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Swimming Pool Safety in France using an Abris to NFP90-309

Review of Pool Shelters, Enclosures or Abris as they are known as in France

This is what a telescopic pool shelter or abris looks like when open:-


And when closed:-


Note the tracks on the deck slabs that are required for this telescopic type to run on.

There are dozens of types - some very large, very high and very, very expensive (think 60,000 euros HT +).

They tend to be classified in terms of their height as follows. In France the planning law is directly related to the Abris size and height.

Abris Planning Laws in France

Type Height Area Covered
Low (Un abri bas) 0.6 m - 1.0 m Pool basin and pool coping stones
Medium (Mi-haut or Semi-haut) 1.0m - 1.8m Varies
High (Un abris haut) greater then 1.8m high Normally covers pool basin as well as the surrounding pa

One has to say - right from the start that these things are hideously ugly - no matter how they are dressed up!

BUT - they do have quite a few advantages and from the number that you see in the French countryside they are regarded as a highly desirable item in France - where the supreme pragmatists completely ignore the look of the things because they offer quite a lot more in the way of creature comfort!

Table of Advantages of a Pool Shelter or Abri

Features Benefits / provisos
The greenhouse affect of the abris keeps its internal temperature up and so the pool water temperature can be kept much higher at no cost

Water temperature generally 8 - 10 degrees C higher.

Water heating costs are reduced substantially

Pool can be used when it is windy or cold and at night 24 hour swimming for several months per year and swimming season extended to 8 - 9 months per year without heating the shelter
Air pollution is removed from the pool water

Pool water algae blooms are frequently caused by wind blown chemicals being spread by the local farmer.

Pool has to be cleaned out much less frequently

Biting and annoying insects are kept away from swimmers Horse flies can totally stop use of the pool in some areas in July and August
Pool winterisation my not be required Some precautions may still need to be taken
Provides an extension to the house that can be used for over-wintering of frost sensitive plants Ditto
Is a real safety device in its own right Most comply with NFP90-309 if bought in France
Balneotherapy equipment is more justifiable in a pool with an Abris A seperate spa for all year use is not required if the pool has an abri
Music can be piped around the pool with less annoyance to the neighbours.  

Precautions that need to be taken when installing an abris

Feature Issue
Wind These are just like greenhouses and so need to be well fixed down with the covering fixed in full compliance with local Codes of Practice for wind in the installation location
Snow The structural design needs to comply with the local Codes of Practice for snowfall in your area
Rain Rainfall must be collected in drains and directed away from the pool - any abri that send the water that falls on it to the area around the pool walls could cause severe structural problems in the pool itself

This is it - the Achilles Heel of the Abris or Pool Shelter.

Under certain weather conditions the underside of the abris can shed water like it is raining - i.e. after a cold night when the sun gets up in the morning.

The effect can be minimised by always covering the swimming pool with an insulated floating pool cover and by controlled ventilation of the pool shelter or abris but it will probably always be a problem from time to time.

Apart from the inconvenience the main consequence of the condensation is that the abris structure must be highly corrosion resistant - many are built in anodised alumimium partly for it lightness and partly because it does not rust.

Planning Consent

Click on the following links for more information on this issue

Abris or Pool Shelter planning consent in France

Abris or Pool Shelter planning consent in the UK



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