Thursday, December 22, 2011

Structural Engineering and Soil (Geotechnical) Reports

When constructing a new hotel it is typical for the architect to order a soils report with the request for specific recommendations for the building foundation design.  Borings are done, the results are studied, and a report is issued to the architect.  Very rare is the project that addresses the pool/spa. 
An effective swimming pool design consultant collaborates with the architect to ask for specific borings directly in the proposed pool area as well as to have the soils engineer make specific recommendations for the construction of the pool. 
What is worse, typically the pool is built by the “lowest bid” pool contractor that has never seen the soils report and usually ends up building a pool shell off of a “standard model plan” from a structural engineer that is often of insufficient strength for the conditions of that job site.  Consequently, the soil either heaves or collapses causing the pool to shift and crack. 
At Aqua Design International we hear of pool failures derived from poor collaboration with the architect, soils engineer, structural engineer and swimming pool consultant on a monthly basis.  We have found in many cases that simple design coordination could have saved the owner as well as the design team an astonishing amount of money, hardship, and embarrassment.  Collaborating with the architect, soils engineer, and structural engineer is merely one of many reasons to hire a competent swimming pool design consultant.  Failure to do so usually results in a gap in design and coordination that is often poorly filled with the limited expertise of a local, residential pool contractor. 


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