Swimming Pools / Leisure / Aquatics / Spas / Health
Issue 123â&#x20AC;&#x192; April/May 2019
Spas doing swimmingly Swimspas trending upward
Saving energy While heating aquatic centres Welcoming water In residential highrise Swimming naturally With dragonflies and birds
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Published by The Intermedia Group Pty Ltd ABN 940 025 83 682 41 Bridge Road, Glebe, NSW, 2037 Australia Ph: (02) 9660 2113 Fax: (02) 9660 4419 On behalf of The Swimming Pool & Spa Association of Australia Ltd (SPASA Australia) Publisher: Simon Cooper Managing Editor: Chris Maher Phone: 0412 048 639 Email: email@example.com
Advertising Manager: David Stennett Phone: 0404 725 554 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A new look for the spa market
Senior Designer: Chris Papaspiros
This issue has spas front and centre.
Production Manager: Jacqui Cooper
Spas are often seen as the junior partner in the pool and spa industry, but there is much to like about these warm, energetic bodies of water. They straddle the luxury, wellness and fitness categories and Australian and New Zealand home owners are increasingly happy to spend more money for a quality product.
Contributors: Ros Ronning, Adrian Lacy, David Lloyd
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Disclaimer: This publication is published by The Intermedia Group Pty Ltd (the “Publisher”) on behalf of SPASA Australia. Materials in this publication have been created by a variety of different entities and, to the extent permitted by law, the Publisher accepts no liability for materials created by others. All materials should be considered protected by Australian and international intellectual property laws. Unless you are authorised by law or the copyright owner to do so, you may not copy any of the materials. The mention of a product or service, person or company in this publication does not indicate the Publisher’s endorsement. The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Publisher, its agents, company officers or employees. Any use of the information contained in this publication is at the sole risk of the person using that information. The user should make independent enquiries as to the accuracy of the information before relying on that information. All express or implied terms, conditions, warranties, statements, assurances and representations in relation to the Publisher, its publications and its services are expressly excluded save for those conditions and warranties which must be implied under the laws of any State of Australia or the provisions of Division 2 of Part V of the Trade Practices Act 1974 and any statutory modification or re-enactment thereof. To the extent permitted by law, the Publisher will not be liable for any damages including special, exemplary, punitive or consequential damages (including but not limited to economic loss or loss of profit or revenue or loss of opportunity) or indirect loss or damage of any kind arising in contract, tort or otherwise, even if advised of the possibility of such loss of profits or damages. While we use our best endeavours to ensure accuracy of the materials we create, to the extent permitted by law, the Publisher excludes all liability for loss resulting from any inaccuracies or false or misleading statements that may appear in this publication.
After talking with some of the key players in the local spa market we found some interesting factors leading to a boost in the spa market – if not in total number of unit sales, then at least in dollar value. Wellness is one of those important selling points, as consumers are beginning to focus more on their health and vitality and want the opportunity to bring wellness into their property, offering convenience, comfort and a healthy lifestyle.
Chris Maher Managing Editor chrismaher@ intermedia.com.au
The other important factor is the rise of swimspas. This too is related to wellness – and also fitness – and is partly built on the decreasing size of housing blocks. When you can’t have a pool, you might still be able to fit a swimspa onto your property. We also discover there are a number of exciting innovations in that segment, especially relating to swim jets and swim turbines.
Full page ad
It’s appropriate that as a spa issue, this edition of the magazine is getting extra distribution in New Zealand through the Pool, Spa and Outdoor Living Expo held at the ASB Auckland Showgrounds on May 3 to 5. It’s appropriate because New Zealand is probably the biggest spa market in the world, per capita, and it’s well known how much spas are valued across the Tasman. I’d like to finish by offering the heartfelt condolences from everyone at SPLASH! to our friends in New Zealand, and particularly in Christchurch, who are suffering through yet another tragedy. We wish them the strength to see them through this troubling time.
This issue of SPLASH! magazine published by The Intermedia Group Pty Ltd (Intermedia) may contain magazine or subscription; offers, competitions, forms and surveys (Reader Offers) which require you to provide information about yourself, if you choose to enter or take part in them. If you provide information about yourself to Intermedia, Intermedia will use this information to provide you with the products of services you have requested and may supply your information to contractors that help Intermedia to do this. Intermedia will also use your information to inform you of other Intermedia publications, products, services and events. Intermedia may give your information to organisations that are providing special prizes or offers that are clearly associated with the Reader Offer. Unless you tell us not to, we may give your information to other organisations that may use it to inform you about other products, services or events or to give it to other organisations that may use it for this purpose. If you would like to gain access to the information Intermedia holds about you, please contact Intermedia’s Privacy Officer at The Intermedia Group Pty Ltd, PO Box 55, Glebe, NSW 2037. Copyright © 2019 - SPASA Australia.
SPLASH! contains NO advertorial. Proudly supported by
This issue’s cover
Swimming Pools / Leisure / Aquatics / Spas / Health
The views expressed in this magazine do not necessarily represent those of the above supporters, nor should any product advertised in SPLASH! magazine be seen to be endorsed by the above.
Spas doing swimmingly Swimspas trending upward
Cover shows the Fastlane swimspa, one of the innovations driving the segment. There is more on spas and swimspas on page 30.
Saving energy While heating aquatic centres Welcoming water In residential highrise Swimming naturally With dragonflies and birds
April/May 2019 SPLASH! 7
Welcoming water in residential highrise Celebrated Sydney architect Koichi Takada explains the importance of water in his highrise residential designs, and talks about the evolution of architecture in our changing cityscapes.
leaders adopt, and offers a strong dose of reality to address the behaviours and make your business healthy again.
Joint report on Victorian public pools This broad snapshot of the industry is intended to enable better tracking and comparison of key metrics such as industry size, breadth and social/economic value and improve analysis, evaluation and decision making.
Old hands create new supplier model Long-time pool and spa industry leader Peter Wallace has started up a new business, based on supplying a niche range of reliable, inexpensive and connectable products.
Spa market going swimmingly SPLASH! spoke with some of the key players in the local spa market and found that wellness is becoming an important selling point, and that swimspas are starting to take the market by storm – with a number of exciting innovations in that segment.
New concept provides economical aquatic centre heating and cooling Renewable energy consultant Derek Harbison offers a combined heating and cooling idea that is new to Australian aquatic centres, but offers the potential for immense energy savings.
Heat recovery supplies “free” energy for aquatic centre The Warwick Aquatic Centre in Queensland benefited from replacing its existing heating system with new efficient pool heating, heat recovery and air handling systems.
Swimming with birds and dragonflies The challenge for English couple Kate and Ben Brown was to create a swimming pool that complements the natural environment of their idyllic Oxfordshire property.
Avoiding workplace conflict Lize Van der Watt explains what causes conflict in the workplace, and offers practical steps on how to catch it early and avoid it damaging your business.
Avoid the nine dysfunctional leadership behaviours Women in Leadership keynote speaker Ros Ronning outlines the dysfunctional behaviours
regulars News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Commercial news . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
Pool DAs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
New products. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Ad index. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
April/May 2019 SPLASH! 9
He says the investment is a positive announcement that has been in the works for some time. “This investment will ensure Poolrite and Evolve have the equipment, resources and funding to grow well into the future,” he says.
Dale Collins, who will be MD of Poolrite when it becomes a standalone entity
Poolrite to stand alone
Hermans says that the deal will enable Poolrite to establish itself as a new standalone entity in the near future. “This will allow it to build a strong team headed up by Dale
A portion of the investment will see Evolve upgrade nearly half of their facility with brand-new world class injection moulding machines, new robots, and a new facility-wide chiller system installed to increase the factory’s capacity and further improve quality. The new equipment will start to arrive as early as May and will be commissioned in Brisbane in July/August. “The new equipment cannot arrive quickly enough as we have been aggressively growing the
Evolve specialises in designing and manufacturing high quality products in Australia which Hermans says is more cost effective than in China or other overseas countries. In the pool industry sector they manufacture and distribute the Poolrite brand of equipment
Multi-million dollar investment in Evolve and Poolrite’s Australian facility The Evolve Group has completed a multimillion-dollar investment deal partnering with an unnamed private investment firm which will enable Evolve and Poolrite to continue their aggressive growth trajectory and grow their Australian manufacturing facility. Last year Evolve sought investment, then decided to sell the entire operation. But now, Evolve managing director Ty Hermans says the private equity offer enables them to bring in a minority shareholder who can invest enough for them to drive growth where it is needed. “The investors saw an opportunity to get behind Evolve and our huge pipeline of new 10 SPLASH! April/May 2019
design and manufacturing work which will more than double the size of the group in the next few years,” he says. Hermans says that initially they considered separate investment in Poolrite, however the idea of combining the two under one investment made sense, giving both companies the ammunition they need to continue to grow. Evolve specialises in designing and manufacturing high quality products in Australia which Hermans says is more cost effective than in China or other overseas countries. In the pool industry sector they manufacture and distribute the Poolrite brand of equipment.
Collins with a sole focus on the pool industry, customer service and delivering an iconic Australianmade brand to the market.” He says this will significantly improve the Poolrite offering and has been a long time coming. “For us it is important that Poolrite be able to build its own identity independently from Evolve and really focus on the industry and its customers,” he says. “Evolve has been growing so rapidly and has taken so much of our focus, attention and resources, Poolrite has no doubt suffered – this investment changes all of that and Dale and I are really excited about where he will take Poolrite in the coming years.” Poolrite has partnered with an Australian chlorinator manufacturer to re-launch its Enduro range along with the “S” Series mineral system with pH control to deliver a complete range of units available for order later this month. Hermans says the Revive multimineral blend and skimmer box released in 2018 have been very successful products along with Diamond Kleen, further adding to the core range of SQ and Enduro pumps and filters.
plastics and composites business and are currently running 24/7 at above 85 per cent capacity just to keep up with demand,” says Hermans.
Factory run on solar power
The next stage of investment will see a 650kW solar system and a recycling plant installed to enable Evolve to reduce their power consumption and also recycle plastic waste materials onsite at their Brisbane facility. Hermans says this will further establish Evolve as a world class leader in the field of product design and manufacturing with a focus on the circular economy, while supporting recycling and reuse of raw materials. “As a group, Evolve and Poolrite appreciate all of our customers’ ongoing support and patience over the years. The hard work begins now and over the coming few months while the new structure is established, machines commissioned and we start to drastically improve our capacity, DIFOT and overall level of customer service,” he says.
The event will be raising funds for Women’s Legal Service Queensland 500
Apr May Jun
Dec Jan Feb Mar
Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar
The available three-monthly pool DA numbers for Januaryto-March show the quarter up by 10 per cent compared to the same period last year, largely on the back of a boost from Queensland. Over the three months, Queensland was up 64 per cent and Victoria was up 14 per cent, while New South Wales held basically steady (down one per cent) while South Australia (-12 per cent) and Western Australia (-26 per cent) were noticeably down.
Yearly comparison by month
The annual figures comparing the 12 months to March showed a three per cent improvement, with Victoria up 22 per cent, South Australia up 10 per cent and Queensland up two per cent, while New South Wales was down four per cent and Western Australia was down 12 per cent.
3000 1000 2000 500
Apr May Jun
Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar
Yearly comparison by State
In April, AIS CEO Elena Gosse, called upon her Russian heritage and former entertainment career to host a Russian Extravaganza in Brisbane. The fundraising evening featured popular Russian music, traditional Russian food and beverages, games and prizes including a $1000 diamond cluster pendant kindly donated by Xennox Diamonds. The event was in support of women and children experiencing domestic and family violence. Entertainment included Gosse as a singing CEO, operatic singer and vocal coach Lisa Lockland-Bell, and virtuoso-violinist Nikolay Dioumine. Raffles and door prizes totalling tens of thousands of dollars in value were on offer including “Russian Roulette” red and black vodka tasting, a “guess the number of diamonds” competition, a prize wheel with luxury items and Celebrity Corner where guests could feel like royalty and be photographed wearing a tiara worth over $20,000. The extravaganza is part of Gosse’s fundraising efforts for Dancing CEOs, an annual event held each May which sees leading Brisbane CEOs dance and compete while raising funds for Women’s Legal Service Queensland which provides free legal and social work assistance to women experiencing domestic violence, complex family law and sexual assault matters in Queensland. This year Gosse is targeting an ambitious fundraising tally of more than $70,000, after winning the Community Awareness Champion Award in 2016 by raising $23,000. She has a personal reason to be involved. “While many people know me as the successful CEO of one of Australia’s most innovative companies, they are unaware that I am also a survivor of domestic andYear family old violence,” she says. Year new “I believe that 2000 domestic and family violence is everyone’s business and we must work together as a community to ensure it is stopped.” In all, $17,0001500 worth of prizes will be offered by Gosse as part of her fundraising activities in the lead up to Dancing CEOs on May 17, 2019.
Quarter up 10 per cent
Russian extravaganza helps fight domestic violence
Year new 7000
7000 6000 5000 4000 3000 2000 1000 0
While these figures give an indication of the way the market is trending, they are not comprehensive and don’t include all pools built or even all DAs lodged. By some estimates, the total national numbers including all types of pools could be almost double these figures. They do not include pool projects that are approved as part of a new home, smaller projects under the cost threshold, renovations that don’t require a DA, or some aboveground pools. Additionally, not all councils are forthcoming with data or report on time; councils in some states such as Queensland and Victoria are particularly reluctant. For further information, call Cordell Information on 1800 80 60 60.
April/May 2019 SPLASH! 11
Million dollars offered with Zodiac consumer campaign chance to pick up the envelope containing the six-figure cheque.
of which held the keys to a brand-new lifestyle. The rest held $5000.
Unfortunately for Rob and his family, he was unsuccessful in selecting the $1,000,000 envelope but was nonetheless happy to be spending the weekend in Sydney and returning home $5000 richer.
Soon after, the Zodiac team and all six finalists made their way to a private function room for the nerve-racking main event.
Rob Clear from New Zealand with the chosen envelope Zodiac has just completed its three-month long Hello Summer promotional campaign which offered six consumers the chance to win an amazing million dollar prize. Five lucky contestants were selected from Australia and one from New Zealand and were flown to Sydney for an allexpenses-paid weekend away with an opportunity to make it the best weekend of their lives. They gathered at the Star Casino on February 22 for a chance to walk away with a life-changing $1,000,000.
“We had a fantastic time meeting the finalists and getting to know them in the lead up to the anticipated grand-prize draw,” says Zodiac marketing director, Jonas Ryberg. “We had an overwhelming number of competition registrations, and for a good reason – a million dollars is an unbelievable prize, and where better to win big than the stunning Star Casino!” The contestants and Zodiac team arrived at the function room in high spirits, despite staring down the intimidating spread of 250 envelopes, one
Ryberg commented on the considerable success of the campaign as it achieved Zodiac’s proposed marketing objectives with time to spare, saying the results will likely influence future promotions, giving more pool and spa owners the chance to win remarkable prizes in the future. “The Zodiac team wishes to thank all those who registered, with a huge thank you to the contestants for their enthusiasm and unwavering sportsmanship on the night. It was a great campaign and an even better event, and the Zodiac team look forward to running exciting new campaigns like this one in seasons to come,” he says.
