Everything You Need to Know About Conservatory Swimming Pool Enclosures
With the outside temperatures soaring year on year and the UK’s hottest ever day recorded this past summer, there’s never been a better time to consider the benefits that conservatory swimming pool enclosures might bring to your next project.
We understand that a swimming pool is a luxury to add to any residential or commercial project, but we firmly believe that if you’re going to invest in such a special feature-piece, then you should ensure you do it properly, so that it lasts a lifetime.
Whilst an outdoor pool might feel like the ideal solution when the weather is so warm, for the majority of the year in the UK, conservatory swimming pool enclosures offers a level of practicality all-year-round, that having an exposed pool simply can’t provide.
So, if you’re planning to specify conservatory swimming pool enclosures for your next project, what sort of thing should you be considering? Are they safe and secure? Do they offer temperature regulation properties? We answer all of your key questions here.
What is the purpose of a conservatory swimming pool enclosure?
Although the UK isn’t historically known for its dry, hot weather, swimming pools have become increasingly accessible and popular for a wide range of properties over recent years. And while increasingly hot summers seem to be on the horizon, if you’ve invested in a swimming pool – either for yourself or a client – then you’ll likely be thinking about the ways in which you can make the most of it throughout the colder months.
Of course, if you’ve invested in a swimming pool, then you won’t want to hide it away. A simple cover can be a quick, cheap fix, but this may not afford adequate protection of your investment, and can lead to costly maintenance and upkeep; and whilst a cheap enclosure might be tempting, aesthetically they can leave a lot to be desired, and can be easily damaged.
To ensure maximum enjoyment of your swimming pool, it is worth considering a glazed conservatory pool enclosure that is guaranteed to keep the pool protected – both from the elements and from falling debris – whilst still looking beautiful. Glazing around a swimming pool also helps to connect an indoor swimming pool with the outdoors, blurring the distinction between inside and out.
Ultimately, the purpose of a conservatory enclosure around a swimming pool is primarily to keep it safe and enjoyable to use throughout the year, and glazing can offer an extra touch of luxury.
What are the benefits of a swimming pool enclosure?
When it comes to including a swimming pool for your project, one of the biggest considerations you’ll be weighing up is the safety risk. This is particularly true when there might be small children or animals around. A pool enclosure offers a much greater level of safety to protect those who are more likely to accidentally fall in, by restricting access to the whole pool area without authorisation or supervision.
Another benefit of a conservatory enclosure is that it helps to keep the pool clean throughout the year. Instead of fishing out leaves, twigs and other debris, an enclosed pool will be ready to use whenever it is required.
When it comes to specifically considering a glazed enclosure for your swimming pool, there are a number of additional benefits that come from choosing glass as a material. Having such a minimal, ‘barely there’ boundary to the outside allows you to create a peaceful ambience around the pool that connects swimmers to nature. A glass enclosure also floods natural light into a space that traditionally tends to require high levels of artificial light and, in turn, this can actually result in a positive impact on health and wellbeing.
In addition, choosing a glazed enclosure also provides you with the luxury of having complete climate control within the pool area, which can be a huge benefit during the hot summer months and cold winter months.
How to ensure you’re choosing the right swimming pool enclosure
While a fully glazed swimming pool enclosure can be an elegant and impressive feature in a property, getting the detailing and materials right takes some consideration. Glazing around a swimming pool needs to be designed in line with its required use and performance.
With a combination of humid air, the strong possibility that your glass will get wet and huge temperature changes between the pool space and adjacent areas, designing and building swimming pool glazing can be something of a challenge and requires both specialist knowledge and the right materials and products.
This is why it’s important that you invest in high-quality glazing, to ensure you’re benefiting from the innovation and technology of modern-day glass products. With that in mind, there are a range of technical glazing solutions that can be used to enhance swimming pool designs.
One of the most important factors to consider when creating a glazed structure around pools is the glass roof. Whether it’s a behemoth 12m retractable pool enclosure, or a more humble fixed roof, the interplay of the sunlight streaming through the glass with the pool surface is always a thing of beauty, connecting indoors with outside – but can also require you to think about things such as safety and temperature regulation.
Heated glass can be used to great effect for roof glass over swimming pools, to prevent condensation and mistiness. A heated surface prevents condensation building on the roof glass which means you’ll get more daylight and better views of the sky through your roof.
Meanwhile, low iron glass can be specified for ultra-clear installations, granting the best views, as it helps to eliminate the naturally green tint that can occur in thicker panels or on exposed glass edges. Low maintenance glass coatings may also help in keeping the glass streak free, where it could be affected by the chemicals used in swimming pools as well as pollution and dirt on the exterior of the glass. For the ultimate in luxury and glazing innovation, even switchable glass can be used for control of privacy when necessary.
If the glazing needs to have thermal properties – for example, if it is separating two different climates such as inside to outside or between a warm pool and an air conditioned gym – then a thermally insulated glass specification needs to be used within a thermally broken fixing/framing system.
In all cases, if the glass is within 2m of the pool then laminated glass must be used on the pool adjacent face. This is to protect the pool filtration systems in the event of a glass breakage (as well as anyone unfortunate enough to be using the pool at the time!). The laminate will hold any broken glass together, stopping this from falling into the pool or associated areas. We always specify toughened, laminated glass in a pool environment, so that in the rare event of a breakage, glass shards aren’t floating around the pool.
Visual design for pool glazing
When it comes to the look and design of your glazed walls, Sky-Frame sliding glass doors can achieve sightlines of 20mm with flush floor finishes and large panels of glass. They are well used around swimming pools to help connect indoor and outdoor spaces. Meanwhile, fixed glazing around pools can be created using frameless structural glazing for the most minimal design possible.
In a swimming pool enclosure, you want the transition between inside and out to be as flush as possible. There is a high chance that occupants will be walking over this threshold in bare feet. The threshold between any internal pool and the outside should be step-free and as flat as possible. You can read our complete guide to flush thresholds here.
When installing a floor in an area likely to get wet, building regulations stipulate anti-slip glass must be used, and we always recommend the highest level of slip resistance around pool areas.
It’s also worth knowing that swimming pool enclosure glazing requires special paintwork or anodising on the frames and fixtures to prevent corrosion. With most glazing installations, powder-coating – spraying the metalwork with powdered paint, then melting the paint before allowing it to set into a smooth finish – is sufficient. However, anodising the metalwork creates a much more robust finish. Anodising is essentially a controlled form of oxidisation, using electricity flowing through an acid bath to bind oxygen molecules to the aluminium. Anodised aluminium won’t rust, chip or scratch (it is almost as tough as diamond) and is resistant to both UV and chemical degradation, protecting it from harsh chemicals like chlorine.
While retractable swimming pool enclosures and fixed roofs are popular choices, we’ve also installed minimal Sky-Frame doors, our own PureGlaze system, and even a glass sluice gate to control the level of the pool in one particularly ambitious project.
Over the years, we’ve worked on a number of projects that feature swimming pool glazing, from large, commercial projects in leisure centres and hotels, to smaller residential projects with a relatively small pool area – there’s not a lot we don’t know about swimming pool glazing.
If you’re a designer looking to make a statement with your pool spaces, or a homeowner or business looking to create a unique environment for relaxation and fun, then please do get in touch to discuss a project with one of our specialists. You can contact us here for more information about how we can help with your dream pool project.
Alternatively, take a look at our catalogue of case studies for more inspiration.