Edmonton’s Royal Glenora Club sports new pool with OpenAire retractable enclosure
The Royal Glenora Club, one of Alberta’s most exclusive private clubs, has just completed a major expansion. The piece de resistance is an impressive aquatic facility with a retractable glass OpenAire enclosure. When the roof is open in Edmonton’s short, sunny summers, members can enjoy an outdoor swim in a fresh, inviting environment. In the long winter months, they get the benefit of an airy, light-filled space with clear views of the surrounding river valley, giving the impression of outdoor swimming – without any worries about cold winds, rain or snow.
“People want to swim in bright, open environments,” says Mark Albertine, President, OpenAire. “Having an OpenAire retractable pool enclosure is just like swimming outside. When it’s closed, you can look up and see the sky, and enjoy the views outside, even in the winter. And in the summer, when the roof opens up, you actually ARE outside, with the sun shining in and the breeze on your skin. There’s nothing quite like it – the members at the Royal Glenora are very excited about the new pool.”
The new facility has replaced an outdated outdoor pool – which had limited value for members because it could only be used for a couple of months every year. The old pool was torn out, and two new ones – a lap pool and a shallow, child-friendly pool – were constructed in its place. OpenAire designed, manufactured and installed the 82 ft wide, 175 ft long and 24 ft high retractable enclosure for the two pools. Installing the retractable structure and tying it in to the existing buildings required OpenAire to work in conjunction with the architect and general contractor, Clark Builders. OpenAire joined the high-profile project through the recommendation of Brinsmead Ziola Kennedy Architecture, the firm that designed the Royal Glenora expansion.
The idea of having a glass structure in Edmonton’s cold climate was initially met with skepticism. The concern was that heating costs would end up being prohibitive. To allay the Club’s concerns, OpenAire commissioned an energy analysis comparing an OpenAire building to conventional construction. The results, independently verified by the club’s own engineers, showed that even in northern Alberta, the combination of solar gain, natural light and natural ventilation would provide superior energy performance.