4.) Gunite / Shotcrete Applications

Click on the image below to view the before and after application of this pool’s Gunite…

Gunite - Shotcrete After

Shotcrete / Gunite Application

There are different approaches and different concrete products that can apply to building a swimming pool’s concrete shell.

The Swimming Pool’s design intent must collaborate with an approach and application for the principled science, in order to provide the anticipatable level of compression strength for the structural integrity.

The steel reinforcements provide tinsel strength and the concrete product application placed over the rebar provides compression strength and together these provide for the overall structurally engineering design considerations.

Calculations are performed and the necessary strength is determined to withstand the forces being anticipated from all known factors and depending upon the construction conformity. These can include several of the following elements for building swimming pools, spas and water-features but, are not limited to;

  • Slabs
  • Walls
  • Beams
  • Columns (Caisson Piers)
  • Foundations / Footings

Generally speaking standard “Boiler Plate” or “Site Specific” engineering is quoted on the basis of a “Lump-Sum Quotation” (excluding mandated field observations) and is determined after the conclusion of all preliminary Pool / Wall Design / Slab / Foundation / requirements are established on the Topography Plan;


Shotcrete Application for Swimming Pool Structural Engineering…

The most common approach is to employ a “Standard Boiler Plate Steel Schedule” in providing the directions for the swimming pool’s steel reinforcement density and sizing of placements.

Shotcrete is concrete conveyed through a hose and pneumatically projected at high velocity onto a surface, as a construction technique.

It is reinforced by conventional steel rods, steel mesh, and/or fibers. Fiber reinforcement (steel or synthetic) is also used for stabilization in applications such as slopes or tunneling.

Shotcrete is usually an all-inclusive term for both the wet-mix and dry-mix versions however, in the swimming pool construction the term “shotcrete” refers to wet-mix and “gunite” to dry-mix. In this context, these terms are not interchangeable (see “Shotcrete vs. gunite”).

Shotcrete is placed and compacted at the same time, due to the force with which it leaves the nozzle. It can be sprayed onto any type or shape of surface, including vertical or overhead areas.

Gunite Application

This information must be accompanied by an Engineer’s calculations and wet stamped authentication by that Engineer, stating that he / she is currently licensed in the State of the work being performed and that that supportive requirements will meet of exceed the the local building departments requirements.

Overall, this approach may be adequate in providing structural integrity but, absent the Engineer of Record’s (EOR) site specific verification that these standards have been authenticated as being applicable to your project, you lose the benefit of those second set of eyes!

Site Specific Engineering

Geotechnical Investigations____Geotechnical Investigations

The sole purpose of employing Structural Engineering is to insure that the loads being exerted on the Pool’s Gunite / Shotcrete Shell can withstand the site’s conditional forces.

Different soil textures, proximity to building foundations, toe and heal hillsides locations, subsoil strata composition, hydro-static water conditions and a host of other site specific conditions may exist.

Site Observations

Absent In-Field, Site Observations that can verify that the prescribed steel reinforcement placements have been erected to the standards indicated on the Steel Reinforcement Schedule, you may be blind to possible conflicts.

A Blind Eye

The intentions of the structural specifications for wall thickness, bar spacing, bar size, bar grade classifications are suppose to all culminate into what is anticipated for being structurally adequate.

In the process of constructed a swimming pool, sometime discoveries are made and this is where a pair of experienced eyes can expose what could otherwise dissimulate where such conflicts arise.

Additionally, this second level of over-viewing provides you with the added “no wiggle room” insurance, that is the intention of securing the services of Structural Engineering in the first place!

In disconnecting the EOR from the In-field Observation obligation of inspecting the erected steel reinforcement’s placements, it opens a gap for where the responsibility of the structural integrity rest.

Improper steel placements and Gunite thicknesses can result in structural failure. Also,…evolving site conditions that were previously unknown may change the prescription for these components for providing structural integrity.

In failing to notify the Structural Engineer and involve his or her remedied diagnoses, it can nullified the Engineer’s responsibility.

A More Responsible Approach….

The best approach to obtaining the greatest benefits from Structural Engineering services is to connect the Structural Engineer to the responsibility of his or her duties.

Making provisions for the Engineer to review the plans as part of the planning process and having “In-Field Observations” performed during the construction process can be a crucial component to providing you with the assurances that come from those qualified second set of eyes!

Structural Breach

NOTE: In the placement of steel reinforcements you have one chance to get it right and structural breach is a costly and very inconvenient price to pay for something so easily avoided.

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Aquatic Mechanical Engineering  (800) 766-5259