Climate-Friendly Sunken Pool Converts into Radiant Floor | Home Design Find

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Climate-Friendly Sunken Pool Converts into Radiant Floor

Sinking Pool architecture
Here’s a truly glamorous idea for a pool. A sinking pool! The apparently permanent stone floor in this room literally slowly drops to reveal the pool underneath.

Sinking Pool floor architecture

In the raised position, you can walk on the same surface radiantly warmed from beneath. And of course, having the swimming pool convert itself  into a floor makes it child-friendly too: this is not a pool that a child can fall into.

Sinking Pool done architecture
Once it is sunken it looks like any other indoor pool – as permanent as you could possibly want.

Sinking Pool shallow architecture
You could design this so that it remains as just a shallow decorative pool when not in use, one that is only an inch or two deep.

But the best thing about this idea is that it would also make keeping the pool warm a cinch. The exposed surface of pools give off heat at a great rate and take a lot of energy to reheat. But this one is only exposed to heat evaporation when you swim in it. This could make this extremely glamorous design also a very climate-friendly one as well. That’s because the energy expended to keep pools toasty make your swimming pool the worst carbon hog: worse even than you driving that SUV.

Radiant floors or the use of thermal mass is climate-friendly design because of the  slow release of warmth – reducing energy needs for heating.

The super-rich with luxury housing do the most harm to the planet with their luxury high energy use architecture. So, encouraging their architects to incorporate eco design ideas like thermal mass/radiant floors into luxury architecture is a way to reduce their normally VERY heavy carbon footprint.

But of course the energy consumption would depend on how much  energy is expended to raise and lower the floor. Perhaps that can be engineered to be a clever energy efficient design… or perhaps not. It is designed in Belgium – if you want to ask and see, or make a suggestion on how that could be achieved.

Source: Hydrofloors
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44 Comments so far to “Climate-Friendly Sunken Pool Converts into Radiant Floor”
  1. carrie leber Says:

    this is very cool. it reminds me a little of the frost free – radiant heat driveways that people are putting in. amazing how innovative some companies are.

  2. Janice Says:

    great pool!!!!!

  3. Ken Says:

    How do you fill the pool? I understand it'll have fill-in pipes when it's sunken but how do you fill in water when it's just an inch high? It's a great concept no doubt, but just can't understand how it'll REALLY work!


  4. Jen Says:

    I love the idea, but surely its climate-friendliness is somewhat diminished by the fact that a huge amount of energy would be needed to lift and lower a (presumably very heavy) stone floor?

  5. eric Says:

    assuming the above is true, it wouldn't take much work at all to raise and lower the floor. Lowering the floor wouldn't require any work as the floor could just sink and lifting it would be easier than normal because of the density of the water…all in all way less energy wasted than in keeping an open top pool warm

  6. jenuts Says:

    If you are really concerned about climate friendliness use a sponge and warm water. A pool is a pure luxury item whatever "climate-friendly" bling you throw at it.

    I would have one in my house. Im not concerned.

  7. Bella Says:

    Wouldn't the water get really dirty often? Also it would bother me to have to deal with a giant room with a lot of space you can't do much with. And even though density and a downward force is involved, a lot of energy would have to be put into raising and lowering a giant plaque since they wouldn't just let it sink and float.

  8. Jon Fresno Says:

    Using a simple pulley and counterweight system would alleviate any great energy needs to lift and lower the stone floor, no matter how heavy it is.

  9. slimdave420 Says:

    Neat concept but doesn't make much sense to me. OK so you have a floor that lowers, magically transforming into a pool, ooo ahh. That would get real boring after awhile. This particular pool is just that a pool, I don't think you could do much 'swimming' in it. I'm sure the concept could be scaled up but in this case its overkill. Now for the part that really doesn't make sense. To market this as 'radiant heating' and climate friendly is a bit far fetched. What room exactly are we heating? The small empty room that nobody uses? You know the one that smells like clorine? What's the point of raising the floor? Do I have to move a roomful of furniture just to take a dip? And then move everything back? What about mineral build up and stains on the floor? How long does it take the floor to dry? Ugh, my head hurts now, lol

  10. Dan Says:

    The problem of raising and lowering the floor is solved using a bilge system similar to a submarine. If the floor is a hollow honeycomb, a bilge system could pump water and air in and out. To prevent leaking, the inside of the floor could be coated with recycled plastic. When the floor is filled with air, given the proper dimensions, it will float to the surface where it could be locked in place. When filled with water, the weight of the stone will cause the floor to sink. Finally, power the bilge with a solar powered battery.

