquatic centre in WA

    The recently-opened WestSwim Lakelands in WA was designed by international architecture firm Buchan, which sought to design an innovative and sustainable facility for children and adults. 

    According to Buchan associate director Anna Meszaros, the pool hall’s aesthetics reflect a coastal palette, with emphasis on a selection of light, natural wall and ceiling colours to enhance indoor light distribution, perceived lighting levels and reduced lighting energy consumption. 

    When selecting materials, special consideration was given to ensure noise reverberation was minimised and the pool hall’s highly corrosive indoor environment – with high levels of heat and humidity – was accommodated. 

    “The solution was to install a custom-designed tension member to fit the structural ceiling system and strategically position it directly over the pool to offset and diffuse the mid-high frequency reverberation,” says Meszaros.

    “We also worked with WestSwim’s graphic consultant and signage contractor to further reduce noise reverberation by introducing a 3D wall mural which provided an ‘acoustic band’ at the end wall.  

    “This provided further acoustic balance, while adding a fitting decorative element to the space.”

    Sustainability initiatives incorporated into the Centre include:

    • Passive solar design
    • Optimisation of natural daylighting and daylight distribution
    • Use of energy-efficent lighting
    • Water efficient fixtures
    • Automated, insulated thermal pool blankets to maintain water temperatures and reduce evaporation out of hours. This has the added benefit of reducing humidity in the pool hall.
    • Use of low maintenance durable materials
    • Measures to reduce air conditioning load by minimising uncontrolled air movement between spaces with differential temperatures and humanity levels
    • Insulated building envelope from the outside which is a cost-effective strategy to reduce energy
    • Use of water-wise drought-tolerant landscaping
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