SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Aquatic World co-owners, Dan Quackenbush and Lloyd Darrohn reached a lifelong goal last year when they became the only central New York state scuba diving store with an indoor training pool.

However, that goal was difficult from an installation standpoint. A 22-foot by 32-foot pool needed to be squeezed into a small vacant space behind the 3,000-square-foot store in a six-store strip center located here. A solution was designed by mechanical engineer Steven Brandt, P.E., president of manufacturers representative D.F. Brandt Inc. (Kirkville, N.Y.), architect Peter Crissey, A.I.A., Crissey Architectural Group (Syracuse, N.Y.), and general contractor P&P Enterprises (Syracuse, N.Y.).

Aquatic World managed to squeeze the in-ground vinyl liner packaged pool, a surrounding building enclosure with handicap accessibility, and complete mechanical room facilities into every square inch of the allocated 38-foot-wide space behind the strip center store.

Critical to the pool enclosure and indoor air quality for the 50 people who use the facility each week is Brandt's HVAC design and, specifically, the dehumidification of the space.

With only a 12-foot by 12-foot mechanical room to provide dehumidification, heating, and cooling, plus pool water heating, filtering, and pumps, Brandt selected a Dry-O-Tron® DSV 020, a vertically configured dehumidifier from Dectron International.

The 2,000 cfm unit has a 10-square-foot footprint. According to Dectron, this is 50 percent smaller than a horizontal dehumidifier. Additionally, the unit also recovers energy to heat the pool water while providing space heating and cooling all in one package.

Another space saver was Brandt's idea to replace a large space-consuming pool water boiler with a smaller auxiliary Weil-McClain 200,000 Btu model for cold fill usage only. The Dry-O-Tron handles 100 percent of daily pool water heating though an energy efficient heat recovery method. The boiler transfers heat to a marine-grade, stainless steel flat plat heat exchanger that's resistant to the corrosive effects of pool water chemicals.

Brandt installed a backup heating strategy that also saved space. A duct-mounted 2,000 cfm, 99,000 Btu hot water coil by Temtrol that is supplied by the backup boiler does not require mechanical room floor or air space.

Another unique feature is the use of 60 linear feet of fabric duct as an alternative to conventional metal duct. Because a portion of the air flows through the fabric's engineered porosity, the facility's 16-inch diameter, polyester-blend duct doesn't collect condensation or dust like metal duct. The fabric duct also cut down on ceiling construction material costs. Unlike metal duct, fabric duct needs no painting maintenance or epoxy coating to protect it from corrosive effects from pool chemicals.

Now with a five-star Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) certified facility, Darrohn foresees profitable benefits in addition to the aesthetics and comfort the new facility provides. According to Darrohn, store traffic has begun to climb toward a projected 30 percent increase that he hopes will in turn boost sales by 10 percent or more.

Publication date: 01/26/2004