  11. Jim Says:

    They have pools like this at the "O" Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas… very impressive.

  12. memyself Says:

    that would be awesome to set up the dinning table there, and really suprise ur guests

  13. vicarious Says:

    Onassis (Jacky. Kennedy last husband) had a mosaic floor like that on his yacht the Christina if i recall. He turned the pool into a dance floor when desired. Another Japanese Tycoon had the same set up with a the pool floor going up and down clinging around a glass tube that was an elevator shaft from the master suite below the captains deck I think it was the Bengal II I saw it in the Hong Kong Club Marina in the 80s.
    I think this is a great concept for a home. It's not so far fetched for people with the right wallet . Say its winter your not there etc…So many options. One has to be part of the the type of society that are part of this niche market to appreciate. Posh and and outrageous and novel is always an attraction for clients with the right budget.
    And hey there are many "green" concepts selling that are not green at all. Start with Green bio eco dish-washing liquid that costs 3$ more than your average supermarket Palmolive. Or Green Cars that cost 15$ more than your average car.
    So get over it some see green and live green and some just talk green and yes some market "green" bravo!

  14. fm Says:

    great idea in terms of practicality.

    concerning the remark at the end: the energy needed to raise and lower the floor is mechanical and should be insignificant compared to heating i don't know how many litres of water
    i find it quite remarkable that a lot of people still dont seem to have a feeling of how much energy is stored in things…
    say the floor is 1 ton and you have to lift it 2 metres. you need about 20 kJ for that.
    if the pool has just 6x3x2 m^3 and you want to make it just 2°C warmer you need about 300 000 kJ!

    i dont really see whats the ecological benefit of it?
    the water still has to be heated. and it gives it back to its surrounding – it goes into the air if its open and to the floor if its closed. what's the difference? in both cases the pool gets cooler after a certain time. if you want to swim you have to reheat it.
    it might cool down faster if it's open, but after a few hours the difference wont be big. dont expect a serious c02 saving on that…

  15. sigrid Says:

    Fun party stunt: Have your party guests seated, standing, drinking eating, on this floor. Then, when they are sufficiently sodden, lower it very slowly into the pool.

  16. Cocobolo Says:

    I know this isn't quite in line with the original concept…but why could the "floor" not simply slide in or out from either or both sides. The stone doesn't necessarily need to be real. There are so many artificial, light weight and incredibly strong products out there that surely such a floor would be relatively simple to build. The insulation value of the floor would then be enough to prevent almost all heat loss when the pool was not in use. Besides, I see it as being much quicker to move a floor like this then having to raise the floor through a few hundred thousand pounds of water. Although, I suppose, if the floor was light enough, it might elevate itself. Could we not use magnetic force to raise or lower the floor. We really have to start thinking way outside the box here.
    Another potential lift system would be air pumped into a hollow floor. In which case it would lift itself slowly through the water. Lots to think about here.

  17. tranztopoleez Says:

    i think the materials and energy it takes just to build this would probably offset the "eco-friendly" radiant heat system

  18. Steve Says:

    Climate friendly? CO2 doesn't cause it. So it's resource friendly. :-)

  19. stella Says:

    If the only way you can get yourself noticed is "to have" rather than "to be", then this is the right bling bling for you.
    The best pool is the sea, the rest is bleached BS.

  20. tim Says:

    nice…. i love it :)

  21. Chris Says:

    Hi guys! I really like this idea.
    @slimdave420: I totally agree with you that the idea of 'Radiant Heating' or even the 'climate-friendly' concept of this design or far-fetched.
    I still like this idea though! I would personally use one of these in place of an indoor pool any day. I would keep it at a few inches deep most of the time, but I really do like the fact that you can raise it to floor level (say you have a party with more guests than usual … u can convert it to temporary dining room )…
    On the idea that it takes plenty of energy to raise/lift the floor – that can probably be counter-acted by turning your computer off at night… no big deal.
    I'd assume the floor would be made of a porous material, allowing the water to flow through it, allowing for quicker submerging, and also faster drying for when the floor is to be raised fully. As long as the water level is kept a few inches below the floor surface, this would work fine, and provide radiant heating to the floor of "the big empty room with nothing in it" – lol!
    I would get one if i could afford it, bottom line. Alongside a real, outdoor pool 😀

  22. Chris Says:

    @Cocobolo: Good thinking outside the box!
    My idea is that the floor is porous (like asphalt) and is basically like a microscopic screen that his little tiny holes in it. Water can pass through these holes; almost eliminating lifting any water at all (almost but not totally because there will likely be some pressure from the water in the tiny holes, causing a reverse effect from buoyancy). However, this (pore pressure) force is small and could be designed to be balanced in such a way to minimize the amount of force required to raise/lower the floor.
    This is just an educated guess on my part, I have no idea how they designed this – I'm going to look into it to try to find out… it is very interesting!

