What’s Up With Rooftop Pools?

ramaker insights

What’s Up With Rooftop Pools?


what’s up with rooftop pools?

Recently, we’ve seen a big upswing in our clients requesting rooftop pools. And it makes complete sense. Many young professionals are looking for pools and whirlpools as one of the amenities in their community living area. In urban areas with limited space and high land costs, putting a pool on the rooftop is an attractive and cost-effective alternative.

It may seem odd to some, but pools constructed on a building’s roof are similar to those installed in the ground, but with a higher level of coordination. That said, here are a few key things our aquatic designers focus on when designing rooftop pools.

What’s Up With Rooftop Pools?
The Lux Apartments - Madison, Wisconsin


Pumps and piping require some coordination when they’re being laid in the ground. But there’s a little more to deal with when it’s on the roof of a building. The pathways for the pipes still need to go from pool to equipment room but you’re limited to where you can place the piping to allow maintenance and repair. Having your aquatic engineer, structural engineer, mechanical engineer, and architect work closely together will ensure the pool piping and equipment room is thoughtfully designed in an accessible, cohesive manner.


Although many design considerations are similar to ground level pools, being on a rooftop increases the importance of these items. As always, the deck can’t be slippery, and it would be nice if it didn’t get too hot when direct sun starts beating down on it. Wind velocity increases the higher you are off the ground, so you should look closely at objects that need to be secured in the case of high wind gusts.


Coordinate with the structural engineer. They need to calculate the load that the building can support. This doesn’t mean you have to have a small pool. But the rooftop location, pool materials, and environmental factors (high winds and snow loads), all account for the stresses on the building.


Traditionally apartment rooftops have been used for mechanical space and are noisy and ugly, creating an entire floor of wasted space. By soundproofing and hiding mechanicals, you can create an appealing social gathering place – an outdoor living area that is comfortable, safe, secure, and private.


While a rooftop pool isn’t an overly complex project, there are many items that need to be accounted for so that your tenants are safe, your pool is low-maintenance, and your building free from damage. Ideally, you would choose an Aquatic Engineer with a long history of experience in this line of work.

Having a rooftop pool on your building can be an ideal option. Take your time, do your homework, let us walk you through the process, and you’ll have a great amenity for your tenants!

What’s Up With Rooftop Pools?
The Hub Apartments - Madison, Wisconsin
What’s Up With Rooftop Pools?
The James Apartments - Madison, Wisconsin
Daryl Matzke


Aquatics Market Leader

Daryl contributes 30 years of experience in the Aquatics industry. His specialty lies in managing large-scale, multi-discipline developments. His areas of expertise include plan development and calculation review, conceptual planning, regulatory review and permitting, project management, construction engineering, construction inspection, contract administration, and quality control.

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