Swimming pools

Advice on the design and construction of swimming pools, changing rooms, and other accommodation

Our guidance includes an audit checklist, case studies, and advice on capital and lifecycle costs.

The previous guide on the design and construction of swimming pools has been updated and reformatted (2013) for easier reading.

Download our swimming pool design guide

The principles of good swimming pool design are covered in a shorter main document and more detailed matters are now in separate appendices:

  • Appendix 1: Pool types and technical design issues
  • Appendix 2: Servicing the building
  • Appendix 3: Construction and specification considerations
  • Appendix 4: Improvements and alterations to existing swimming pools
  • Appendix 5: Further information

New items include the additional notes on changing room calculations in the main document, and additional diagrams on ASA FINA certification for competition pools in Appendix 1.

Also, the advice on low/zero carbon techniques, reduced water consumption, and references to PWTAG standards have been updated in Appendix 2.

Further information

Our Swimming Pools Audit Checklist (2011) is available to download and helps you to review swimming pool projects during development. the checklist is applicable to both new and refurbishment projects, as referred to in the swimming pools design guidance note.

  • Affordable community pools

This new information is intended for the early briefing and design stages of swimming pool projects. It is an essential reference for new community swimming projects or where the rationalisation of the existing swimming pool stock is being considered.

The document has a particular focus on the ‘affordability’ and ‘future financial sustainability’ of swimming pools but at the same time it illustrates how new projects can meet a full range of community needs and comply with best practice standards.

  • Drowning detection systems 

The note discusses the key issues, pros and cons of the available systems, along with available legislation and advice.

  • Cost guidance

A list of facility and lifecycle costs for the development of community sports based on providing good quality sports facilities.

The most frequently asked questions relating to the planning, design, construction and maintenance of swimming pools.

For enquiries regarding specific sports, we also recommend contacting the appropriate national governing body of the sport.

Case Studies

A number of swimming pool case studies can be found in the document carousel below.

Examples include Clapham Leisure Centre, completed in 2012, which now has a six-lane 25m pool (with boom and movable floor), secondary pool (with movable floor), spectator seating, four-court sports hall, fitness suite, exercise studios, junior climbing wall, and café.

The facility forms part of a wider regeneration scheme that includes a new library and residential developments.