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7/10/2015

Pool Corner (as seen in Shotcrete Magazine)

Pool Design article by Bill Drakeley, SWD Master

Many pool contractors – myself included – are skeptical of the majority of the so-called ‘awards programs’ in the pool industry. An unfortunate number of them are dependent on who you know, who won last year, and other factors that are mostly unrelated to the merit of the project itself. The American Shotcrete Association’s Outstanding Project Awards program – now accepting entries – is an exception to this rule: it offers true credibility to the winner. By examining the inner workings of a structure, the Outstanding Project Award levels the playing field and lets excellence receive the recognition it deserves.

The Award is not an easy one to win – or even to apply for. It takes a certain amount of guts to reveal the ins and outs of a project, and it takes a certain kind of person to be willing to expose the interior of their product. In essence, it is your structural accountability that is being judged. That is precisely the kind of courage that we need in our industry to continue to reform and enhance its image. I encourage all pool builders utilizing the shotcrete process to consider an application to the Outstanding Project Awards in the Pool category this year.



I also want to shine a spotlight on the four Position Papers currently in circulation by the American Shotcrete Association:

  • Compressive [Strength] Values of Pool Shotcrete
  • Definitions of Key Shotcrete Terminology
  • Sustainability of Shotcrete in the Pool Industry
  • Watertight Shotcrete for Swimming Pools



Voted upon and approved by the ASA Pool and Recreational Shotcrete Committee, the ASA Board of Direction, and the ASA Executive Committee, these Position Papers have taken the best of the variable thought processes and approaches from the industry’s engineers, specifiers, builders, and other contractors and synthesized them into a common view. The result is four positions on the standards for quality in our industry that we can all stand by.

This has been a very successful program, and one that we will continue through the issuing of Position Papers on the following shotcrete-related phases and issues:

  • Forming
  • Cold joints (or lack thereof)
  • Watertight Shotcrete for Swimming Pools: Part 2



Bill Drakeley Shotcrete Magazine Pool Corner
Bill Drakeley Shotcrete Magazine Pool Corner
Bill Drakeley Shotcrete Magazine Pool Corner


Like the shotcrete process itself, the Position Paper program is multi-faceted; we intend to continue to address key issues related to each phase of shotcrete installation. Building a personal library with these Position Papers at the core will allow engineers, specifiers, and builders alike to employ accepted structural criteria for proper pool installations. This is the goal and intent of the program. All ACI and ASA standards are applied.

Current Position Papers can be accessed on the American Shotcrete Association website.


Bill Drakeley, SWD Master

Bill Drakeley

Drakeley Pool Company
74 Hickory Lane
Bethlehem, CT 06751
T (203) 263-7919
F (860) 274-7902


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