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Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid in Natatorium Design

5 Biggest Mistakes in Natatorium Design Hobbs and Associates Seresco

Designing a natatorium requires a careful balance of environmental control, safety, and efficiency. Industry insights, such as those provided in the Seresco Natatorium Design Guide, can help us identify key areas where design flaws typically occur.

Here are the five biggest mistakes to avoid when planning and constructing a natatorium:

5 Biggest Mistakes in Natatorium Design Hobbs and Associates Seresco

Properly managing humidity is crucial in natatoriums to maintain structural integrity and occupant comfort. High indoor humidity can lead to condensation, which may cause damage to the building structure, such as mold growth and material degradation.

  • Mistake to Avoid: The building envelope was not designed with appropriate materials that withstand high humidity environments. This includes failing to install or improperly install vapor barriers, which can accumulate moisture within walls and other structural components, resulting in costly repairs and health hazards over time.

5 Biggest Mistakes in Natatorium Design Hobbs and Associates Seresco

Indoor air quality in natatoriums is primarily affected by chloramines; volatile byproducts formed when chlorine interacts with organic compounds such as sweat and urine. Poor air quality can significantly affect the health and comfort of swimmers and staff.

  • Mistake to Avoid: Inadequate ventilation and air purification systems that fail to remove chloramines and ensure clean breathing air efficiently. Effective systems should include source capture technologies like the Evacuator to manage chloramine levels and proper exhaust placements that directly remove contaminated air.

5 Biggest Mistakes in Natatorium Design Hobbs and Associates Seresco

Natatoriums are typically high-energy-use environments due to the continuous need to heat pool water and manage air temperature and quality.

  • Mistake to Avoid: Overlooking the integration of energy-efficient systems such as heat recovery units and variable frequency drive (VFD) equipped pumps and fans. These technologies can significantly lower operational costs by optimizing energy use, particularly in heating and dehumidifying the space.

5 Biggest Mistakes in Natatorium Design Hobbs and Associates Seresco

Pool water quality directly impacts air quality and natatorium health conditions. Poor water treatment can exacerbate the formation of chloramines and other harmful substances.

  • Mistake to Avoid: Not using advanced water treatment technologies that reduce the reliance on traditional chlorine-based disinfection methods. Systems such as ultraviolet (UV) light or ozone generators can effectively minimize the formation of chloramines, improving both water and air quality.

5 Biggest Mistakes in Natatorium Design Hobbs and Associates Seresco

The comfort and safety of users should be a primary consideration in the design of any natatorium. This includes temperature control, ease of access, and safety features around the pool area.

  • Mistake to Avoid: Failing to provide adequate heating and cooling systems that maintain a comfortable environment for swimmers and spectators. Additionally, inadequate safety measures, such as poorly designed pool decks that can become slippery when wet or insufficient barriers and warning signs, can lead to accidents and injuries.


Avoiding these five common mistakes in natatorium design can lead to a more successful project. Designers can create enjoyable, safe, cost-effective natatoriums by focusing on effective humidity control, superior air quality management, energy efficiency, advanced water treatment, and user comfort and safety. Ensuring that all aspects of design and operational functionality come together effectively will result in a facility that meets the needs of all users while standing the test of time.

For further insights and detailed guidelines, you can always rely on the comprehensive Natatorium Design Guide by Seresco, a trusted industry resource.

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