  23. Chris Says:

    But i doubt filling a hollow floor like the ballast of a submarine would work…. unless the floor was made out of foam or such……which would be impractical for a floor surface. You would need a material with very low density (or a floor with a very large volume, while maintaining a low overall weight).

  24. Chris Says:

    Just watched a video of it in action – NO porous floor… it is solid.
    It simply has a gap of about a half inch or so and lowers VERY slowly, allowing the water to seep out the edges and submerge the floor as it continues to lower.

  25. waicool Says:

    brilliant, maintenance has got to be a bitch though

  26. umgrego2 Says:

    *NOT* climate-friendly

  27. Florian Stotz Says:

    very cool idea…I reckon that would be the cherry on the topping in our design office :-)

  28. Alquiler de yates en Ibiza Says:

    thats pretty cool. nice idea for those who need more living-space.

  29. kul Says:

    as an interior designer I would use this concept : i had a pool installed on a project I was involved in – and this would have been a consideration – as for it been climate friendly – well my guess is, if you can afford the pool then you wouldn't worry about saving energy!!!!!
    I think it's fab…

  30. Gary Says:

    Don't be lazy, get some exercise and install a bike/winch/cog system.
    You cycle and the floor lowers, you cycle backwards and the floor raises.

    Eco friendly and good for your health, and after sweating to death lowering it, jump in the pool, and get refreshed, then get out and get sweaty again to re raise it 😛

  31. r10t3r Says:

    It's like the end of the crystal maze!!

  32. Design Minibar Says:

    This is very nice pool, although I do not really want to think about maintenance problems, or how really practical it is …
    It is somehow like sofa-beds .. they are usually always stay in only ONE of it´s options, either open or closed !

  33. Themehmeh Says:

    AH Amazing.
    I am very environmentally conscious and I've had alot of trouble balancing between my love of pretending to love the environment and my love for opulence. Glad I can finally have that heated Indoor pool I've always wanted Knowing I can fool my equally rich friends into thinking it was an environmentally conscious decision.

  34. TexasMikey Says:

    I have had an outdoor pool. How would you be able to clean or vacuum under the floor? Imagine the algae build up if you can't vacuum?

  35. Your Handyman Says:

    Yea, as a proof of concept – a great idea.

    But on the second though: it is expensive to build and you have a room which you cannot really use for nothing but a ball dance.

    So it is more like James Bond movie style indoor pool for a villain, rather than a pool for your average Joe

  36. mmmmmm Says:

    remember to clean the floor first!

  37. Hydrofloor: Disappearing Pool Saves Energy and Space | Inhabitat - Green Design Will Save the World Says:

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  38. Emma Says:

    Wouldn't the floor be wet once it was raised? You'd have to mop up all the water every time you raised the floor.

  39. Alquiler de yates en Ibiza Says:

    Thanks for your great step-by-step guide for subversion, this helped me a lot.

  40. Gregory Pelizzari Says:

    great idea, and to raise and lower it, just attach a simple (but efficient) gearbox to your exercise bike…then you'll be ready for the swim!
    healthy eco-energy

  41. Realtor Chicagoland Says:

    I wish I had one of those.

  42. Jess Beans Says:

    First of all, there are many uses for a large open roomm so don't assume that just because you wouldn't use it, no one would. I dance, so it would get used as dance space, open space for the kids to play during the winter, a place to set up dining space for holidays or parties, yoga, rent the space out for meetings. There are a thousand uses if you just open your mind a little.
    Also, even those who are not rich can afford things like this if they really want to. Its called a budget, and savings. I have many things I shouldn't be able to afford, but I do because I prioritze.

  43. Ali Says:

    that is a really creative idea, a true multi-purpose hall 😀

  44. HydroFloors' Energy-Efficient Radiant Floor Sinks To Reveal Gorgeous Indoor Heated Pool Below | Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building Says:

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