Jonathan Rainbow was the finalist for New South Wales, Sharon Dunkinson for Victoria/Tasmania, Chong Chew for South Australia, Richard Lewis for Queensland, Natasha Thies for Western Australia/ Northern Territory and Rob Clear for New Zealand. Members of the Zodiac team accompanied the six contestants and their families to a prestigious suite for complimentary drinks and finger-food, where the lucky visitors from New Zealand, Rob Clear and family were chosen at random by an adjudicator to be given the
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The intimidating spread of 250 envelopes
Top five online news stories
The online stories that made the news over the past two months.
Waterco dramatically bolsters its water treatment business
Pool and spa heating sector agrees on standard reviews
Multi-million dollar manufacturing investment in Poolrite
Swim centre fined $150,000 after diving accident
Hot summer brings record leads for pool service franchisor
Waterco added new team members and an expanded product line for its commercial water treatment business.
Industry leaders agreed to formulate consumer fact sheets and undertake revisions and new drafts of pool and spa heating standards.
Evolve completed a multimillion-dollar investment deal to grow Evolve and Poolrite’s Australian manufacturing facility.
A 2016 diving accident that left a student wheelchair bound for life has now seen the swim centre owners fined $150,000.
After a late start to the season, Jim’s Pool Care received a record number of customer leads across Australia.
12 SPLASH! April/May 2019
Upcoming events 2019 May 3-5
ew Zealand Pool Spa and Outdoor Living N Expo, ASB Showgrounds, Auckland
Asia Pool & Spa Expo 2019, Guangzhou, China
AALARA Conference, The Star Gold Coast
Chris Dorrity Memorial Golf Day, Keysborough
Queensland Pool Spa & Outdoor Living Expo
SPASA Golf Day SA
Queensland Awards of Excellence
South Australian Awards of Excellence
ARI Conference Peppers Craigieburn
he Landscape Show, Mooney T Valley Racecourse, Melbourne
NSW/ACT Awards of Excellence
Victoria Awards of Excellence
SPASA Golf Day Queensland
Australian Swim Schools Conference, Cairns
PASA Leadership Convention, S Adelaide Hilton
National Awards Gala, Adelaide Hilton
SPASA Bob Stanley Memorial Golf Day NSW
Piscina, Barcelona, Spain
orld Aquatic Health Conference, W Williamsburg, Virginia, USA
Aquanale, Cologne, Germany
I nternational Pool Spa Patio Expo, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
FSB, Cologne, Germany
SETT, Montpellier, France
Japan Build, Tokyo
2020 Jan 13-17
I nternational Swim Schools Spectacular 2020, Singapore
PLASH! Pool & Spa Trade Show, Gold S Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre
More details at splashmagazine.com.au. Dates are subject to change and should be checked with the relevant organisation. Send calendar submissions to email@example.com.
April/May 2019 SPLASH! 13 Meneral Ozone w=90mm x h=270mm.indd 1
4/5/19 11:42 AM
Adelaide show builds on success
In Brief Keshia Sant has joined the SPASA Australia team as administration and membership co-ordinator, based in the NSW office. Sant brings more than four years administration experience to the industry, having previously been an executive assistant and office manager for a global consultancy firm, and she has an extensive background in administration and customer service. She is excited to be a part of the SPASA team and can be reached on 1300 021 482 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Poolwerx COO Andrew Kidd has been named one of the top 30 franchise executives in Australia by Inside Franchise Business. Poolwerx CEO John O’Brien also says Poolwerx has just recorded its biggest summer season in the history of the franchise. In February a Queensland worker was fatally crushed by skid steer loader. WHSQ says that early investigations indicate the safety prop was not engaged to ensure the bucket arms could not be lowered. The worker inadvertently activated the controls and was crushed by the arms. It appears the mechanisms which enable the hand controls to be isolated were inoperative due to general wear and tear on the machine. Investigations are continuing. WHSQ says a person conducting a business must ensure all plant is safe and inspected by a competent person in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations.
14 SPLASH! April/May 2019
The recent Pool Spa & Outdoor Living Expo in Adelaide built on the success of last year’s event, with SPASA saying they received extremely positive feedback from exhibitors. The challenging economic climate in South Australia did little to curb the enthusiasm of buyers with visitor presence increasing and excellent leads and sales reported. Surveys showed more than a third of visitors attended to source concrete pools, nearly half of the visitors were interested in fibreglass pools and 35 per cent were looking for spas. The expo grew significantly over the prior year with 51 companies represented at this year’s event. Exhibitors reported that many of the customers were well informed and were very keen to learn more about the latest technology. Lindsay McGrath, CEO of SPASA Australia says he was delighted with the success of the event and praised show manager AEE for revitalising the expo over the past two years. “Consumer feedback has clearly demanded they are
looking for more choice in equipment, concrete pool builders, outdoor products and landscaping. SPASA will continue to promote and expand the expo to meet the consumer demand in 2020,” he says. A series of free seminars were held on the show floor, with visitors hearing from industry experts on pool and spa selection, new technology and landscape design. The next Pool Spa & Outdoor Living Expo will take place in Brisbane on May 25 and 26.
Nearly half of the visitors were interested in fibreglass pools
Customers appeared to be well informed and keen to learn more
Perth draws increased crowd Visitors were greeted by a 300sqm garden display
people were wanting to add a spa or a pool or create their very own ultimate backyard. “It is no secret that the Western Australian economy has struggled over the past four years, thus impacting discretionary spending. However the vibe and confidence shown by consumers who attended the expo is a positive sign for our industry and the greater economy of WA.” Visitors were greeted by The Garden Lane, a 300sqm garden display designed and built by the award-winning team at Landscapes WA.
The March edition of Perth’s Pool Spa & Outdoor Living Expo has been judged a success by exhibitors and consumers, says SPASA WA’s Bryce Steele. He says there was an increased attendance compared to the same show last year, and more
He says the expo was the perfect opportunity for prospective purchasers to meet industry experts and take advantage of fantastic specials from exhibiting companies. Thanking major sponsor Freedom Pools he says they are already looking forward to the next Perth expo on September 7 and 8.
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Tom Boadle with the new Suntube II rigid solar pool heating panel
Sunbather invests as solar demand grows Sunbather CEO Tom Boadle says he has never felt more positive about the future of the pool and spa industry, and has backed that optimism by increasing manufacturing and warehouse space and investing in new product development. “We’re manufacturing more solar heating than we ever have before, our pool cover business is growing considerably, the commercial sector is screaming for more energy efficient products, and SPASA is getting involved in energy regulation and trying to make the industry a bit more sustainable moving forward,” says Boadle. “I’ve personally never been more positive and upbeat about our industry. Firstly, our Downunder pool cover side of the business is growing quickly – largely driven by the consumer demand of wanting to put pool covers underground,” he says. “It’s no secret people, if they have a choice, don’t want to look at their pool cover, so we’ve given them an option to put them underground. From a consumer and an architectural perspective that’s leading to significant growth – hence we’ve almost completed a new manufacturing facility and an extension of our warehousing for Downunder production, to handle the growth and meet our expectations moving into the future.” Sunbather has also been heavily involved in the design of a new rigid solar panel, the Suntube II panel “Suntube II is an Australianmade rigid solar pool heating 16 SPLASH! April/May 2019
panel, built in the manufacturing facility of a newly formed company called Aspire Polymers. Sunbather has been heavily involved in the design of the product based on our 45 year history and more recently, 15 years of understanding the US and European market. Our input has been pivotal in assisting with the manufacturing of what is now the best solar pool heating panel in the world.”
Commercial pool heating bills
He also says the commercial side of the business is growing rapidly. “We walk into commercial swimming pool centres where their pool heating bills – not the whole power bill, just the pool heating bill – is a quarter of a million dollars in gas or electricity. They’re screaming for answers. That type of number is the difference between being profitable or not profitable. So we go in and by installing renewable heating sources and conserving the energy, we’ll get that $250,000 bill down to $70,000 – we’re cutting it down to less than a third. And that’s why our commercial sector at the moment is really, really busy.” Director Simon Boadle adds that this situation has been exacerbated by the fact some councils have been on historic five and ten year long gas contracts. “Eventually the gas contract comes to an end, and they have to renegotiate with the suppliers,” he says. “And surprise, surprise, a 100 thousand dollar
bill suddenly becomes 300 thousand and the panic ensues.”
Tom Boadle says the same issues of energy and pool heating apply to domestic backyard pools, just on a smaller scale. “Eighty-five per cent of the pool’s energy requirement goes to heating the pool’s water,” he says. “So if we’re going to be serious about energy conservation in this industry, pool heating has to be top of the tree. That’s what we’re trying do, to bring this discussion forward, have the difficult conversations, educate people. We have the benefit of being around 45 years, and we understand the need for a sustainable industry.” Boadle believes the pool and spa industry needs some sort of regulatory intervention, much like the housing industry has had, because while it was painful to some degree it led to good outcomes. But the industry needs to get on the front foot and lead it or face more severe restrictions imposed by regulators. “Homes are built far more energy efficiently now. And that’s where the swimming pool industry should be in a decade’s time,” he says. “The meetings in Sydney were a great start, because SPASA is clearly under pressure from regulators to put this issue on the table. The industry has had a bit of a free run for a little while, and not been as responsible as we could be with energy. And it has its challenges when we have to
self-regulate, so I think some sort of external intervention will be necessary and from my position I’d support that. “As long as it’s intervention that’s properly informed. And that will be a challenge, because you’ve got different opinions, different motivations and different agendas. But as long as people can remain focussed on the one singular goal of how do we build a long term sustainable industry into the future, it can be successful. The moment we lose focus off that singular goal, we’ve lost our way. And if we start to argue over different products, we’ve lost our way,” he says. “Companies and industries learn to innovate to adapt and move forward. That’s where I’d love to see it going. Or we’re going to leave ourselves wide-open to severe regulatory intervention.” He says the mandating of covers for pools heated with fossil fuels in the final draft stage of the National Construction Code shows that industry bodies are recognising that swimming pools use a lot of energy. “These industry bodies that control energy and water are looking to make improvements and our industry is unfortunately a target, so we need to somehow work with them and the great thing for the industry is that, led by Spiros, SPASA Australia is doing the right thing and working with those industry bodies, instead of working against them or sticking our heads in the sand.”
Shoring up pool gates
The use of de-foaming products is the fastest and easiest way to remove foam from spa water, and when used correctly, you will often see the foam disappear in front of your eyes. Unfortunately, this is just a band-aid fix to the cause of the problem and with continued use you will often find the spa water becomes very dull and cloudy. Let’s look at the most common reason why spa water starts to foam, starting with organic build up in the water. This could be from several sources: build-up of body fats, sweat and cosmetics, as well as laundry detergents from swimming costumes. Using a non-chlorine oxidiser as a shock to remove these unwanted contaminates on a regular basis will assist in reducing the chance of foaming water. It is also as important to regularly test and balance the spa water, making sure that all parameters are in line with standards including the hardness of the water. The reason for this is that soft water always foams more easily than hard water. Make sure the filters are cleaned on a regular basis with a good filter cleaner and de-greaser. If after oxidising and balancing the water you find it still foams, drain the spa and refill it with fresh water to remove all the unwanted TDS, while taking the opportunity to clean the spa surface.
Contact: These tips are supplied by IQs’ David Lloyd. For more information call (02) 9774 5550.
18 SPLASH! April/May 2019
After a recent drowning of a young child in WA, the mother has lamented the fact that pool gates are not fitted with an audible alarm that would activate in the event of the gate failing to latch. In light of this, recently retired SPLASH! contributor Cal Stanley has searched through the statistics and his experience to make some observations about pool gates. “An analysis of coronial reports covering 20002015 indicate that 59 confirmed and an estimated actual 75 fatalities involved pool gates failing to latch, resulting in an average five fatalities per annum from this factor alone. It also equals 35 per cent of all pool fatalities under five years of age,” he says. “At previous and again during the current revision of AS1926.1 Swimming Pool Barriers, the pool gate which features so prominently in drowning statistics is ignored by the current and by previous members of the CS-34 Committee. “At the same time, many hours of work goes into costly changes to the boundary barrier when
those same coronial reports indicate only two fatal breaches of the boundary barrier in those same 15 years.” Stanley says the committee should have paid more attention to the issue of pool gates, but concedes he has been part of that committee for many years, so must share some of the blame. Stanley says it is well known that pool gates fail to close due to poor installation practices and poor maintenance, but mostly due to soil movement. “Yes, the ground we walk on every day is constantly moving.” He says the effect of soil movement can be mitigated with better installation practices, and cites the example of WA pool installations in clay or limestone which typically have a 300mm sand barrier between the pool and the clay or rock to help cushion the effect of soil movement. “While we cannot prevent soil movement we can mitigate its effect on a pool gate by ensuring that if, and more likely when, soil movement occurs that it will move the gate in its entirety by simply anchoring the gate ‘posts’ in one monolithic block of reinforced concrete. For glass barriers and gates that concrete should extend 300mm beyond the far end of each glass panel to which the gate is hinged and latches. “Why reinforced? Because if not, it will simply crack into several pieces and negate its intended purpose. “Is it worth looking at an alarm on the pool gate? I say, why not? I am sure it can be done and be effective as well,” he says.
No follow-up on unsafe pool before drowning An Adelaide backyard swimming pool was deemed unsafe by council inspector before a toddler’s drowning, a coronial inquest has heard. The court was told inspectors never followed up their safety concerns. Deputy state coroner Anthony Schapel is investigating the death of 19-month-old Crystal Trinh, who drowned in her aunt’s backyard swimming pool in January, 2016. Previously an inspection had found the swimming pool
needed a gate that would “self-close”. The court was told an inspector from the City of Salisbury Council assessed the swimming pool in November 2014 and deemed it non-compliant with safety regulations. The required changes included that all windows opening into the pool area had a maximum opening of 100mm and that a double gate needed to “selfclose” or have a latch 1.5 metres high. The court obtained records
appearing to show the council had not followed up on the pool. The inquest will look at how the City of Salisbury Council found the swimming pool non-compliant but failed to provide a date for the work to be completed. The property was also used for a childcare centre, and the court heard that since the drowning the education department and the council had made a number of changes to their policies. The inquest continues.
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Spa Tech Tips Over the coming months a number of spa specific or little known Australian Standard requirements will be addressed. Some of these are voluntary “best practice”, while others are mandatory and must be complied with.
DAB expanding its national sales network Italian specialist pump manufacturer, DAB, is gearing up its national sales network as it enhances its local presence. DAB is a 40-year-old company with more than 1500 staff globally and a turnover of more than $AU480 million. DAB pumps have been sold and serviced through distributors in Australia for about 30 years, and two years ago a sales office was set up in Melbourne, handling Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. This is the latest subsidiary to be established by the Italian company as part of its global expansion. Now the subsidiary is gearing up to expand into the local market. Christopher Connolly, DAB marketing specialist, says the brand is very big in Europe but is less well known in Australia. “A lot of our focus has been to get the brand out there, because it’s a reliable and trusted and a well-known brand in Europe, and we’re trying to do the same in Australia and New Zealand and the Pacific Islands,” he says. In Europe DAB is known across all industries, not just swimming pool pumps but also irrigation, industrial farming, commercial and residential building services. “Water boosting is big for DAB in Europe – water pressure and water movement for apartments and commercial buildings, sewage,
waste water, municipal water and mining,” he says. “In South Africa, the US and Australia, DAB is also big on irrigation with groundwater pumps and bore water pumps, and in warmer countries like the US, France, Spain, South Africa and Australia, swimming pool pumps are a big thing.”
