At the invitation of Bielefeld's pool operating company BBF, this year's IAKS conference was held on 9 and 10 June 2015 in the town in eastern Westphalia. 72 swimming pool operators, designers, experts and specialist companies seized this opportunity for an interdisciplinary discussion of the trends and challenges facing public baths.
To kick off the event, BBF Managing Director Hans-Werner Bruns presented an overview of swimming pools in Bielefeld. Together with Thomas Kalman from Dr. Krieger Architekten I Ingenieure, he presented the latest measures to revitalise the flagship pool "Ishara" before BBF's Technical Manager Dr Hans-Jürgen Stern reported on his most recent experience with the technical refurbishment of an indoor pool. The afternoon opened with Ernst-Ulrich Tillmanns from 4a Architekten who addressed the issue of whether architecture can be both beautiful and inexpensive at the same time. Iris an der Heiden from 2hm & Associates then took the plunge into the world of statistics and presented findings from
the new study on sport as an economic motor. Dr Christian Kuhn from DBSG stressed the need for professional and independent demand planning and feasibility studies before a project is awarded. With examples from the Netherlands, Paul Gerrits from Pellikaan drew attention to possible new synergies between swimming and indoor sports activities.
The second day of the conference started with Thomas Beutel from Lutz-Jesco, who presented the current state of implementation of the EU Biocides Regulation. In direct counterpoint, Carsten Lorf from EKO-PLANT outlined the scope for chlorine-free water purification with biological cleaning processes. The talks by Lorenz Donau, founder of Donau data engineering, and Sonja Redies from Profund Consult presented new ideas and solutions for pool management. The pool conference was brought to an end with alarm bells from Claus Peter Pithan from Landschaftsverband Rheinland who reported on the current state of the transitional provisions of the tax authorities for raising the rate of VAT for sauna enterprises.
The programme of tours included the "Ishara" pool and Brackwede natural outdoor pool. In the accompanying exhibition, twelve specialist companies from the sector presented their products.