South / Regional Reports

Former Retail Store Turns Healthy

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Building a 25- by 75-foot in-ground concrete swimming pool is a difficult enough task without having to put one in a former retail store of a shopping center.

But that is what the Rush Fitness Complex ordered from its engineering and consulting team when it chose a former 37,000-square-foot department store in the Walker Springs Plaza shopping center for its second location.

The $200,000 pool was a key part of the $2 million construction project. “Baby boomers want more than just weight lifting from today’s health clubs,” said co-founder Larry Gurney. “So it was important for Rush to have a pool in one of its two Knoxville locations.”

Most developers of such projects acknowledge that pools tend to be problematic as far as odor and humidity infiltration into the rest of the complex. The problem is accentuated with existing building retrofits because the original structure’s design doesn’t have pool architectural necessities such as heavy insulation on outside walls, proper building pressurization, or a vapor barrier surrounding the pool area.

Therefore, dehumidification and airflow were important elements of Rush Fitness’ 4,000-square-foot pool room. Consulting engineer Rusty Whillock of Engineering Services Group of Knoxville anchored his design around a Dry-O-Tron® DS-080 heat recovery dehumidifier by Dectron Internationale, Roswell, Ga., and fabric duct air dispersion by DuctSox®, Dubuque, Iowa.

The dehumidifier not only dehumidifies the space at a capacity of 80 pounds of moisture/hour, but also cools or heats it to an 80 degree F setpoint and recovers compressor heat to provide 78 degrees F pool water temperature. IAQ is monitored by the Dry-O-Tron on-board microprocessor.

Critical in the design was Whillock’s moisture load calculations, which are affected by the evaporation rate of the pool and the 55-square-foot, 105 degree F whirlpool. Usage, which was determined to be mostly exercise, was considered moderate compared to heavy usage at more conventional recreational pools.

Architect Daryl Johnson of Johnson Architecture, Knoxville, ensured the existing metal roof and supports would never be subjected to humidity by specifying an airtight vapor barrier around the entire pool enclosure. Additionally, the pool room walls were built of moisture-resistant cement board and an anti-corrosion coating was applied to all nearby metal surfaces.

Johnson also created a two-foot-high buffering air zone between the pool room ceiling and the building’s exposed bar joists and steel roof as an extra precaution against condensation.

Whillock added to the IAQ effort with the fabric duct air dispersion, which runs along the perimeter of the 14-foot-high pool room and broadcasts dry, conditioned air along the walls. Those involved in the project said that the use of fabric duct is a good choice in aquatic environments because it is corrosion resistant and tight.

Whillock designed the room with negative pressurization to prevent any excess humidity or pool chemical smells from escaping to the other fitness areas. This was made possible by an exhaust fan that’s placed over the highly evaporative whirlpool.

In constructing the pool, Rouse Construction of Knoxville and pool builder Pools by Bill, also of Knoxville, cut a 4-inch-thick concrete slab, preserving the existing 5-foot-square footers sustaining the building’s support columns. The 35-foot distance between support columns dictated the pool’s width at 25 feet.

General heating and air conditioning is provided by rooftop units from Trane, Tyler, Texas.

Publication date: 01/13/2003

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to The NEWS Magazine

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

2015 ACCA Conference

Images from the 2015 ACCA Conference in Grapevine, Texas. Posted on April 8, 2015.


NEWSMakers: Clint Schreck

Clint Schreck, general manager, Columbus Worthington Air, Columbus, Ohio, discusses winning Angie’s List Super Service Award, how to handle online reviews, and much more.

More Podcasts


NEWS 05-25-15 cover

2015 May 25

Check out the weekly edition of The NEWS today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Legislation and Regulation

What legislative/regulatory issue is most important to you as a HVAC business owner?
View Results Poll Archive


2015 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

More Products

Clear Seas Research


Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


Magazine image
Register today for complete access to Get full access to the latest features, Extra Edition, and more.


facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconLinkedIn i con