Connolly says the pool segment is one of DAB’s top priorities in Australia. “We’ve put a lot of focus onto that. Considering the nature and climate of Australia and the pool market as a whole, because it’s quite large here and there’s a lot of potential. We also believe that we have something to offer, being pump specialists for many decades.” He believes DAB’s variable speed pumps feature technology that offers something new to the local market. “There are variable speed pumps out there,” he says. “But we think we have a very efficient, but also a very quiet pump. It’s one of a few water cooled pumps, where a lot of the pumps are currently fan-cooled. We have a water cooled motor which aids the efficiency and also makes it very quiet.” DAB’s signature pool pump is the E.Swim which currently go up to 1.5hp and will soon go up to 3hp.
“We also have fixed speed pumps which are fan-cooled but we try to make those very quiet as well, and people who have been replacing their pumps with ours have commented they have noticed a significant decrease in the noise. It’s a focus of our dedicated R&D department for the entire range.” He adds that the pumps are totally manufactured in Italy, even down to the techno-polymer casing and the electronic boards. “We’re focussing on all sectors – residential in terms of swimming pool market, but also commercial swimming pool pumps as well. In our other segments it’s everything from residential and commercial to industrial and farming. “We’re getting into solar technology as well, especially with irrigation, looking at bore pumps in remote regions or people who want to get off grid. And with our new solar products, we’re also focussing on getting our pool pumps solar powered, which is also a particular concern for more remote regions and communities in Western Australia. We have a variable speed controller that can convert solar energy to 3-phase power.” DAB is currently looking to substantially increase the number of sales staff nationally. Contact: christopher. email@example.com; 1300 378 677
The first will address a mandatory Standard in relation to electrical safety. As with all swimming pools, spas also need to meet equipotential bonding requirements. AS/NZS3000:2018 clause 220.127.116.11.5 states the requirement to bond all fixed conductive fittings exceeding 100mm in any dimension that are within “arms reach” of the edge of the spa, and in contact with the general mass of earth directly or indirectly. The definition of arms reach is 1.25m horizontally from the spa, and 2.5m above the top of the spa. Conductive fittings include fencing, handrails, spa cover lifters, gazebos, gutters, downpipes, etc. Of particular note here are cover lifters and handrails which are commonly used on portable spas. Many of these have designs incorporating a plate that slips under the spa in contact with the ground via a concrete slab or a wet timber deck. Such an installation requires a bond installed by an electrician in order to comply with this Standard. To read about the new one day Spa Service & Repairs course go to page 40. Contact: These tips are supplied by Adrian Lacy of Spatex. For more information call 1300 772 839.
April/May 2019 SPLASH! 21
Ladbrokes and a few other organisations to develop a whole new platform to drive business into the stores, almost trying to take on Australia Post.”
Customer is king
New CEO of SPASA Victoria, Chris Samartzis
New Victorian CEO sees consumer as key The new CEO of SPASA Victoria, Chris Samartzis, has a strong affinity with retail and small business, having guided the 140-year-old Victorian newsagency association VANA through a period of disruptive change, after owning three newsagencies himself. “One of the biggest issues we had to deal with was the enormous change of the retail newsagency industry over the past seven to ten years,” says Samartzis. “The internet was basically the industrial revolution for retail.” The Victorian newsagency industry had been tightly controlled by a newsagency 22 SPLASH! April/May 2019
council, but in the early 1990s deregulation let real estate brokers become involved in selling newsagencies and the council disbanded. “Then the internet hit town and as newspapers and magazines failed that changed the whole dynamics – at the time they were massive foot traffic drivers into these stores. So the newsagents had to transition and adapt to survive. Some didn’t manage to do that and had to close their doors, while others have transitioned into gift stores, coffee shops and kept components of their businesses like lotteries and post for example. We partnered up with Toll Holdings, TNT,
Samartzis sees similarities between the situation with VANA and what SPASA Victoria members face into the future, and that customers will be key. “In business these days, you really must think of the end consumer,” he says. “We’ve seen that through the Royal Commission into the banks, and those businesses that fail to understand that basic principle will ultimately lose market share and suffer. “The end consumer is the most important thing. Through that, when that end consumer decides to spend their money, the pool builder or the spa retailer eventually gets work and what we end up having is that a supplier sells a pump and a filter, and the retailer gets the business at the back end to service the pool or the spa and to provide the chemicals and after-sales service.” He also sees it as an exciting time, with renewed homeowner interest in their outdoor space and also in wellness. “The more we can do to plant seeds of wellness about the industry and the wonderful benefits of owning a pool and spa and their real estate value, the greater opportunity for the consumer to spend some money, then the whole industry benefits and grows. So that’s the key component of what associations and guardians of the industry should be doing – working at the higher level so that in front of the consumers’ eyes the industry is held in some esteem and continues to grow, and then the benefits flow down.”
Regulation and training He sees the main issues facing the Victorian industry in the near future as barriers and registration, and in the slightly longer term, training. “The regulatory impact statement on mandatory barrier inspections should come out in the middle of the year and we’ll be given a month or two
to respond to it and by maybe October or November we should have that regulation in place, then it’s up to the VBA to police that regulation.” He says that will be a great outcome not only for the safety of the community but for the industry as well, with threeyearly barrier inspections being put in place, although the ongoing shape and form will be determined by the VBA. Additionally, registration of trades was part of last year’s legislation, so some pool and spa trades may have to be registered with the VBA. “I, like others in the industry, would like to see clearer pathways for new entrants, so there are career pathways, and training will be a big part of this,” he says. “We already do some training but I imagine at some point in time the industry – especially in Victoria – will need to move to a more formalised training regime, whether that’s a Cert III or a Cert IV. And again, other organisations like SPASA Australia are working in that space so we too will try and jump on board, either with them or with others to try and deliver that when the time’s right. And I don’t think that’s right at this moment – Victoria’s probably still eighteen months to two years away but I suppose some groundwork will need to be done between now and then.” He has been impressed by the exciting, vibrant industry. “It’s wonderful to see a lot of businesses doing great work and I’m really impressed with the level of professionalism and the standard of work,” he says. “There’s a whole new industry developing out there around wellness and health benefits around design and outdoor and we’re in the middle of all this. We’re taking advantage of it and I can only see further growth. “If we can all just leave the place in a better condition than we found it, if we can all do that and just incrementally innovate as we go along, we all will have achieved something, and it’s all for the greater good,” he says.
Arc’s cave-like pool replicating the ribbed theme used on the towers’ roofs. The pool was built by Crystal Pools Photo Credit: Martin Siegner
in residential highrise
K Koichi Takada, principal of Sydney firm Koichi Takada Architects
oichi Takada, the principal of Sydney firm Koichi Takada Architects, is celebrated for his impact on Sydney’s skyline, having introduced organic nature-inspired forms into the highrise cityscape. Water plays an important part in his highrise residential designs, often making spectacular use of location and available views. One of the most recognisable of his designs is Skye in North Sydney, with its wet edge pool sitting atop the residential tower. His latest, also completed by Crown Group, is the Arc building in Kent Street. It is an impressive new 25-storey centrepiece in the CBD, with a curved ribcage rooftop contrasting a cityscape of otherwise box shaped buildings, and a cave-like swimming pool in a similarly ribbed lower floor.
“Water brings everyone together and creates an emotional response and an emotional experience.”
Both pools were built by Crystal Pools. His Arc design draws inspiration from the natural world, juxtaposing the masonry of early Sydney with the art deco forms of the 1930s. SPLASH! spoke with Takada and asked him about the importance of water in his highrise residential 24 SPLASH! April/May 2019
The Arc pool is designed to be a cosy, intimate meeting place, while exhibiting a modern style Photo Credit: Tom Ferguson
that was available to us. And we had different options of course, but we concluded it was good to have this intimate, cosy experience. Whether you’re exercising in the gym or you’ve just arrived and you just want to chill out. So bringing the element of water into this type of space really helps you to transition from a busy lifestyle in the city as you come home, or if you’ve just arrived from the airport and are checking into the hotel – there’s Skye Suites here – and the water just instantly calms you down. “And of course you can jump in and enjoy the pool in the morning or anytime, have a splash of water and it cools you down. Water has a great effect on people.”
designs, and about the evolution of architecture in our changing cityscapes.
Incorporating water elements
“We’ve done water everywhere,” says Koichi Takada. “Whether it’s a water feature or a pool, whether it’s underground or on top of the building. “For instance in North Sydney, on the project called Skye, we put the infinity pool on top of the building, so when you go to the rooftop, you see the water almost disappearing and floating on top of the skyline over North Sydney,” he says. Takada says this creates the illusion of the water cascading off the edge of the building. “And the water gives you very much a breathing space in the busy lifestyle we have in city living. And in this project, everybody comes up to the sky, the daylight, and then has their entertainment around the water. And if you’re up for it you can swim laps, or go into the water on hot days. So water brings everyone together and, in particular with the Skye project, creates an emotional response and an emotional experience.”
When asked about his favourite project, he says he doesn’t have one. “I don’t actually have a favourite project,” he says. “My next project is always my favourite project. We constantly try to improve. When we design a big project like this – we designed it four or five years ago. Today finally it is accomplished and has given birth to the architecture in the city – but to me this was very much designed five years ago. Today we are already more progressive in the way we are designing or thinking. So for us, we learn the lessons and try to keep constantly improving.” This building has won a number of awards, including winning the City of Sydney’s Design Excellence Competition. Takada says that when he started designing the building for the competition, he looked around at the existing buildings in the neighbourhood and found a series of boxes.
LEFT: The Arc pool is designed to be a cosy, intimate meeting place, while exhibiting a modern style Photo Credit: Tom Ferguson
MIDDLE:The roof also features water in the form of reflection ponds, helping calm residents as they relax on the rooftop and take in the views of Sydney Photo Credit: Tom Ferguson
BOTTOM: The Skye infinity pool has the illusion of the water cascading over the North Sydney skyline Photo Credit: Tom Ferguson
The pool cave
In the Arc project, Takada and his team approached the idea of the pool differently. “Normally we’d put the pool on the best location, to bring people up onto the rooftop or the podium, but in this instance we put it underneath the building,” he says. “This was very conscious decision-making because we wanted to draw people into the cave-like space April/May 2019 SPLASH! 25
The boxiness of the buildings, he says, was because they had to fit the box of restrictive regulations. “Today, regulations are so prescriptive,” he says. “So we don’t have a sense of freedom of expression. So we
“This was very conscious decision-making because we wanted to draw people into the cave-like space.” challenged that, we challenged that status quo of what other commercialised buildings would have done, to create something that becomes a point of difference; something that becomes a character. “Some people said this would change the face of Sydney – and maybe in a small way this can be the beginning of other big things to follow,” he says. “We want to create more character, we want to bring back traditional materiality, something that we’ve forgotten, the techniques of construction – anything that can celebrate the idea of humanising architecture, humanising spaces.” 26 SPLASH! April/May 2019
There are 59 arches used across the two towers. On average, each arch weighs two tonnes, while the four largest arches weigh four tonnes each Photo Credit: Tom Ferguson
He says he is trying to bring it back down to relate to human experience. “And I think the element of water – doing this cavelike pool – is part of that.”
Going out of the box
SPLASH! asked him about the importance of the city’s architectural history, and how best to preserve it in the face of its accelerating growth. He points out that, in urban developments, architects face the pressure of commercialisation. That in turn can lead to a cloning of similar urban landscapes. “It becomes a repetition of copy and paste boxes, and even the façade has that glass and metal look, and no character. Whether you go to Sydney or Tokyo or London or Paris, you look at the highrise and they all look the same. “So we looked at it and said, okay, how can we relate it to something that is more culturally specific, how can we make it site-specific. We looked to a traditional materiality in bricks – while also using some modern techniques – to express the intricate brick façade on the podium – and then the tower has a contrast of old and new. We used state-of-art technology to make it as thin as possible and as open as possible. So this is a great contrast, between the old way of looking at it versus the new futuristic architecture.
“And also the new way of using the computer to facilitate the cutting edge technology, to express in architectural language. So this building celebrates a bit of both,” he says. “And today I think we question – and I question personally – the effect of the past ten or twenty years of globalisation – we’ve forgotten the essence of where we belong. “So that’s something that we wanted to discover through architectural design, and just express it. We want to voice it, we don’t want to be hesitant. We want to think outside the box and push the boundaries of design and hopefully this will influence others and create a much bigger interactive society as a whole – and architecture will still be very much a part of the cultural proposition.” n
ABOVE: The metal arch fins were fabricated in Adelaide and transported to Sydney Photo Credit: Martin Siegner
LEFT: The infinity edge pool on top of Skye in North Sydney Photo Credit: Tom Ferguson
Contacts: Crown Group: www.crowngroup.com.au Crystal Pools: www.crystalpools.com.au Koichi Takada Architects: koichitakada.com
April/May 2019 SPLASH! 27
Peter Wallace at Insnrg’s Melbourne facility
Old hands, new model
fter starting Hurlcon from scratch before leading AstralPool Australia, Peter Wallace, a veteran of 37 years in the pool and spa industry, retired in 2016. Less than a year later, sitting on his ride-on mower in outer Melbourne and wondering what day of the week it was, he realised retirement was not for him. Soon after he got together with a couple of ex-colleagues to catch up over a beer and found they too were looking for something new. So over the next few months they developed a business plan with a very different model to their past experience. “We wanted to build products that eliminated the faults that existed in other brands, and hopefully build a product that is highly reliable, still had innovation in it, but is reasonably priced,” says Wallace. “And we want to make sure the customers value the relationship as much as we value them.” The result was Insnrg, pronounced “in synergy”. Over the next 15 months engineer Aaron Marshall and Wallace – with the help of a couple of other engineers – designed more than 4000 parts, mostly rapid prototypes. On the basis of those parts they developed tooling for 35 products. The range encompasses a full range of pumps (including variable speed), a full range of filters (sand, DE and cartridge), a full range of disinfection equipment (salt, dosing and sensing), heaters (gas and heat pumps) and automation and remote control systems to pull it all together. Over the following months the team came together starting with Wallace, Marshall, Duncan Smith and Craig Thompson, followed by Stuart Spillman, Roy Spotswood based in Brisbane, and Olympic gold medallist John Sieben, as well as Wallace’s daughter Veronica Neal. Many of these people had also worked at AstralPool, but Wallace is at pains to point out he didn’t poach anyone, and that many already had interim employers before starting with Insnrg.
A controlled business
Wallace says the idea was to have a controlled business, something they would love to come in to work for, but still have a good balance of family time and business time and time for yourself. 28 SPLASH! April/May 2019
Their aims were modest – aiming at an eventual market share of five per cent locally. “Some people might think we’re out there to be another AstralPool or Pentair, but that’s not our goal. We’re a niche manufacturer and a niche supplier in terms of how many customers we want. And that’s our goal because we don’t want to be doing 12 hours a day, 6 days a week again – not that we mind as a start-up business but you don’t want to do that for another ten years. “We’re never going to be the goliath they are, and we don’t want to be. It’s too hard, too much work.” They looked at where they could add value and realised there is only a small number of suppliers that can fill the equipment needs of builders and retailers as a package, with filtration, disinfection, heating and automation. “So the idea was let’s make sure we can do all of those things. There’s hundreds and hundreds of suppliers of pumps or filters or chlorinators, but they can’t put it all together and automate it together. And the dominant players do it very well, but also have huge market shares. And that’s where a whole lot of opportunities arise, by offering your customers some variation, and not just another ‘me too’.” Crucially, automation was the final piece to the puzzle. “Without the automation you’re very limited,” he says. “You need the automation to pull all that together to make it all talk to each other and give the homeowner the convenience of controlling it from their phone or iPad or computer.”
