Do you dream of having an indoor swimming pool but just can't figure out where to put it? Yeah, we don't either. Indoor pools are a luxury reserved for those who enjoy a much higher pay grade, but that doesn't mean we can't make them as climate-friendly as possible. A Belgian company called HydroFloors has perfected a technology that transforms a customized indoor pool into energy-efficient radiant flooring at the touch of a button. If you have the space—and thousands of dollars burning a hole in your pocket—a moveable radiant floor/pool combo might be hard to resist.
The secret to the HydroFloors vanishing pool trick is a series of stainless steel beams, buoyancy packs, and a pulley system hidden beneath the floor. When deployed in the pool position, the floor panels recede into the shape of a modestly-sized indoor pool. The client is able to choose a series of preselected floor depths, from a wading pool of just a few inches, to full deployment of several feet.
What you can’t tell by looking at the pool is that the floor is actually made of separate panels that fit together like a puzzle. When the client is done swimming for the day, the underground pulley system goes to work, slowly raising the floor panels while the water strains back into the pool cavity. Within minutes, the pool is completely covered, transforming the watery surface into an on-demand radiant floor.
Although it may seem like an unnecessary luxury, there’s actually some practicality in this technology. Being able to completely cover the pool prevents hundreds of dollars in heat loss. Likewise, the radiant flooring allows for the slow release of thermal heat into the home’s atmosphere at the ground level which is more efficient than baseboard heating and usually more efficient than forced-air heating because it eliminates duct losses. People with allergies often prefer radiant heat because it doesn’t distribute allergens like forced air systems can.
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