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"GREEN" Pool Construction

Pool Design article by Dave Penton

There is a lot of buzz these days about LEED certified construction, Green building practices, and sustainability. I would like to take a brief look at one way that this can be optimized during swimming pool construction.

Proper implementation of this technology involves much more than installing the "latest/greatest" technology available. It also involves a thorough evaluation of the entire system in an effort to maximize the results, and optimize the end result.

The most obvious place to begin is with the part of the pool that uses the most energy - the circulation pump and plumbing. In the last decade the pool industry has seen a significant breakthrough in energy conservation. With the introduction of variable speed pumps, clients are able to save up to 90% on their energy bills. Simply installing one of these pumps will result in significant saving each and every month (often 50%). With a little more effort though significantly greater savings can be achieved!

By evaluating the entire hydraulic system (the plumbing lines and how they are configured) a significant increase in energy savings can be attained. At GENESIS® we promote the use of larger plumbing piping in order to minimize the resistance within the hydraulic system. The state of California is leading the way with their Title 24 building standards which all builders within the state must comply with. At GENESIS® we have evaluated the standards set out within the state energy regulations, and have realized that we can do even better. Within our membership we have agreed to hold to a standard for plumbing that far exceeds the mandates of the California energy regulations. It is not uncommon for pools built to these standards to have 3", 4" and even 6" plumbing lines - even in residential pools.

In a recent audit completed by our firm, we evaluated a pool built in Southern California using the GENESIS® hydraulic standards. The total electricity being utilized to run this particular pool circulation system cost about $25 per month. With "Normal" pool plumbing and a variable speed pump, the electrical usage would be around $50 a month. Using a traditional single speed pump, and "normal" plumbing this same pool would cost about $110 per month to run.

Simply installing a variable speed pump is a significant step in the right direction! As seen in the above example this will result in a nearly 55% reduction in overall energy costs. BUT by evaluating the full hydraulic system it is possible to realize significantly greater savings - Nearly 80% in the above real world example.

To learn more about these options please feel free to contact any of the GENESIS® SWD Masters, or if you are a builder and would like to learn more about how to offer these kind of results to your clientele, look into the many education offerings available through GENESIS®.