Manufacturing and outsourcing
Wallace says they manufacture more than most people think. “We manufacture chlorinators here, we assemble pumps here; we manufacture gas heaters here and assemble our cartridge filters here. The heat pumps and sand filters are the only things that we buy in completely manufactured. But we outsource as much manufacturing as we can using our tooling. Some is made in China but some in Melbourne, like the circuit boards.” He says they looked at a couple of models initially including manufacturing almost everything themselves, but decided against it in favour of outsourcing. “While that has advantages in low cost production, it also has high overheads. And for a business that’s very seasonal the danger is you’re either under capacity or over capacity.” They also outsource their warehousing to a quick-turnaround company that stocks the finished product, picks it, packs it and delivers it, with warehouses in Melbourne and Perth, and a small one in Brisbane and overnight delivery into Sydney and Adelaide, with New Zealand on the horizon. “Ideally we’d like to export 50 per cent of our sales, and our products are built with more of a focus on the export market than just the Australian market. For example we can easily adapt our products to hard wiring, which is needed for the export market.” Already they have between 300 and 350 active customers, though many are for small orders – trying out the products and being cautious to start with. Again, he is quick to point out that the customers have approached him and they haven’t made the initial approach to virtually any customer. He says that being small, they can quickly modify or improve a product. “Our goal is to have controlled growth and ensure that the products are going to satisfy our customers. We had a couple of early issues with a couple of products that we’ve since rectified and now feel we’re 98 per cent towards having a fault-free product line, not that we’ll ever stop trying to improve. “From that first conversation we had that’s still our goal – to make a perfect product that doesn’t give our customers any problems.” Contact: www.insnrg.com n
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ABOVE: This single zone swimspa was an award winner for Just Spas
30 SPLASH! April/May 2019
pas are often seen as the junior partner in the pool and spa industry, but there is much to like about these warm, energetic bodies of water. They straddle the luxury, wellness and fitness categories and Australian and New Zealand home owners are increasingly happy to spend more money for a quality product. In Australia, it is estimated there are about 11,000 spas installed each year, while the New Zealand market sees about half that number. That puts spa sales per year at approximately one per 2300 people in Australia and one per 800 people in New Zealand – making New Zealand possibly the largest spa market per capita in the world. SPLASH! spoke with some of the key players in the local spa market and found that wellness is becoming an important selling point, and that swimspas are starting to take the market by storm – with a number of exciting innovations in that segment.
Higher value sales
Spa Industries is the manufacturer and supplier of a number of popular brands including Signature Spas, Cyclone Spas, Designer Spas, Bullfrog Spas, Leisurerite Spas, Heritage Spas and Infinity Swim Spas. In Australia, their products are sold through the propriety Just Spas outlets, of which there are 65 spread around the country. Spa Industries has three manufacturing facilities, one in Hallam in Melbourne, one in Guangdong in China – established after the company was bought by Shengya Sanitary Ware in 2015 – and a facility recently set up in Takapuna, Auckland. CEO Rob Kruber says the Australian spa market has been slightly affected by the credit crunch. “My numbers for spas and swimspas sold in Australia per annum have always been about 12,000, from the statistics that we look at. And I reckon the market feels like it’s probably about ten percent down on last year,” says Kruber.
An award winning spa installation by Just Spas Wollongong
“Instead of buying a $10,000 spa they’re buying a $12,000 or $13,000 spa. So the overall dollar value has stayed similar or slightly better although the unit sales are down.” He believes the current credit restrictions are behind the slight decrease in unit sales. “Most of the spas we sell – probably 80 per cent – are cash, but people would have already organised their funding through their bank or have some sort of line of credit. But with property prices devaluing, or the thought of the home being worth less, they’re not spending as much money around the property. “But saying that – the value of the product we’ve been selling has been higher.” Kruber says the value of the average sale has been going up by about 15 per cent, so the unit numbers have dropped but the dollar value has gone up. “Instead of buying a $10,000 spa they’re buying a $12,000 or $13,000 spa. So the overall dollar value has stayed similar or slightly better although the unit sales are down.”
At eight metres, Spa Industries’ new Urban Pool is considerably longer than a traditional swimspa. It is seen here next to a four-metre spa
The New Zealand market
Spa Industries sells two ranges of products in New Zealand with the locally made and assembled product branded as Silver Spas. “We sell our Australian-made product and we have New Zealand manufacturing there. And the Australian-made product has stayed fairly stable over there, and we’ve been getting our growth – going from 0 to 500 units over the past 12 months – from the New Zealand manufactured product,” he says. “Our target over 12 months was to get to 500 units, and we reached that in our first year.” The sales model for Silver Spas is different to their usual retail model. “The first year we only sold through fairs,” says Kruber. “Fairs, field days, expos and home shows, selling to the end
The Urban Pool mould starts more like a swimming pool, with inserts added premoulding as needed. Here is it seen with straight step inserts
April/May 2019 SPLASH! 31
ABOVE: The Urban Pool shell completed with corner steps
32 SPLASH! April/May 2019
consumer direct. Now we’re going to start selling Australian manufacturing into spa shops. and export markets “We found out the events that worked and the ones Spa Industries manufactures about 4500 spas annually that we didn’t quite get the sales we were expecting. in Australia. So we went then to stores in those areas and signed “Everything we currently sell in the Australian them up to represent our products.” market is manufactured by us here,” says Kruber. Spa Industries manufacturing facility in Auckland is only “Most of the product manufactured in China is small – about 1000 square metres – operating on a very lean going to Europe, with some staying in Asia and some manufacturing and assembly model. While thermoforming going to America. Europe is up – the American of the shells and fibreglass reinforcing is carried out in market has been growing, but probably this year it’s Auckland, the other parts come from Australia. a little bit flat, but the European market has been “We’re growing by using our about 10 or buying 15 per cent “It would be nice to have the regulations power in every year. Australia,” It’s still quite relaxed a little to go back to lockable hard he says. a young covers. I think if installed correctly there “So market.” haven’t been any major incidents with lockable instead of He says shipping that even hard covers.” over 12 though the complete concept of spas in a spas was born container, we’re shipping 100 spas and parts and then in Europe, portable spas and hot tubs are really an assembling them. We thermoform over there, so we’re American lifestyle accessory and the US remains the manufacturing, but also assembling to keep costs down. biggest market. However, the European market is Labour is very similar between both markets and we’ve now starting to get a hold of that lifestyle as well. made a very efficient model to assemble over there, but “The US market for importing spas is very tight,” he says. the biggest saving is shipping of the product.” “Most of the product sold there is directly manufactured in Kruber estimates the total New Zealand market at America. So we’re only fractions of per cents over there and 5500 to 6000 units per annum. our market is still growing, as with Europe.” “So per capita, New Zealand is a very, very strong Spa Industries is currently planning a plant spa market.” relocation and consolidation to make it leaner, and
to follow some of the lead from the Chinese facility which has progressively introduced more automation, from fibreglass spraying machines to robotic drilling. The plant will be relocated under one roof by July this year, and then over the following six months more automation will be added. “We’re consolidating our plant here to be a smaller line that moves faster, then we’ll start to add a lot of robotics onto our line to get more consistency into our product,” he says. When complete, the redesigned facility will be capable of making about 7500 units.
The urban revolution
Previously, the biggest swimspa Spa Industries could build was six metres. Now they have installed an oven that can make an eight-metre product called the Urban Pool. Kruber says that while a swimspa is basically a “stretched spa”, the Urban Pool mould starts life as a clean square box – more like a pool – and inserts are put in as needed, such as spa jets and steps. He thinks this is the direction the Australian backyard is moving. “With smaller spaces, more restrictions on what you can put in the ground with easements and rock, and the way they’re carving up blocks, the consumer is now looking for alternatives. And the Urban Pool seems to fit with that. It is a solution for having a pool when you don’t have the space.” The Urban Pool can be installed aboveground or in the ground. It starts from about $15,000 up to about $40,000 for the fully loaded top-of-the-line eightmetre dual zone pool with a spa and a high-end swim system, plus installation. “We’ve designed our own eight-speed swim system with one of our control companies,” says Kruber. “It works like a ramping machine – so you can set your duration, and you can set your ramping speed up and your ramping speed down, and you’ve got a warm up and a cool down period, just like with a running machine in the gym. “Obviously you can’t see the speedo while you’re swimming, so the lights actually change colour from light green towards red as it gets faster.”
He says it is more like a training system than just a series of swim jets. “A lady I know purchased one for her daughter who was quite a good swimmer. She used to have to take her to the pool every morning for training– waking up every morning at five o’clock – but now she uses this in the backyard and absolutely loves it.” He says the top of the line has four jets, generating a nice strong swim, and that they had to experiment to get the right “column of water” flowing down the pool, and returning without causing turbulence. “We’re trying to get the right width and depth of the water. The right number of jets allows us to get the right pillar of water travelling down the swimspa correctly. If you’re too wide with your water, you won’t get the right return flow. And you can’t go too deep or you force the water to come back over the top – but if you go nice and shallow with it, the water actually comes down the bottom.”
TOP LEFT: Rob Kruber and Danielle Kellar at the Spa Industries’ Hallam manufacturing plant TOP RIGHT: Just Spas lifestyle showroom in Gepps Cross, Adelaide BOTTOM: More Just Spas lifestyle showrooms are being rolled out around the country, to provide a better shopping experience for consumers
Timber-free and suction-free
Other innovations they’ve been working on include the elimination of timber from some of their spa ranges and eliminating the suctions in the bottom of the footwells. April/May 2019 SPLASH! 33
Spa think tank A spa think tank was recently held in Melbourne, hosted by SPASA Victoria, with the aim of setting up strategic goals for the spa segment. Present were Sapphire Spas, Endless Spas, Just Spas and Spa Choice. Two goals were agreed upon: • Grow the spa industry; and • Look to introduce lockable spa covers as a safety barrier. A focused marketing/advertising initiative across a 12-month period was seen as imperative to achieve the stated goals. An environmental analysis was completed with a PESTEL, SWOT and a Porters five forces analysis to understand the competing forces that impact the spa segment along with internal industry issues and opportunities. Chris Samartzis says other items of discussion centred around cheap imports, critical strategic issues relating to sales across Australia and New Zealand, portable pools, regulations, the role of SPASA Victoria, marketing, and statistics from competing industries such as the caravan and boat industries.
ABOVE: The new timber-free bases during manufacturing at Spa Industries RIGHT: Spa Industries’ new touchscreen control
“We launched the Cyclone range last year which eliminated timber from the spas,” he says. “So the structure is all injection-moulded or thermoformed – and we’re now redesigning the Leisurerite range of spas to eliminate the timber from that range as well. With timberless construction we end up with a better quality product and more consistency through manufacturing.” They are also releasing a new form of timber-look cladding which is made from a printed and textured material, which looks more realistic and high-end. They’ve also been working to eliminate the suctions from the bottoms of the spas, again starting with the Cyclone range. “We put high-flow filters in the back of the widemouth filter box and they feed the boost pumps, so 100 per cent of the water is filtered,” he says. “So with suctionless filtration you get a better experience without sand or grit from the bottom of the footwells circulating through your jets as you’re having a massage.” Also, he says that while the suctions are not unsafe, eliminating them does make the spa safer. They are also introducing a combined ozone/UV system which kills a lot more bacteria and becomes a more effective secondary sanitiser. “For our primary sanitisers we’ve worked with a company to develop a bromine sanitiser that works effectively. It’s a salt-water bromine generator, and bromine works better at higher temperatures than chlorine. Chlorine isn’t as effective over 30 degrees – it burns off too fast, so bromine has a better residual when used in spas.”
Regulations and the future
“The only spa regulation of interest at the moment is barrier legislation,” he says. “All states except New 34 SPLASH! April/May 2019
South Wales at the moment require a barrier – in New South Wales you can have a lockable hard cover which is good. In New Zealand they had to have a barrier, but they’ve reversed that now back to lockable hard covers, about two years ago. “It would be nice to have the regulations relaxed a little to go back to lockable hard covers. I think if installed correctly there haven’t been any major incidents with lockable hard covers. But it’s always hard to reverse a safety rule. Kruber says as time has gone on, the industry has managed to deal with the issue of barriers better, and it has now become a conversational topic at the selling point so consumers know if they need to do something, and they’re happy to commit to it. He says that spas are becoming more energy efficient by improving the quality of hard covers and thermal covers, and making filtration systems more efficient. They also have a new filtration system that looks like it will be getting a ten star rating, he says. He says there have been a lot of changes for spa service technicians over the past ten years. “Now spas have wifi and Bluetooth stereo systems, external heat pumps, LED lighting, and are more technical with variable swim jet systems. The technicians need have better understanding of how electronics work and even how wifi devices connect. We run training here twice a year for our products to make sure our technicians are up to speed, and we normally get 30 to 40 people to our training sessions.” They have also opened up three Just Spas lifestyle stores and will open up another three in the next six months. “The consumers are expecting a different shopping experience,” he says. “You have to really sell the benefit of the product and the category, and I think if a
category is displayed poorly it will disappear, and if it’s displayed really well it becomes desired again. “There’s also been a lot of talk about how to promote the spa industry better. And that’s a good talk to have. I think if we forget marketing the category suffers. “We’ve been involved in probably five or six different Blocks and Big Brothers. It’s good for people to see our product out there and being used. You can’t want for something you don’t know about. Any way we can get spas outside of supermarkets and footy events and anywhere people see them is good for the industry.” Rob Kruber is also the chairman of SPASA Australia, so SPLASH! took the opportunity to ask about the development of the national association. “I think SPASA Australia was probably questioned initially but after three years I think it’s shown it’s really serious now, with the acquisitions it’s made and the events it’s running,” he says. “The success it’s had over the past few years is probably beyond anyone’s expectation. I believe any industry needs an association that can protect, promote and train. We need to look at how we can do that more effectively. “I think the way it was three years ago with all the states doing their own thing and no real interaction, it showed by what happened that it wasn’t a sustainable model and that something had to change. The work we did originally to look at what was going to be the model looking forward, showed at the end of it was a single entity. It’s the way you get the best efficiencies and synergies and consistency across all borders. So I still believe the model we’ve created at SPASA Australia, and what’s been built over the past few years and the way it’s been performing, is definitely the best sustainable solution moving forward for our industry.”
Shift to the higher end
Spa World is an important player in the local retail spa market. Victorian sales manager Craig Reid has been with Spa World for close to ten years, initially being brought into the business in New Zealand through Andrew Pullen. Spa World was started about 20 years ago by Adam Fisher as the retail side of the Vortex spa manufacturing business. Fisher is still involved on the manufacturing side of the business, overlooking the Vortex branding and product developments. Initially located in Victoria, the Australian-run dedicated Vortex manufacturing facility relocated to China about 10 years ago. “I made the move first to Sydney then to Melbourne,” says Reid. “And I realised the potential here was huge. We’ve got two stores in
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AVOVE: Ambassador for Silver Spas, All Black Stephen Donald TOP RIGHT: Silver Spas manufacturing plant in Auckland
Melbourne – Dandenong which I run and Tullamarine which is run by my wife, as well as one store in South Australia, three in Sydney, one in Canberra, three in Brisbane, one in Tasmania and a few smaller country dealers. We also sell spas through the Poolwerx network and a budget range through Costco. “Spa World is the retail organisation. Vortex is the premium brand and we also have Fisher Spas and Arcadia Spas, which all come from the same production facility.”
