Stainless-steel solution for Brighton’s Sea Lanes…

A STAINLESS-STEEL SHELL will offer significant structural weight savings over a concrete shell.

Located on Brighton beach, Sea Lanes is the UK’s first National Open Water Swimming Centre, officially opened to the public this summer. At the heart of the venue is a 50m, six-lane stainless-steel pool, supplied by specialists Wrightfield Pools, of Suffolk, working with Advanced Pools of Worcestershire to complete the prestigious project.

Home grown Wrightfield Pools beat off strong foreign competition to win the contract for the stainless-steel pool. Manufactured at their Suffolk base, the pool was transported in sections and welded into position at the beach-front site. With its strong engineering heritage, the multi award-winning Wrightfield Pools have designed and built stainless-steel pools for leisure centres and public pools, hotels and resorts, elevated and rooftop areas.

Larger pools include those for competition and training, along with fitness and therapy pools. “Although concrete remains one of the main ‘go to’ materials for pool builders, it has a number of flaws that make it less than ideal for pool construction,” explains Wrightfield’s Mark Watson. “We use concrete for its cost-effective load bearing properties, providing a solid foundation to build from, rather than a material to form a pool shell,” Mark explains.

“Concrete on its own isn’t actually watertight; and can be difficult to manage in large volumes, especially when using form work,” he adds. The correct placement of reinforcement bar and expansion joints are essential to the performance of the structure, and the risk of cracking during the curing process is high so needs careful management.

SEA LANES WAS CHOSEN by local planners for its potential to inject new life into an under-used part of Brighton.

Mark says: “The majority of pool construction is primarily a site operation, making it ‘field engineering’ with all the implications build tolerances, multiple deliveries and process congestion with supporting trades. This is without mentioning the weather, which can seriously hamper the concrete forming process. “The unique characteristics of stainless-steel pool shell, with factory-built components help overcome or minimise a lot of these issues.

“It will significantly reduce the build times, carbon footprint and site logistics, while providing better build accuracy, with a durable hygienic finish that will last decades. A stainless-steel shell will offer significant structural weight savings over a concrete shell, making it ideal for any elevated or roof top pools. Finishes are not limited to the raw silver of the stainless-steel material, epoxy adhesives will allow the application of tiled and stone finishes if desired.

Wrightfield teamed up with Advanced Pools of Worcestershire who took responsibility for specialist essential services such as pumps, filters and pipework, as well as water treatment. “All the equipment and materials were chosen for their performance, reliability and ease of maintenance,” explains Matt Hogg of Advanced Pools Services. “Maintenance always seems to be an after-thought with many installations and access to certain parts of plant are so often compromised.

SEA LANES WILL MEET THE DEMANDS of creating a major seaside attraction for Brighton.

Not so with Sea Lanes, everything is positioned with future access in mind.” Matt and his team opted for AstralPool UK for its pumps and filters and a Bowman for boosting temperature. Chemical treatment composes of a Granudos 45 dosing system, controlled by a Bayrol Analyt. Matt continues: “There are a number of Dryden Aqua products on site. The filters are charged with AFM, which is a fantastic media giving outstanding results and real long-term savings for the end user.

“We have Dryden’s APF as flocculant to pair with the AFM media and we have added an Active Catalytic Oxidiser which is dosed automatically each week.” The pool will be heated all year round between 15 and 19 degrees by a combination of heaters and solar panels. Currently Brighton has a major shortfall in swimming pool provisions currently only reaching 44 per cent of the Government’s target.

Open water swimming has not only seen a spectacular 20 per cent annual growth since the 2012 London Olympics but also an explosion in participation from the recent pandemic. Sea Lanes was chosen by local planners for its potential to inject new life into an under-used part of Brighton.

HOME GROWN WRIGHTFIELD POOLS beat off strong foreign competition to win the contract for the stainless- steel pool

The pool is the UK’s first privately funded but publicly accessible 50m heated pool and is being operated by South Down’s Leisure with over 1250 members sign up to date. The pool will also be open to members of the public on a pay-per-swim basis.

“Sea Lanes captures the spirit of Brighton & Hove,” says Joe McNulty Sea Lanes Brighton Director. “We have a 21st Century design, using the latest construction technology, with an acknowledgement of Brighton’s 19th Century heritage when it was synonymous with swimming and wellbeing.

“Sea Lanes will meet the demands of creating a seaside attraction, supporting swimming provisions and providing a hub for all open water swimmers in the region and further afield. “The focus of the pool is for training and coaching, and it will act as a stepping-stone to facilitate swimmers and all water users to gain the skill, confidence and technique to start accessing the sea, both safely and enjoyably.”

Advanced Pool Services
Tel. 01527 962028

Wrightfield Pools
Tel. 01379 872800