February 2012 AQUA Choice Winner

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photo of Valley Pool and Spa project
photo of Valley Pool and Spa project
The natatorium exterior is stone, stucco, and wood shingles, deftly applied to make the extension seem a natural outcropping of the existing home

Be honest, on a snowy winter's day in Massachusetts is there anyplace you'd rather be than sitting poolside in this marvelous aquatic space adorned with exposed vertical-grained Douglas fir beams and wholesale quantities of natural light?

That's pretty much how the judges saw it, too.

This inviting enclosure is the work of Combined Energy Systems, a company that specializes in the designing, building and maintaining of indoor swimming pool and spa facilities in Littleton, Mass.

The residential natatorium is approximately 33 feet wide and 64 feet long, with a 15- by 13-foot connecting link to the main house. There is also a large second floor meditation/exercise room and a mechanical/equipment room below.

Bluestone decking and coping surround the 16- by 40-foot pool and spa, while a built in swim machine provides further opportunities for exercise and play. Six laminar water jets offer a colored light show, especially impressive after dark.

The natatorium exterior is stone, stucco, and wood shingles, deftly applied to make the extension seem a natural outcropping of the existing home.

Energy efficiency

While aesthetics were obviously important in construction of the natatorium, safety and energy efficiency were paramount in the design, as well, notes Steve Pittman, president, Combined Energy Systems.

"The structure is super-insulated from the ground up and keeps the energy bills under control with the use of 97-percent-efficient condensing boilers and geothermal technology," he says.

The mechanical system keeps the humidity and temperature optimized with conditioned air being distributed through a duct system located below floor level. Meanwhile, the pool and spa are kept covered while not in use with an automatic safety cover ā€” essential equipment for energy savings.

"This extraordinary structure took a little over a year to build and has become the focal point for family entertainment, exercise, relaxation, and just plain fun," Pittman says.

Comments or thoughts on this article? Please e-mail [email protected].

Combined Energy Systems

Project location: Littleton, Mass.Category: Concrete Pool orPool/Spa Combination

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