Reid’s observations correspond with Kruber’s, in seeing purchasing behaviour gravitating towards premium products. “We’re seeing a big market shift towards the higher end of the market,” he says. “We’re introducing highend luxury brands such as Hot Spring Spas which is a household name throughout the world. They’re made in Vista California where they make the premium product and another factory in Tijuana Mexico. Their premium products have some big hitters in the design
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world working on them, for example Designworks who do BMW cars were involved in the design of the Hot Spring Highlife models, which is a real feather in their cap.” He says that since they’ve become a Hot Spring dealer, they’ve seen the average spend rise quite dramatically. “We’ve found there is actually a big market for people who demand the premium product. That’s where all the untapped potential is – in the real premium product. Around here in the surrounding area there’s some really expensive suburbs with multimillion-dollar holiday homes, and these people don’t mind spending $20,000 to $25,000 on a spa – if they can see it and touch it and feel the quality.” He has also noticed a growing trend for people installing spas in their holiday homes. “They want their beach houses to attract the highest rental income possible, and spas are a great way to do that. If there’s two properties advertised and one has a spa and one doesn’t, the one with a spa will attract a lot more
people: people on weekend breaks, hen parties where the girls can all hop in the spa and celebrate.”
Facing the online challenge
Reid says they’ve noticed a big change in the past few years. “As well as a demand for the higher end items, the challenge we face is people selling cheap spas online – selling through eBay and Facebook for three or four thousand dollars,” he says. “We hear things from customers coming in to get repairs done and third party technicians trying to get replacement parts and they just can’t get them. But these unbadged generic spas have people thinking that the cost of a spa is very low. And we have to educate people differently than they used to be – people just hear ‘spa’ and think they’re all the same, and don’t realise what is different. “That’s where your knowledge and experience play a big part because you have to spend a lot of time with the people. When I first got into this industry, I used to spend on average 30 minutes on a sale, now I’m spending 60
With its stylish geometric lines, Vortex’s Ikon is aimed at modern architecturally designed properties, and as such has pride of place in the Spa World showroom
Chris Reid at the free flowing Dandenong Spa World display centre
1300 787 978
supremeheating.com.au April/May 2019 SPLASH! 37
ABOVE: One of our biggest attractions is our darkroom, says Chris Reid. It really helps put people in the mood to envisage the spa in their backyard
minutes plus. Because there’s so much out there online now that they really need educating on what the differences are.” Reid says the other benefit of good service and imparting your knowledge and experience is repeat business. “I’ve sold four spas this week and three of them were repeat business,” he says. “I’ve personally appeared on the Block, House Rules and other shows, and your name gets spread about, and then they come and have a look at us.” He says that while they don’t do newspaper advertising anymore, they do spend money online and are considering high end magazine advertising like Vogue Living for their stylish new upmarket Ikon spa, which retails for about $23,000. “The Ikon is starting to get into a lot of magazines not just here but in the UK, Europe and the US,” he says. “It’s designed to expose the Vortex brand and now it’s being talked about around the world. We’ve got Ian
Thorpe as an ambassador for the Ikon. He lends a lot of credibility to the brand and is also good for exposure.” The Ikon is the first spa seen as people enter the shop, and it shows off the architectural potential of a stylish addition to the indoor/outdoor space.
He has also seen an increase in interest for swimspas. “The swimspa market is so big in Melbourne as they can be more usable in the Melbourne weather. And with the smaller blocks we’re ripe for swimspas,” he says. “We introduced the 1.5-metre deep swimspa and now they outsell the 1.3-metre versions considerably. But it might be less imposing to have a 1.3-metre if it’s going to be aboveground. It’s good to have the options.” Their new premium Fastlane pool is now taking centre stage. “They come from Watkins, the makers of Hot Spring,” he says. “This is a hydraulically powered system creating a wide laminar current, which for your serious swimmers is a completely different experience, as you can swim without the turbulence caused by swim jets.” Fastlane options also include a treadmill and an underwater bike, as well as a waterproof iPad that runs your fitness regime. “We’ve had people who’ve had knee replacements, hip replacements, severe arthritis and they’ve been
1300 498 819 email@example.com www.spa-craft.com.au Head Office: 20 Curtis Road, Mulgrave NSW 2756
38 SPLASH! April/May 2019
VIC Branch: 39B Rimfire Drive, Hallam VIC 3803
told they need to keep moving. Exercising outside the water stresses the joints, but in this environment it can really change their lives.” Fastlane models range from 3.7 metres to 6.1 metres. He says that while a standard spa may have up to four speeds with a water range of 1800 litres per minute, Fastlane has 57 different speeds and the ability to give you up to 18,000 litres per minute, making it hard to outswim it. The Fastlane range costs from $25,000 all the way up to $80,000 for the E-Series 2000 with dual zones. Another addition is the Covana, an automatic solution for get swimspa covers on and off. “It does cost up to $25,000 but again, for some of those mansions, what’s another $25,000 to make it more usable. If you can turn the key and the cover goes up, you’re going to use it.” They also have a new salt-based sanitisation system from Hot Spring, and are also making Vortex saunas. Doris Nedelko, sauna sales manager, has been the sauna industry for about 13 years. She says they are proving popular for the elderly with their aches and pains to fitness fanatics trying to rejuvenate their muscles after exercise. “It helps get the lactic acid out,” Nedelko says. “And is also used pre-exercise to warm up. Also, a lot of people are using them after chemotherapy.”
The saunas range from $4500 to $7500 and feature red glass heaters which are inexpensive to run.
Swimjets in a pool
While talking about swimjet systems in increasingly large swimspas, it’s worth noting an innovation that is seeing swimjets in inground lap pools. Remco Australia has the swimjet simply called Swimjet, which utilises turbines.
ABOVE: Reid says they’ve sold more Vortex Spectrum than any other spa over the years. “People love a lot of jets and you can’t get more than this – we’ve got 88 jets”
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and get that type of output, but the turbines are all low voltage and they have great output, while using approximately 70 per cent less energy than a swim jet using a pump.” He says the benefits are significantly greater output so you can be challenged by the product, no bubbles in the stream, variable speed settings and significantly less energy required. “At the moment we find that the majority of our Swimjets are put into brand new concrete swimming pools, although some fibreglass pool builders are providing the option of adding it as an upgrade. We will have retrofit units by the end of this year. “As the market develops it will become something that’s offered in prefabricated swimspas and more of the fibreglass pool market as well.” Prices for consumers range from $10,800 to $19,000.
Spa tech education on the agenda
ABOVE: The turbine power of the Remco Swimjet
Managing director Carl Voshege says that at the moment they’re limited to putting them into new pools, but they will have retrofit units by the end of this year, whereby you’ll be able to turn any pool into a constant swimming lane. He recommends a swimming pool length of at least four metres. “Swimjets in swimspas are quite different to our Swimjet,” says Voshege. “In swimspas, the jets are
“If there’s two properties advertised and one has a spa and one doesn’t, the one with a spa will attract a lot more people: people on weekend breaks, hen parties where the girls can all hop in the spa and celebrate.” almost always pump-based – running off a couple of pumps, drawing water in from the spa and blasting it out in front of the swimmer. “Over the past five years, we have developed this low-voltage turbine technology. Now you have products that are significantly more powerful and you can vary the speed and use the remote to dial it up if you’re a serious swimmer, or dial it down if you’re just swimming recreationally.” He says the other thing swimmers notice is that there are no bubbles, so when you’re swimming you can see in front of you. “Pumps produce a lot of bubbles, and there are more bubbles if it’s difficult. But the turbine doesn’t produce bubbles. People prefer to have a clear body of water, to replicate swimming in a long pool or in the ocean,” he says. “Another benefit of the turbine swim spa is that it’s energy efficient. You can’t run a low voltage pump 40 SPLASH! April/May 2019
Spatex’s Adrian Lacy is helping SPASA Australia put together a training course called Spa Service and Repairs – Professional Level III. “Finally with Peter Holland as the training officer, someone has recognised that SPASA includes spas as well as pools,” says Lacy. “The training had been lacking spa content up till now and in order to address that I’m currently writing a one-day, eight-hour course to be held around the country, covering spa service and repairs as part of a special level III course with a whole lot of spa-specific information that the industry needs to know.” He says that the whole industry sees itself as the “pool and spa industry” but the spa segment is often neglected. “Through these courses we hope to give information that’s unique to spas and will help educate the industry to a greater degree on the spa side. It’s also prompted me to start writing a manual which will include anything and everything to do with understanding how spas work,” he says. The workshops will be held: • NSW Mon 6 May, Fri 30 August • QLD Fri 7 June, Fri 6 September • ACT Fri 31 May, Wed 31 July • VIC Tues 14 May, Wed 25 September • SA Fri 21 June, Fri 27 September • WA Wed 3 April, Thu 12 September Members $500 Non-members $550 8 CPD Points (Members only) This workshop course comprises information covered in the Units of Competency taken from the Certificate III in Swimming Pool & Spa Service Qualification - CPPSPS3003 - Maintain swimming pools and spas. Formal recognition of these units can be achieved by undertaking assessments. Students who successfully complete assessments receive a statement of attainment which counts towards their qualification. This workshop is designed to address a significant skills gap that has been identified in the marketplace around prefabricated spas and swimspas. A better understanding of how to diagnose and repair complex prefabricated spas and swimspas may assist those who wish to increase their earning potential. Course outcomes: • Being able to attach equipment to a spa;
• Maintaining spa jet performance, pumps and filtration, sizing of pump for optimum jet performance; • How to ensure safety suction and skimmers are compliant with current standards (in relation to pumps being used) including skimmer ventilation requirements; • Introducing chemicals into a spa; • Spa related chemicals, positive and negative reactions to equipment and plumbing; • Suction compliance requirements when removing and replacing pump(s); • Air Venturi operation/jet operation including optimum flow rates/blower operation; • Pipe sizing for out-of-ground and in-ground spas; • Air blower leak protection; • Understanding out of scope work and when to ask for external advice and specialists; • Removal and replacement of various types of spa jets.
New distribution agreement
Galea also says he has noticed a number of new trends in spas recently. “One of the biggest trends now is touch pads. The control screens are becoming all touch screens now,” says Galea. “Wifi is also becoming the norm. The idea of the wifi unit is you can adjust your spa by your phone – if you’re on the way home you can put the spa temperature up so it will be ready when you get home. If you have a holiday house and only go there once a week, you can check the settings remotely and make sure everything’s alright.” He says another technology becoming popular is heat pumps on spas. “A lot of the new heat pumps can integrate with the spa controller,” he says. “You plug the heat pump
TOP LEFT: Reid says that Australia is one of the few markets with a demand for double recliners. Americans favour one recliner or no recliners at all, but Spa World always keeps a variety of options for the local market TOP RIGHT: The Fastlane hydraulically powered system creates a wide laminar current LEFT: The Fastlane in situ, lakeside RIGHT: Doris Nedelko with the Vortex saunas BOTTOM: Hot Spring Highlife Vanguard spa
Spa Craft has signed an agreement with Davey to distribute their spa equipment throughout New South Wales, and via Spa Craft’s new Melbourne office to Victoria and Tasmania. “Pretty much all Davey customers in those areas will have to go through us for their spa parts,” says Spa Craft managing director Jamie Galea. April/May 2019 SPLASH! 41
ABOVE: The classy style of the Ikon
in and control it via the controller. It also helps with energy efficiency.” He agrees with Kruber and Reid that swimspas are selling well, and that energy efficiency will be key going into the future – which is why heat pumps are proving so popular, with some manufacturers claiming 75 per cent less energy consumption compared to an element heater. “A six kW electric element heater draws 25 amps; while a 5.5 kW heat pump draws only 5.8 amps, with a considerable reduction in running costs,” he says. “I think there’ll be more of a push towards energy efficiency, as there is on the swimming pools as well.” He also notes the market is seeing a lot more imported spas. “A lot of the imported spas are coming from China but they’re using big name recognised equipment from the US or Australia. “As far as we’re concerned, business is good – we’re still seeing growth and hopefully it will continue next year.”
“As the market develops it will become something that’s offered in prefabricated swimspas and more of the fibreglass pool market as well.” New product ideas
Anthony Ramsey, commercial manager for Pool Systems, says a number of interesting new spa products are taking advantage of current trends, from aqua fitness to an inflatable spa cover system. “Pool Systems has launched a new line of lowimpact workout products specifically for aquatic fitness workouts in the convenience of your own spa or swimspa,” he says. “Our core belt supports the vertical body position and correct posture, which promotes the support of muscles and increases calorie consumption, while our resistance dumbbells provide multilevel resistance at the turn of a wrist to help build 42 SPLASH! April/May 2019
upper body strength and give added balance during abdominal and leg workouts.” He also says that one of the problems with spa covers is they tend to absorb water over time, and that once that starts to happen the cover not only becomes heavier but also a less effective insulator. “After years of extensive product testing the CoverValet AirO2 spa cover is now available,” he says. “It was a stand-out product launch at the Vegas show. The first spa cover of its kind features dual bladder drop-stitch construction (think stand-up paddleboards) rather than foam for heat retention. The air tight design means that, uniquely, the AirO2 cannot absorb water like a traditional cover.” Ramsey say the inflatable design makes it twice as efficient as a foam cover. “Additionally, the AirO2 is produced with a high performance solution dyed fabric which is three times more fade resistant than the traditional heavy vinyl spa covers.” Another range of products is cordless rechargeable vacuum cleaners. “Vektro cleaners feature lithium-ion powered battery packs with up 90 minutes of runtime, inductive charging, lightweight manoeuvrability, large easy to remove and clean debris canisters, adaptability to use as handheld or to attach to common pool poles.” n
Contacts: Just Spas: justspas.com.au Pool Systems: www.lifespaproducts.com Remco: remco.com.au Silver Spas: www.silverspas.co.nz Spa Craft: www.spa-craft.com.au Spa Industries: www.spaindustries.com.au Spatex: www.spatex.com.au Spa World: www.spaworld.com.au
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Swimming with birds and dragonflies ABOVE: The natural swimming pool uses biofiltration to keep the water clean, clear and healthy TOP RIGHT: The flowers and plants are not only vital to the purity of the water and workings of the pool but also gives the pool a stunning look throughout the seasons BOTTOM: Ben and Kate Brown wanted the experience of swimming in a totally natural environment
estled in Oxfordshire in South East England is Hailey, a forest township surrounded by historic hamlets and scenic countryside. The name Hailey means a clearing where hay was made (in this case, a clearing in the forest of Wychwood). Locals Kate and Ben Brown operate Turley Farm Barns, which includes two holiday lettings and a traditional Cotswold stone barn, beautifully restored as an entertainment venue. The 10-hectare working farm is home to a variety of animals including sheep, cows, pigs, hens and horses and it is this bucolic setting that attracts holidaymakers from around the UK. Their challenge was to create a swimming pool that complements the natural environment. Ben, who was introduced to the natural beauty of a chemical-free pool by his cousin, wanted to create a swimming environment that would enhance the picturesque landscape rather than detract from it. “The rural location and surroundings lent itself to a natural pool rather than concrete or fibreglass options,” says Waterco Europe CEO Tony Fisher. “Just as important was the fact that Ben and Kate did not want to swim in chlorine and the other chemicals associated with more traditional pools – they wanted the experience of swimming in a totally natural environment.”
