A Dutch family business develops an advanced system of sliding walls and roofs
The construction firm Bright Buildings will soon be completing a unique swimming pool facility in the Dutch Betuwe holiday region, ready for the new summer season. Besides the wall, half of the transparent roof of the new swimming pool at the Eiland van Maurik holiday park can slide open, causing the boundary between indoors and outdoors to blur.
The swimming pool is now under construction in the recreation area along the river Neder-Rijn in the Betuwe region. It is scheduled to open its doors before the busy summer season. This new facility will enable Eiland van Maurik to lengthen the season of one of its recreational activities.
Sliding elements allow more diverse use of facilities
The engineers of Bright Buildings in the Dutch town of Heerlen developed a completely new sliding mechanism in-house. Managing-director Gertjan Grimbergen says that his firm, whose roots lie in greenhouse construction, is ever more often being asked to install sliding walls and roofs. “The boundary between indoors and outdoors is steadily blurring, especially in our specialisation - the light structures that we build for retail and leisure facilities.
The structure at the Eiland van Maurik is being built partly over an existing children’s water park. The swimming pool next to it is new. Bright Buildings is covering it with a large transparent gable roof. The trusses are made of steel profiles, the wall is of glass and the roof of polycarbonate. The sliding parts can be automatically controlled on the basis of the outdoor conditions, but the swimming pool managers can of course also control them themselves. It will take them only five minutes to open or close the roof.“None of the existing systems met our requirements”
The wall’s windows can slide telescopically upwards. “None of the existing systems met our requirements,” explains Gertjan Grimbergen. So we designed a belt drive that is almost entirely incorporated in the vertical girders. You can’t see it, it’s safe and it operates smoothly.”
An even more ingenious system was developed for the roof. The panels of the gable roof can slide downwards on either side of the ridge and then cover the panels at the gutter. This is done with an electric motor that drives a toothed wheel along a tooth path in the middle of the panel. The electric motor is hidden from sight in a tube and the tooth path is made of self-lubricating chlorine-resistant plastic, minimising maintenance. Everything meets the strict requirements relating to swimming pools, i.e. the entire system is operated with low voltage, it is protected from moisture and no use has been made of standard stainless steel (A2-A4).
And as far as the insulation values and air tightness are concerned, the sliding walls and roofs easily meet the demands relating to transparent building parts specified in the Building Regulations – and that’s no mean feat, says Grimbergen.