In 2011, the sparkling-new Greensboro Aquatic Center (GAC) opened in the heart of North Carolina. It is, without a doubt, one of the most spectacular aquatic venues in the United States. GAC is ideally located for North Carolina swimming, sitting between the two major areas in the state: Raleigh/Durham and Charlotte. GAC hosts major swim meets throughout the year, and it has a tremendously busy schedule.
GAC has successfully hosted countless USA Swimming Sectional and Regional championships, State championships, USMS Master’s Nationals, YMCA Nationals, The ACC Championships, and many others. GAC has even been featured on FOX’s reality TV show “Stars in Danger: High Dive“. They are the host of the 2013 USA Swimming Junior National Championships, and the 2014 Senior National Championships. Beyond that, GAC was a finalist in bidding for the highest profile meet in the nation: the 2016 US Olympic Trials.
GAC is excellently managed. Its water chemistry–combined with UV sanitation–provides crystal clear water quality. Their facility is immaculate and clean; yet, as magnificent as the Greensboro Aquatic Center is, its consistently high bather load has led to severe air quality problems during events. Outside doors stay open, the HVAC systems purge to introduce as much outside air as possible, and the pool would be shocked to fight chloramines. But nothing worked.
GAC’s air quality challenges are a testament to what we at the Paddock Evacuator Company have come to believe is an inevitable truth: no matter how good your pool is, airborne disinfectant byproducts will happen. Nothing can fully prevent them, and diluting with outside air will not eliminate them. Greensboro tried it all and did everything right, but it simply did not matter.
Greensboro hired Paddock because they were frustrated by their air quality problems, and discouraged that all their best efforts could not solve them. GAC had wasted a tremendous amount of money fighting chloramines by way of conditioning excess outside air, extra chemicals, extra cleaning and other costs. They came to us–hoping we could help them–because they were at risk of losing future events due to their reputation for having bad air. They were worried about the health risks to swimmers, coaches, lifeguards and spectators. Additionally, for the long term health of their $19m facility, eliminating corrosive chloramines would save them money in the future by saving their HVAC equipment from corroding from the inside out.
So Greensboro took action.
The Evacuator for this Aquatic Center had to be custom, and it had to be substantial. Our design was in coordination with multiple engineers and contractors; we did several tests to determine directional airflow; and existing ducts had to be modified. After months of design and coordination, the project came to life to be ready in time for the 2013 USA Swimming Junior National Championships in December.
The Evacuator is an investment by the City of Greensboro on behalf of every person that visits GAC, to make your experience more enjoyable, healthier, and safe. They truly live up to their reputation as a world-class aquatic center.