A haven for wildlife
Mountain Pools managing director Tim Gunning says a natural pool is not only a great way to swim on hot days, but is also a bonus from an environmental standpoint, as it encourages wildlife to the garden. 44 SPLASH! April/May 2019
“We have been swimming in rivers, lakes and ponds since the beginning of time,” he says. “The big difference today is that we want to enjoy the water without catching something unpleasant.” That was why chemical systems were developed for pools, however most are too harsh for insects and plants to survive in the water. A natural swimming pool, or pond, uses biofiltration to keep the water clean, clear and healthy. Gunning says if it’s designed well, it also has the ability to seamlessly blend into the garden landscape. “A natural pool is an oasis for microorganisms, plants and insects that all form part of the ecosystem, resulting in a crystal clear pool to be enjoyed by people as well.”
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Gunning, in conjunction with the Natural Pools swimming pool company, designed and built a 25-metre rectangular pool with a large regeneration area. Impurities are absorbed by specialist plants as nutrients and harmful bacteria are destroyed by natural water organisms. “The flowers and plants are not only vital to the purity of the water and workings of the pool but also give the pool a stunning look throughout the seasons,” he says. “Two timber walkways lead to the pool where people can sit and enjoy the serene setting with a beverage or simply use it as a diving platform.”
Assisting the filtration process is Waterco’s Exotuf 702 bead filter, two Aquamite 1hp pumps and a MC16 MultiCyclone – a combination Fisher says is ideal for natural pools and ponds, with the MultiCyclone removing debris through the process of centrifugal filtration prior to reaching the main filter. “This ensures the best mechanical and biological filtration is achieved at all times,” says Fisher. When building a natural swimming pool, Gunning says it’s vitally important that the equipment installed is of the highest quality and performance to ensure consistently high-quality results. “Knowing that Waterco equipment has been manufacturing and supplying its products all over the world, in many different applications, for over 30 years gives us full confidence in the company’s supply, quality and service,” he says.
✓ Give your business a point of difference. ✓ High value product with high quality margins ✓ for the trade. ✓ Simple for you to install, simple for clients to maintain.
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Natural swimming pool ecosystem enhances guest experience
The pool’s regeneration area and plants attract local wildlife, with dragonflies and swallows enjoying the pool as much as the owners and guests. “A number of guests have commented how much they enjoy using the pool when staying at the farm,” says Ben, who swims at least 20 laps per day. “We would highly recommend a natural pool to anyone. Without doubt it has far exceeded our expectations,” he says. “It was a great journey from the initial water colour design to the first time we took a swim. It was worth every penny.” n
1800 625 331 www.naked-pools.com
CLEAN • PURE • SIMPLE April/May 2019 SPLASH! 45
Avoiding workplace conflict
onflict. It’s a term we are familiar with, as each of us has experienced it at some point in our working or personal lives. In the workplace it can be particularly difficult to overcome these challenges. If not identified in a timely fashion, conflict can be detrimental to an organisation’s culture, team cohesion and productivity. Thomas International’s head of psychology, Lize Van der Watt, provides insights into some of the less common causes of conflict and the ways they manifest in the workplace. In psychology, the word “conflict” refers to opposing or incompatible actions, objectives or ideas. Conflict may arise between people, countries, and groups – or even within an individual who experiences internal conflict. “Conflict is problematic and needs to be addressed in order to have peace, productivity and harmony,” says Van der Watt. “Studies have shown that 25 per cent of HR professionals spend more than 10 per cent of their time dealing with one form of conflict or another. That adds up to a loss of 23.5 productive days per year!”
What causes conflict?
According to Van der Watt, there are several reasons why conflict arises in the workplace and they are well known due to their frequency. “The most common factors that contribute to conflict are differences in personality or styles of working, thus supporting a relational view of conflict. Similarly, when people perceive a threat to their needs, interests or concerns as a result of a disagreement, conflict will occur.” 46 SPLASH! April/May 2019
She says that other well-known causes of conflict include poor communication skills, differences in expectations and methodologies, failure to deal with conflict, dissimilarity regarding moral values, triggering of fears and negative emotions that lead to anger. These contributing factors may be simpler to spot but Van der Watt is aware of numerous additional and covert causes. “Managers and staff need to be sensitised to lessen known causes of conflict. These include an absence of trust, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability and lack of attention to results. “These factors have the potential to erupt into an argument or cause deep seated dissatisfaction with one’s job or role – both in their immediate team and in the organisation as a whole. The danger of these contributors lies in the fact that they are not familiar predictors of conflict and therefore more difficult to spot.”
NATIONAL AWARDS OF EXCELLEN CE
PRODUCT OF THE YEAR
PRODUCT OF THE YEAR
PRODUCT OF THE YEAR
But if they know what to look for, managers, leaders and team members can predict a conflict situation. “By spotting these early indicators, conflict can be resolved before it becomes severe or even before it starts,” says Van der Watt. “These early indicators are lack of respect, disputes, lack of cooperation, blaming and failing to relate to each other as individuals in a healthy way.” Sometimes though, conflict in the workplace is unavoidable or in some cases, inevitable. “Unresolved conflict can have devastating effects on individuals, the people around them and their ability to function effectively. It can also prevent us from being able to take advantage of the potential unexpected opportunities that can arise from conflict. Thomas International can assist organisations with conflict resolution to provide a tailor-made way forward that includes strategies for preventing future conflict.” Contact: (02) 8404 0666; www.thomasinternational.net n April/May 2019 SPLASH! 47
Avoid the nine dysfunctional leadership behaviours By Ros Ronning
The following nine dysfunctional behaviours describe the leadership characteristics which kill engagement and will lead to the eventual demise of the business. So, as a leader, how healthy is your business? The influence a leader has over the people who work for them can never be underestimated; it can make or break careers and it can make or break a business.
ysfunctional behaviours from leaders produce dysfunctional cultures. Multiple business books include the notion that in business, the fish rots from the head. If we wish to be successful, there is no room for dysfunctional leadership behaviours. In today’s highly competitive market environment, more than ever before, the role of leader has been subjected to greater levels of scrutiny – all in the quest to identify the leadership characteristics of great and successful leaders. Perhaps the most important role of the leader is to create the conditions in which their people can succeed. Leadership is about developing those who work for you. Sharing knowledge, skills and experiences to develop talent and create a healthy culture where people are engaged and committed. Businesses with high levels of engagement realise greater profits, higher levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty, and greater success. The leader is directly responsible for the engagement of their team.
Women in Leadership Ros Ronning is the managing director of C-Change Potential, a performance management practice specialising in organisational performance and engagement through effective leadership and management practices. She is facilitating the SPASA Women in Leadership Program consisting of a series of webinars, workshops and forums. Upcoming Women in Leadership events include: April 30: Victoria, venue to be confirmed May 2: SPASA office, 1/33 Daking Street, North Parramatta, NSW May 7: SPASA office, 5/44 Belmont Avenue, Belmont, WA May 14: QLD, venue to be confirmed May 16: SA, venue to be confirmed June 25: Webinar “Lead in the Moment” July 10: New Zealand Forum August 1: Adelaide Forum September 24: Webinar TBC October 22: Webinar TBC Contact: www.spasa.com.au
48 SPLASH! April/May 2019
The indispensable or invincible leader believes no one can quite do the job like they can. They firmly believe in their self- importance and that without them the business would fail. This old paradigm of leadership is based on autocracy where the leader believes they are lord and master, above everyone else and consequently staff must obey. This dysfunctional leadership behaviour is often referred to as the micro manager. It results in dysfunctional team behaviours where open communication is avoided at all costs. This style of leadership produces a dependency mindset where the leader must be consulted first before action of any type is taken. Lack of action means targets aren’t achieved because employees are too afraid to think for themselves let alone take a proactive approach in achieving their outcomes.
The excessively busy leader carries the burdens of the business on their shoulders. These leaders can’t and won’t delegate tasks because they don’t trust the capability of their people. Excessively busy leaders are constantly drowning in a never-ending pool of incomplete tasks and projects. Consequently, they have no time to do what they are paid to do, think and act strategically to create the conditions for success; and develop talent for future succession planning. People leave the excessively busy leader because there is little or no career path for them in the business and opportunities to demonstrate their potential are thwarted by the excessively busy leader. This unfortunately only reinforces the delusional thoughts of the excessively busy leader: “See, it’s no wonder I have to do everything myself !”
The emotionally void leader has a heart of stone. This leader has little if any emotional intelligence with limited understanding or awareness of how their actions impact others. Often seen as cold, uncaring and even callous, the emotionally void leader creates a culture where it’s every man for himself because very little value is placed on the feelings and emotions of others. For the emotionally void leader the only priority is to get the job done and move on to the next one, and that’s all that matters. This type of dysfunctional behaviour creates a dysfunctional culture and if people get trampled in the process, there are plenty more where they came from. Like
it or not, the leader is responsible for living breathing human beings – and that includes all the emotions and feelings that come with wanting someone to genuinely care about how they are doing.
The over-planner leader finds comfort in planning to the point of minutia, ensuring every little detail and potential problem has been accounted for. Tasks become project plans, to be achieved with almost robotic precision. The inflexible mindset and reluctance to change or deviate from the plan of the over-planner leads to a culture of compliance rather than collaboration. All hopes of creativity, innovation, spontaneity and entrepreneurial thinking die and wither on the vine, because people feel like they are just another cog in the wheel.
The I’m so important leader places high value on title and position and the glory that comes with it. This is accompanied by the perks of the role and becomes the primary focus of their dysfunctional world. These leaders forget their fundamental purpose for being; to lead others without conceit or selfishness.
The schizophrenic leader leads a double life with one persona for work and another for their personal life and never the two shall meet. The schizophrenic leader has a reputation for being inauthentic and out of touch with the real world of the workers at the coal face. People in the business feel the pressure of unrealistic expectations to perform in a work environment where they are operating with minimal or no support.
The loose lips leader thrives on manipulating people to share gossip with the aim of damaging relationships and reputations. These leaders lack the moral courage to speak their minds openly. This results in a dog eat dog culture of back stabbing, blame, conflict and grumbling between colleagues. A distinct lack of trust results in communication breaking down and vital information channels closing.
The knowledge is power leader thinks only of themselves. They fail to pass on their knowledge and make little or no effort to develop the skills or potential of their people. They lack the ability to grow the business because they are too preoccupied with protecting their turf.
The inner sanctum leader creates cliques where membership depends on the favour of the leader. It creates a culture of “us and them” and frequently becomes like a cancer eroding the harmony within the business and creating fear for those who are viewed as outsiders. Many of the members of the inner sanctum become “yes men”, afraid to speak up when risks are identified. Ultimately it leads to the demise of the business and those working there. Use the dysfunctional behaviours listed in this article to run a health check on your business. It is quite likely you may have identified more than one dysfunctional behaviour apparent in your organisation. If you have identified any of these dysfunctional behaviours, it’s time to take a strong dose of reality to address the behaviours and make your business healthy again. It’s important to remember a leader’s role is to develop their people and create a culture where they can achieve. Healthy cultures create engagement and greater engagement leads to success. n April/May 2019 SPLASH! 49
The Hot Spring Difference
When you visit the Pool & Spa Expo, at the ASB Showgrounds, you'll see a vast range of spa pools and swim spas representing many manufacturers but not all spas are made the same.
water so Hot Spring Spas have developed one-of-a-kind massage, advanced water care systems and innovative features that keep water hot and operating costs low.
Hot Spring Spas strive to do things better. A spa offers a strong combination of massage and hot
Better Massage, Better Water and Better Efﬁciency are three key pillars by which Hot Spring stand.
* Model pictured - 2019 Highlife® Collection, Vanguard™ 6 seater with Alpine White shell & Brushed Nickel cabinet.
Better Efficiency Better Efficiency is better for your pocket and the environment. Hot Spring Spas aim to always develop the most energy efficient spas. They've created a whole Energy Smart™ system that reduces energy consumption so your spa will be ready and hot for you, without incurring expensive power bills. Hot Spring Spas leads the industry in design, engineering and the manufacturing of energy-efficient spa pools. With Hot Spring Spas' Energy Smart system, each spa is built with a combination of energy-efficient features that simultaneously provide you with lower operating costs and the best value over time. After all, we all want to save money and save energy. Keeping your family safe is of utmost importance. All Hot Spring
spas are electrically approved by Energy Safe Victoria. Every one of their spas is fitted with certified plumbing suction outlets for safety. These units prevent children’s fingers, long hair, or clothing becoming trapped in the intake outlet by releasing suction when they sense a blockage. If your spa doesn’t come with electrical certification, you could end up voiding your insurance if the wiring on your new spa causes a fire. Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) is the independent technical regulator responsible for electricity, gas and pipeline safety in Victoria, Australia. All Hot Spring spas have Certificates of Electrical Safety (COES). They’re approved by one of the most stringent electrical authorities in Australia.
Better Massage Better Massage means their pools are designed for the ultimate massage experience. Hot Spring's revolutionary, patented jets were created for specific muscle groups to deliver therapeutic flows of water that you can customise to your desired pressure. If you have tired muscles, aches and pains or you just want to relax, you can set the jets just how you like them. The exclusive Moto-Massage® DX jets have revolutionised hydrotherapy. This exceptional moving jet produces two strong streams of warm water that sweep up and down the length of your back. This unique back massage is only available from
Hot Spring Spas and it's available on selected models. You can see the Moto-Massage DX jets demonstrated at the Pool & Spa Expo so you can imagine how this could ease back aches, muscle tension and promote wellness in your body. The quality of jets in a spa pool matters more than the quantity. Other spa manufacturers have jets that operate at 3 to 4psi (pound-force per square inch), the jets in Hot Spring's Highlife® and Limelight® ranges operate at 30psi. This gives you over five times the jet pressure, flow rate and velocity resulting in a more therapeutic, deep tissue massage.
The Absolute Best Spa Pool Ownership Experience®
Better Water is key to making spa pool ownership as easy and healthy as possible. Crystal clear water is central to a wonderful spa pool experience. The Hot Spring water care and filtration systems provide exclusive features which help you enjoy sparkling clean water with as little effort as possible. The FreshWater™ Salt System means natural feeling water with less chemicals and no harsh odours. It allows you to save money and conserve water by reducing water changes, and you'll save time maintaining your spa with automatic natural chlorine generation. A disposable titanium cartridge creates chlorine from salt and gently releases it into the water,
keeping it clean and ready to use with less work. Reduced chemical use extends water life and helps it feel soft and natural, so you'll be able to spend more time enjoying your spa. The cartridge is maintenance free and can be replaced within seconds. It's the affordable and easy to use water care system keeping spa water clean and clear for a full year. The Hot Spring Highlife spa pool models feature Tri-X® Filters so you can enjoy cleaner water with these dishwasher-safe filters. The longer lasting, more efficient Tri-X filters filter 100% of the water, 100% of the time, even when the jets are on. No other filter system works like this.
Hot Spring spa pools are consistently recognised
Visit the Hot Spring Spas at Stand 6,7,8 at the
for outstanding quality and value. The Hot Spring
Pool & Spa Expo at the ASB Showgrounds and talk
difference - for the Absolute Best Spa Pool
to the professionals about the Hot Spring
difference - or call: 0800 HOT SPRING.
news Revolutionary new surf park coming to the Gold Coast . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Kiwi aquatics supplier expanding in Australia. 55 Singapore to roll out drowning detection systems . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Joint report published on Victorian public pools sector . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Cooling aquatic centre air while heating pool water. . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 Saving heat and saving money at a Queensland aquatic centre. . . . . . 60
Waterco bolsters commercial filtration business Waterco group marketing director Bryan Goh says the addition of new team members and an expanded product line is evidence of the company continuing to assert its dominance in the water treatment sector. Due to increased demand for their commercial fibreglass filters, Waterco has added 120 new staff over the past 12 months in its Malaysian fibreglass filter division, bringing the headcount at the manufacturing plant to 500. Goh says this has been mainly to cope with the manufacturing of commercial fibreglass filters, which has a high labour content. “Waterco is known around the world for pioneering reliable solutions for healthy, safe water environments,” says Goh. “The growth of the company’s sales to the commercial aquatic and water treatment markets around the world is a testament to the global acceptance of Waterco’s commercial filters. “Waterco’s digitally controlled filament winding machines faultlessly wind in a three-axis configuration, producing continuous strands that create a vessel with flawless consistency, superior quality,” he says. “This produces a commercial filter that is free from welds or seams or special tank linings that typically corrode or electrolyse. Furthermore, our winding technology further strengthens the fibreglass
structure so it can withstand a working pressure of up to 1000 kPa (150psi).”
Additionally, Goh says that, as an environmentally sensitive manufacturer, they have introduced innovations to further reduce water, power and chemical consumption in the aquaculture, swimming pool and spa, and water filtration sectors. “Our globally respected brand has become synonymous with environmental sustainability and corporate responsibility – and we take that reputation very seriously,” he says. “We recently took the additional step of implementing an integrated management system (IMS) that is based on the ISO 9001 quality management system Certification, and the ISO 14001 environmental management system certification – two of the world’s most recognisable certifications.” This new product-related environmental protection requires strict oversight in all phases of Waterco’s product life cycles – from conception, development, manufacture and use, to its end-of-life treatment. “Our intention in implementing the IMS is to make a positive, long-lasting difference for our employees, the environment, and for future generations.”
RIGHT: Waterco has added 120 new staff over the past 12 months to its Malaysian fibreglass filter division
In Brief Comment is being sought on day-care swimming pools in Western Australia. The 2015 drowning death of Perth toddler Lachlan Mitchell at a family day-care residence resulted in a coronial inquest. A number of recommendations regarding family day-care residences that comprise pools, spas and water features have arisen from the 2018 inquest, most of which call for changes to regulations. The WA Government is now seeking public comment on those potential changes. Of the 1256 WA homes operating as family day-care centres, 191 have a pool. These family day-care residences are inspected annually by the family day-care approved providers and may be subjected to unannounced inspections by the state’s Education and Care Regulatory Unit. The consultation period is open from March 18 to May 13. A link to the submission documents is at splashmagazine.com.au. Once again New Zealand celebrated the end of the swimming season by throwing open its swimming pools to man’s best friend. A number of pools around the country took advantage of the fact that humans won’t be swimming in the water until next season begins, and let the dogs have free rein. Dog food brand Purina helped out by sponsoring Auckland’s Parnell Baths, while the Molyneux Aquatic Centre in Alexandra, Central Otago, staged its fourth Soggy Doggy Splash. Other locations to holding dog swimming events include Waikato, Tuakau and Hamilton.
52 SPLASH! April/May 2019
Swim centre fined $150,000 after diving accident A 2016 diving accident that left a student wheelchair bound for life has now seen the swim centre owners fined $150,000 – an amount which the injured girl’s family says is substantially below what they were expecting. The maximum penalty applicable for the charge is $1.4 million. Milly Yeoman was taking part in school swimming lessons at the Swim and Survival Academy in Ballarat in 2016 when an instructor told her to dive into a shallow pool. Prosecutor Andrew Palmer said she should have never been told to dive into the shallow pool. She was 46kg heavier and 23cm taller than the average 12-year-old girl. Royal Life Saving Society Victoria recommends dives should only take place in pools with a depth of two metres, but the pool in question was only 1.2 metres deep. After the accident she spent nearly 200 days in the Children’s Hospital. Now 14, she faces life in a wheelchair after suffering a broken neck and severe spinal cord injuries in the accident and requires 24-hour care. The owners of the swim centre, De Kort Enterprises Pty Ltd, pleaded guilty to one count of breaching the Occupational Health and Safety Act in the Ballarat County Court for failing to ensure the centre was safe.
Less than expected ABC News reported Milly’s mother Rebecca Yeoman say outside court that the family was disappointed with Judge Paul Lacava’s sentence, hoping for a one million dollar fine but the judge had taken the early guilty plea into account. The incident was captured by cameras inside the swim centre, which was viewed by the judge in private. The court heard an instructor told Milly to dive into the pool that was 1.2 metres deep. She hit her head on the bottom of the pool and was face down for about 10 seconds before an instructor pulled her up. Milly said she remembered hitting her head, then everything blacked out. Defence lawyer Robert O’Neill for the husband and wife directors of De Kort Enterprises, Rob and Julie De Kort, who have run the pool for 17 years, told the court they accepted responsibility for the accident and sincerely regret what happened to Milly and the severe trauma it caused her family. A GoFundMe page set up to help Milly’s family with medical costs has raised $55,000 of its $80,000 goal. There is a link to the page at splashmagazine.com.au.
Milly’s family set up a GoFundMe page to help with medical costs. Image: Facebook
April/May 2019 SPLASH! 53 Electrochlor Mineral Chlorinator Ad 270mm x90mm.indd 1
4/5/19 11:41 AM
Revolutionary surf park coming to the Gold Coast
Mark Occhilupo trying out the technology
Revolutionary Australian wave technology will be deployed in a surf park on the Gold Coast, with surfers able to enjoy the action later this year or early next year, according to Surf Lakes Holdings Ltd, the company that launched the 5 Waves artificial wavemaking technology in 2018. Newly appointed Surf Lakes CEO Mal Borgeaud says that given the company is headquartered in the Gold Coast town of Robina, they have been in constant dialogue with local and state government officials with the aim of setting up a park in the area. He says that after scouring the Gold Coast for suitable land, Surf Lakes selected an appropriate site that is centrally located and easily accessible for residents and tourists. He envisions the facility will give great benefit to the community. “As a company we are tremendously excited to be announcing our commitment to building a facility on the Gold Coast. We have been overwhelmed by the support and encouragement we have received from both council and the Queensland Government,” he says. “It makes sense, with the Gold Coast being our home town, that we construct a commercial facility here. We know the facility will bring tremendous benefits to the community, not just by providing waves and surf-oriented fun – it will be a boost for employment, tourism and the local economy.” He says their aim is to make the site a genuine showpiece not only for their technology but for the Gold Coast as well. They expect construction to begin in late 2019 or early 2020 with a view to opening in the second half of 2020. See a video of Aussie surfing champion Mark Occhilupo trying out the technology at splashmagazine.com.au.
The 55th Annual ARI Conference
FEATURING: ■ 5-time Paralympian, Marathon champion and nominee for Australian of the Year
‘Creating Value in Aquatics & Recreation’ Peppers Craigieburn, NSW Southern Highlands 17th-18th June 2019
■ International Motivational Speaker, Author & Life Coach
The Art of Networking; and Building Capacity – How to Build Support and be GREAT! ■ Record Breaking Adventurer & Renowned International Speaker
will present a 2-part session:
Collaborating to win ALSO FEATURING:
■ Alex Burrows – CEO ActiveXchange - a 2020 Fitness & Leisure Blueprint ■ Presentations from Peak Industry Bodies ■ Mentor Team Challenge Delivery ■ Annual Awards of Excellence ■ New look Interactive sessions with commercial suppliers
For full program & registration details visit www.arinsw.com.au
54 SPLASH! April/May 2019
Kiwi aquatics supplier expanding in Australia Sports facilities specialist HTS Group is expanding across the Tasman to service Australian sports centres, clubs, councils, schools and other sporting facilities. HTS Group have been providing Swiss Timing, Olympic standard, high accuracy equipment and technology to professional sporting competitions, right through to training grounds and local facilities. “HTS Group and Swiss Timing have a long-term relationship based on quality products, high levels of accuracy and outstanding backup,” says Colin Robson, HTS Group director. “We’re excited to bring our combined industry knowledge to the thriving Australian market. “We understand that the Australian and New Zealand markets demand high quality products, and we aim to not only exceed expectations, but to also provide a wider solution range and an industry-leading level of technical support, service and back-up,” he says. “We have all the certifications and back-end taken care of, so competitive facilities can be assured that they are compliant with local and global federations, regulations and standards.” Sports facilities products now being made available nationally include timing systems, scoreboards, photo finish technology and a broad range of technologies and accessories to optimise timing, scoring and displays within sporting centres. The partnership’s sports facilities and timing expertise covers a broad range of sports, including aquatics, AFL, athletics, basketball, boxing, cycling, multi-sports, rowing, wrestling, weightlifting, water polo and wood chopping. HTS initially expanded into Australia in 2011 with the expansion of the Swiss Timing relationship where it trades as Australasia Sports Timing – a wholly owned subsidiary of HTS Group Ltd. This partnership supports major facilities locally and in the Pacific Islands.
other strong business channels to offer complementary solutions,” said Robson. Ranging from pedestrian turnstiles typically used by local clubs and schools, right through to higher security options more common on Olympic or professional sports facilities, perimeter and entry control technologies are an essential way to keep track of who is entering the building, and ensuring the wrong people are not given access. “It’s easy to see how an Olympic facility might need some form of entrance security, but even local clubs often need some form of barrier to prevent those trying to avoid paying entry fees, or trying to cause harm,” he says. As the world embraces digitalisation, the need for more advanced digital media displays is increasing. Sports facilities are now seeking larger format scoreboards that display a wider range of digital information “Through HTS Group’s partnerships with Betvis and Big Screen Video, we can supply high quality digital scoreboards in larger sizes that are highly customisable, and ideal for displaying video or advertising. They can even be designed and branded with the customer’s branding, to suit their unique facility,” says Robson. Contact: www.htsgroup.co.nz; www.sportstiming.com.au
HTS Group is now extending a large sports facilities range to Australia, building on the established successes of the Sports Timing partnership. It is bringing a wider range of products and increased technical support locally, in line with the company’s broader expansion in Australia. “As the demand for technology, digital presentation of results, information and access control increases, HTS Group leverages its
Singapore to roll out drowning detection systems to all public pools
Sport Singapore (SportSG) plans to install computer vision drowning detection systems (CVDDS) at all their public swimming complexes, starting with 11 public pools by April 2020. Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) says the implementation will boost public safety. The system uses a network of overhead infrared cameras, enabling early detection of possible drowning, working on a detection response time of 15 seconds which allows lifeguards to spot distressed swimmers more quickly. The first pools to get the system this year are Bukit Batok, Jurong West and Our Tampines Hub, with another seven to follow by April 2020. The system implementation follows a successful
year-long trial at Hougang Swimming Complex. An MCCY spokesperson says the system was assessed to have complied with international standards and had a low false-alarm rate. Last August, Hougang’s system sounded after detecting that a 64-year-old man had sunk to the pool floor in an unconscious state, the MCCY spokesperson says. A lifeguard immediately rescued him from the pool, and successfully resuscitated him. By 2020, the system will be implemented at 11 of the 26 public swimming pools listed on the ActiveSG website, and authorities added that there are plans to eventually roll out CVDDS to all its water facilities. The CVDDS system is distributed locally by Maytronics Australia.
April/May 2019 SPLASH! 55
WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP
Developed by women for women who find themselves in a leadership role
WORKSHOPS & FORUMS
The 1-hour webinars will present the skills and knowledge forming the foundations of leadership. Some of the topics covered include: Your role as a leader, How to create the conditions for success, How to lead in the moment, Manage expectations of others, and How to harness your personal power to influence others effectively. You will also have the opportunity to interact with likeminded successful women in the industry; where we can share thoughts, concerns and challenges around being in a leadership role.
The 1-day workshops and forums will be held in a range of locations and will provide a face-to-face environment where participants will expand their learning and dig deeper into the skills required and issues faced in the workplace.
The facilitator for the Women in Leadership will be Ros Ronning, a business executive with over 25 yearsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; experience specialising in Learning & Development and Human Resources. Ros has coached directors, CEOs and senior executives in organisational change initiatives, leadership development, change resilience, performance management, managerial effectiveness, corporate communications, interpersonal skills, and cultural change.
FOR MORE INFORMATION To view webinars, forums and workshops available, visit spasa.com.au or contact: Suzie Kent - SPASA Communication Manager e: email@example.com p: 1300 021 482
• $933m planned infrastructure spend over the next four years; • A value of $8.5bn for sport and recreation to the Victorian economy; • An expected 16 per cent increase in participation to 2033.
Joint report published on Victorian public pools ABOVE: The report was jointly published by ARV and LSV MIDDLE: Distribution of Victorian public pools BOTTOM: Key statistics from the report showing popular hours, popular age groups and popular days
The report identified the most common user profiles. 1: “Out on the edge”, defined as: • Home-owning established families on outer metropolitan fringes • Age 45-54 • School aged children • Early technology adopters • Watch more TV than “maturing assets” • Household income $65k-78k 2: “Maturing assets”, defined as: • Educated, maturing family households in outer metropolitan suburbs • Age 45-54 • Older families • Adult children • High household expenditure • Early technology adopters • Household income $104k-156k To read a full version of the report go to splashmagazine.com.au
n an industry first, Aquatics & Recreation Victoria (ARV) and Life Saving Victoria (LSV) have collaborated to support a better understanding of the Victorian public pool landscape. Building on the legacy of the independent state of industry reports, the annual publication is intended to provide a broad snapshot of the industry, enabling better tracking and comparison of key metrics such as industry size, breadth and social/economic value. The report is intended to act as one true source of information, enabling improved analysis, evaluation and more informed decision making.
Objectives and findings
The objectives are to provide: • An overview of the size, scope and value of the industry; • Analysis of safety assessments and broader industry safety performance and trends; • An overview of sector projects, research and future directions; • Details of key industry awards and event winners; • Insights into customer use of public pools. The report found there are: • 300 Victorian council-owned pools; • 266 additional Victorian public access pools; • More than 70 million visits to Victorian aquatic recreation facilities each year; April/May 2019 SPLASH! 57
Water-to-water concept saves by heating and cooling ABOVE: A typical aquatic centre may need pool water heated, pool air heated and cooled, shower water heated and cool air for the gym
enewable energy consultant Derek Harbison had an epiphany last year while he was inspecting a Northern NSW public pool to suggest solutions for their energy use. Within the centre there was pool water being heated, pool air heating and cooling, heating for showers and cooling for a weights room. Every one of these functions was being powered by a separate unit of equipment. There were pool heaters, air exchange units, air conditioning splits, and hot water heaters for showers. “Then I thought…why not combine this equipment and integrate the energy used into one system?” Harbison says then then started looking for a system that could achieve this in Australia, and companies that could deliver and refine the concept.
Energy rating stars rate appliances with regard to how many much energy they use. The more stars it has, the more efficient the appliance is. Heat pumps and thermal systems use a measure called the coefficient of performance (COP). “This is a measure of how much useful thermal work is done by a machine for a unit of electrical energy (1kW of power),” says Harbison. “An electric water heater that you see in most houses has a COP of 1. A gas water heater will have a COP of about 0.85. “But a water-to-water heat pump can have a combined COP of more than 11, as you add the thermal energy from the hot and cold that is produced,” he says. “This means that for every 1kW of electricity that you use, the system can produce a combined 11kW of heating and cooling. The compressor is not ‘making’ the energy: it is transferring the energy from the air within the airconditioned areas of the building to be used somewhere else, such as the pool water, showers, space heating or other areas requiring heating.”
Water-to-water industrial heat pump
Harbison says that in Europe and North America they have been using water-to-water heat pump units for about 40 years. 58 SPLASH! April/May 2019
“They are another version of refrigeration systems that have been in existence for more than 150 years. Water-towater heat pumps are compact, easy to maintain and have a working life of more than 30 years. “They are different to the heat pumps that you may have seen as they allow use of the ‘cold’ side of the refrigeration cycle to meet your cooling needs, such as air conditioning instead of discarding this cold. With these units, when you spend a dollar it runs your heating and cooling at the same time. Put simply, you are now spending less than half the dollars you were spending before as the air conditioning energy is now available for free.” He says that water-to-water heat pumps can be used in a range of applications. They are used in air conditioning systems, factories, aquatic centres, supermarkets, ice skating rinks and district heating systems in all sorts of configurations. [For a link to a story on a system at a Michigan, USA, ice hockey arena that makes ice while capturing and reusing waste heat go to splashmagazine.com.au.] An ideal application for them is aquatic centres as these require hot water (60 deg+), warm water (30 deg), warm air (31 deg), cool air (25 deg) and cold air (19 deg). This thermal profile utilises all of the unit’s output working close to maximum efficiency. There are installations of these systems in Australia at present however they have mostly been for industrial cooling systems and large scale reticulated chilled water air conditioning systems: coldstores, manufacturing plants and administration buildings. He says this does not mean that they will not work in combined heating/cooling systems. They simply have not been considered for other applications before now.
What is a district heating system?
Harbison asks you to imagine you’re heating a street of 100 houses in southern Australia. “What usually happens is that these houses have their own separate heating: gas heaters, electric heaters, reverse cycle air conditioners. And every house has one of these heating units to provide that heating. But there is another way to heat these houses: we can use one central heat source to heat all 100 houses.”
In this system, the houses are connected by a water loop that An aquatic centre may include a recreation space and Harbison says runs warm water past each house and the houses tap into this loop this could present an opportunity as an excess cooling load from the to supply the panel heaters in the house. The panel heaters have no aquatic centre can be used to cool the recreation space for free. moving parts and will last for many years. Similarly, an accommodation venue could heat an associated “There is an existing installation of a district heating system in swimming pool, chill the kitchen and cool the guest rooms from Portland in Victoria that the council has been operating since the 1980s. the same heat pump. Originally this system was drawing heat from a geothermal spear. It still “All of these loads need to be in balance most of the time to be provides heating for the pool and some other council buildings.” cost effective,” he says. While it is rarely used in Australia, in northern Europe it is a much more popular form “One council stated that their aquatic centre energy usage of heating. accounted for 60 per cent of the total council energy budget.” “In Denmark they use district heating systems extensively. More than 70 per of houses in Denmark are now connected to a district heating system and the government An aquatic example is driving the change to increase the installations to 100 per cent,” He believes the system can be implemented in an aquatic says Harbison. centre environment. “They limit these systems to 100,000 houses per district as this is a “If the system is designed to utilise the maximum hot and cold manageable size for the heat pumps. By migrating to district heating available from the heat pump from the outset, then we would consider using heat pumps Denmark can easily utilise renewable energy how much pool water and pool air heating is required, how much sources more effectively as they become available.” cooling of dry exercise areas and office space is required and then [For more on a new project utilising ammonia heat pumps with a design the building around this,” he says. total heating capacity of 40 MW in Malmo, Sweden, see the link at “Building an oversized pool with an undersized dry exercise area splashmagazine.com.au.] must be carefully considered, as the resulting building will have an energy imbalance from the day the plant is commissioned. And Phasing refrigerants down that means the centre will always be a drag on council finances as Harbison says that for those slightly more advanced aquatic centres energy is constantly being wasted.” that heat with heat pumps now, the message is that a lot of those heat He says that by designing with energy consumption as the pumps employ HFC refrigerants that are being phased down. starting point you reduce energy costs in the building and He says this particularly applied for aquatic centres using split air ultimately allow the centre to run at a profit. conditioning units using HFC refrigerants. Effective January 2018, “This has far reaching implications, as planners may decide to these were scheduled for a phase-down in Australia, and when the build a second centre instead of extending an existing one if it means affected units drop the refrigerant charge, either there will be no the proposed extensions put the energy usage too far out of balance, replenishment available or the cost of replenishment will be exorbitant. thereby reducing profit margins in the existing building. “Now four years after importation of HCFC 22 (R22) in Australia “To put the energy costs for these buildings into perspective, one ceased, prices per kilo are around $200. The same will happen to council that we recently spoke to stated that their aquatic centre energy HFCs in about five years. If users of HFC based systems leave the usage accounted for 60 per cent of the total council energy budget.” conversion to future proof concepts too late, there is a very real risk He says that any chance of reducing that figure by more than half is that competent contractors will be in short supply and cooling/ very attractive to people paying the energy bills for these councils. heating simply stops. This has already been the experience within the “Integrated energy systems can be installed in new buildings EU where the HFC phase-down started in January 2015,” he says. and existing buildings and the business case for doing this requires Harbison says that regardless of how much a user is prepared to careful analysis of many factors. But with the price of energy rising pay, procurement of the very popular refrigerant HFC134A may be and the potential of a tax on carbon emissions, these systems close to impossible in five years’ time. certainly need closer inspection by asset managers as they offer so “These incidents have already occurred within the EU and incident many benefits over the life of buildings.” frequency is climbing,” he says. Contact: 1300 344 388, wwww.smartconsult.com.au n “R134A is used in millions of refrigerators and motor vehicles. Although there are interim HFC134A replacements such as R513A (an HFC/HFO blend) available, there are often extensive lead-times associated with these and costs are exorbitant – more than $150 per kg. And no gas equals no cooling or heating. “The fact is that a catastrophic loss of refrigerant has exactly the same effect as turning electricity supply to a chiller or a heat pump off. Aquatic centres like most other HFC users are on borrowed time,” he says. “The thing to do is to convert to something that provides a return on investment. Conversion to an interim solution is an investment with no return to the plant owner.”
Implications for the Australian market
He says it all comes down to balance. “When buildings are first being planned the first question asked at the outset should be: what is the thermal load of this building? How much heating is required and how much cooling is required? What is the balance of these loads in the building? How long will this system last?”
District heating is used extensively in northern Europe
April/May 2019 SPLASH! 59
Heat recovery supplies “free” energy for aquatic centre ABOVE: The Warwick Aquatic Centre RIGHT: The C250 multi-functional air handling unit BOTTOM: EvoHeat CS commercial pool heat pumps
The Warwick Aquatic Centre managed by the YMCA contracted Evo Industries Australia to upgrade multiple existing pool heating systems. The facility had previously been utilising a combination of heat pumps and a large gas boiler to supply heating via a single heated water loop, with each of the four pools then drawing heat via plate heat exchangers. The heating loop and plate heat exchangers were completely decommissioned and a fresh installation completed with each pool being assigned its own dedicated heat pump or pumps and supply-and-return circulation, providing more economical heating and further improving efficiency by reducing heat loss. The indoor hydrotherapy pool received more special treatment, with an EvoHeat C250 commercial air handling unit being installed to improve air quality. The C250 provides dehumidification and ventilation and is fitted with an energy recovery ventilation (ERV ) unit, which recovers heat energy from the exhaust air to pre-heat the inlet fresh air using this recovered “free” energy. This multi-functional dehumidification system uses the latest technologies to dehumidify the indoor pool room air and then recycles the waste heat energy
to heat both the air and pool water –significantly reducing the aquatic centre’s operating costs. The new infrastructure offers a low maintenance, energy efficient solution for pool heating, air handling, ventilation and heat recovery and will significantly reduce running costs and increase the control Warwick Aquatic Centre has over managing their pool temperature. Contact: 1300 859 933; evoheat.com.au
Warwick Aquatic Centre Project Location: Warwick, Queensland Client: Warwick Aquatic Centre Application: Pool heating, air handling, ventilation and heat recovery Heat pumps installed: 3 x Evo CS120-Gen2, 1 x Evo CS200-Gen2, 1 x Evo CS95-Gen2 all upgraded to stainless steel, 1 x EvoHeat CS250 commercial air handling unit Total heating and cooling capacity: 700kW
60 SPLASH! April/May 2019
THE NEW BENCHMARK IN ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY FOR SWIMMING POOLS & SPAS
The Climate Care Certification Program is an initiative of the Swimming Pool & Spa Association of Australia Ltd (SPASA). It is the industry’s efficiency and sustainability certification program. SPASA is proud to deliver an industry wide program to support, protect and promote the way the swimming pool and spa industry operates and strives for best practice sustainable solutions.
BENEFITS OF CERTIFICATION CONSUMER BENEFITS
ü Purchase with confidence knowing that you are choosing a certified environmentally sustainable solution ü Enjoy the benefits of choosing a solution which utilises water efficiency, energy efficiency, noise reduction measures, environmentally sustainable designs or efficiency/sustainability innovations ü Reduce your overall carbon footprint whilst saving money
ü Highlight your product/system/installation’s environmentally sustainable qualities ü Show your commitment to preserving the environment and to industry best practice ü Demonstrate your investment in the industry’s sustainable future and inspire others to do the same
THIRD-PARTY VERIFICATION All Climate Care Certified products undergo independent third-party testing and/or verification to assess and report on claims being made such as water efficiency and energy savings. Only credible and trusted local, national and international testing and verification bodies are considered by SPASA to ensure that claims being made on energy and water efficiency and sustainability are substantiated.
SPASA is proud to have appointed Smart Approved Watermark as their certification partner for water efficient products. www.smartwatermark.org
SWIMMING POOL & SPA ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALIA TEL 1300 021 482 WWW.SPASA.COM.AU
JOIN WITH INDUSTRY LEADERS FOR THE
SPASA LE ADERSHIP C O N V EN T I O N 2 019 HILTON HOTEL A DEL AIDE
FRIDAY 2 AUGUST 2019 EARLY BIRD PACKAGE $995 SAVE $165
SPASA Australia presents the 2019 Leadership Convention, with internationally acclaimed speakers set to inspire and motivate, and culminating in the celebration of the everpopular National Awards of Excellence. Valued at $1,160, secure your booking and save! Limited to the first 100 registrants, this package entitles you to attend not only the Leadership Convention and National Awards of Excellence, you also gain access to the exclusive Roof Top Networking event, being held on Thursday 1 August.
VISIT SPASA.COM.AU TO REGISTER
SPASA LE ADERSHIP CONVENTION 2019 THINK SHARE CREATE INSPIRE
Handmade artistic mosaic tiles Gold Coast company Maurimosaic has more than 15 years’ experience crafting and designing mosaic art. Now they are launching new hand-made mosaic artistic tiles such as Patio, Primero, Fiesta, Viento and Fortuna.
The tiles are great for making an artistic statement poolside as mosaic wall art with hand-cut stained glass to bring a vibrant addition to the outdoor space. With a variety of beautiful shapes, textures, and more than twenty colours, the possibilities are broad and beautiful. Maurimosaic also offers custom patterns and designs. Contact: www.Maurimosaic. com; 61_4 9011 0925
Alp outdoor sofa No need to book yourself into that resort holiday when you’ve got the new Alp outdoor sofa to enhance your outdoor area. Durable teak timbers have been handcrafted into a sturdy timber frame, while Sunbrella upholstered cushions offer a high level of comfort you won’t want to leave.
Underneath the upholstered seat cushions is a woven synthetic base, providing more “give” than timber slats. Available as a lounge chair and sofa so you are able to complete your outdoor setting with the Alp range. Contact: www.satara. com.au
April/May 2019 SPLASH! 63
See the project before it starts
Checking out your building project with your client prior to the first sod being turned is now possible thanks to Inspace XR’s signature product, River Fox, which allows architects and builders to present their building designs in real-scale virtual reality (VR), and physically walk their clients through them. Now, Inspace XR has raised $750,000 in seed funds from a group of investors that includes Australia’s largest angel investment group (Sydney Angels, Artesian, Taronga Group and Investible) to
Digitised documents and communication
DigiQuatics is an all-in-one app for aquatics facilities, with applications for any department in parks and recreation and other commercial swimming pools. DigiQuatics has more than 20,000 users (including aquatics managers, lifeguards, technicians, and instructors) in four countries. DigiQuatics has more than 16 a-lacarte modules including staff scheduling, chemical records, daily checklists, custom forms and more.
scale internationally and develop new AR/VR products that build on River Fox. The start-up’s VR technology is already being used by some of the largest companies in the world across residential, commercial, educational, and industrial real estate – including JLL, CBRE, Charter Hall, Folkestone, and Macquarie Bank – in a bid to sell and lease real estate with an advantage, and to reduce costly design mistakes. Contact: www.inspacexr.com
By digitising your documentation, you can improve the efficiency of your operation, communicate in real-time, and ensure risk management is a top priority if and when a legal issue arises. The DigiQuatics custom forms builder allows for any field type (text, number, date/time, checkbox, dropdown, etc.), e-signatures, file-attachments, and DigiQuatics even automatically emails key personnel when forms are submitted. Contact: www.digiquatics.com
Protect Pool, Protect Your Your Pool, Protect Kids Protect Your Your Kids View our online video showing common pool fencing faults and how to spot them at View our online video showing common pool fencing faults and how to spot them at www.kidshealth.chw.edu.au/projects/drowning-prevention/swimming-pool-fencing www.kidshealth.chw.edu.au/projects/drowning-prevention/swimming-pool-fencing
64 SPLASH! April/May 2019
CoverMate Vanish XL spa cover lifter
Spa accessory manufacturer Leisure Concepts had launched the CoverMate Vanish XL spa cover lifter. Leisure Concepts says the modern design, complete with integrated hydraulic shock system, provides effortless operation and function when placing the cover in a low-profile position behind the spa that offers a 360-degree view. The quick and simple installation requires just seven inches of clearance on each side, making the product a favourite for service and installation departments. The US-made cover uses high quality, non-corrosive materials and is designed to work on most brands and sizes, the CoverMate Vanish XL will provide a competitive advantage for showrooms. Contact: www.leisureconcepts.com
The quiet, energy saving pump
The pump is the beating heart of the swimming pool since it moves the water for the purpose of filtration and treatment. A conventional pump, however, can be extremely expensive as it consumes more power than all the other devices combined. For this reason, DAB designed the highly energy-efficient E.Swim electronic pump with low-consumption variable speed motor and hydraulics far superior to those of single-speed pumps. DAB says E.Swim uses up to 90 per cent less power than a conventional pump at constant speed and is ultra-quiet thanks to the water cooled motor, anti-vibration feet and fan-less operation. Contact: 1300 378 677; www.dabpumps.com.au
POOL HEATING PANEL
The Eco-therm panel is manufactured by Aquatherm Industries in the US, who have been manufacturing pool heating panels for over 30 years, and its fluted design gives more surface area to achieve one of the highest heat transfer ratings in the Australian market. The strategically placed slots in the webbing prevent moisture build up under the collector and allow pressure relief during high winds. Of all the options available to heat your pool, solar energy is the most cost effective and environmentally friendly method available.
To find out more visit our website.
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