The leisure pool ‚Aquarius‘ has been a visitor magnet in the north-rhine westphalian town of Borken for many years now, thanks to its countless attractions. The attractive sauna area with its wide-spread outdoor grounds – its sauna garden – delights visitors. But the complete site had become slightly ‘aged’ and was being renovated bit by bit, to bring it up to par. Last winter, the walkways and relaxation areas in the sauna garden were taken care of: the old wooden decks not only looked ugly, they were partially torn and splintering. They were replaced on a total of 405 square metres by a modern, robust and durable surface of wood composite materials. ‘Smart’ in brown from NATURinFORM’s range, the specialist for wood composite materials.
Leisure Pool Aquarius
Strong in brown
Smart in brown
Type of construction
Splendid moated palaces and mighty castles, original villages and nature full of forests: that is the Münsterland. In the northwest of Westphalia, at the border to the Netherlands and Lower Saxony, the region offers a multitude of options for active recreation. Embedded in a park landscape, Borken, with its 42,000 inhabitants, is the centre of the county with the same name.
Finnish sauna atmosphere in the Münsterland
The ‚Aquarius‘ offers its big and small guests a whiff of adventure shooting through the spray of the wildwater canal, or conquering the climbing frame with a waterfall. And the 65 metre large black-hole-slide makes every visit an adventure, too. But it is also calm: the whirlpool and the saline pool offer a place to relax. ‘Humans are happiest after the sauna,’ is a saying in Finnland – and the Finns know what they are saying, as, according to the ‘World Happiness Report’, they are the happiest people in the world. Sauna friends can enjoy a Finnish atmosphere on more than 8,000 square metres. The outdoor saunas, all block cabins made of massive trunks, are made up of only Kelo wood. The experience is enhanced by an earth, panorama, event and banja sauna. You can cool down in the natural pond, or use Kneipp pipes, splash or rain showers. Then you go to the beach, or to one of the lounger houses to relax. Once there, friends of the sauna can enjoy the beneficial warmth of an open fire, or relax on comfortable water beds.
Wood composite materials: ’First choice’ for outdoor areas exposed to water
‘Many years of intensive wear and tear had left obvious marks,’ Daniel Lechtenberg remembers. The 35-year-old Borkenian now leads the family company for carpentry, drywall construction and roofing in the fourth generation which was awarded the contract for the wood work from the public tender for the sauna garden. The upper surfaces, as well as the underlying construction made of pine and fir trees, had not only become ugly, but were also rotten and splintering, due to weathering. ‘Wooden decks are unsuitable for outdoor areas with intensive contact to water,’ says Lechtenberg, who has been processing wood composite materials for many years. Therefore, he highly recommended NATURinFORM’s patio decks in his concept. The concept, the cost scope, as well as the suggested choice of material convinced the operator. ‘We keep using this material in our company and have had a lot of positive experience with it,’ says the expert. ‘The wood composite materials are extremely resistant to weathering and very robust, also durable and especially suitable for outdoor areas exposed to water, as they are non-slippery and do not splinter.’ The ‘Aquarius’ sauna’s guests benefit from this now. It took only two months on site for Daniel Lechtenberg and his employees to lay NATURinFORM’s decks in the walkways and relaxation areas in the sauna garden at the end of 2018. After one year of ‘practical testing’, not only the visitors, but also the municipal utilities Borken as the operator, are convinced of both the material, as well as the Lechtenberg-Team’s craftsmanship and performance. Currently, the experts are already working on a follow-up order in the ‘Aquarius’.
Popular partner for solutions in the woodworking trade
Founded by his great-grandfather Gerhard Lechtenberg in 1912, Daniel Lechtenberg recently took over leadership of the company from his father. For 108 years, the carpentry and woodprocessing company with 11 employees today is a popular partner when looking for solutions in the woodprocessing trade. ‘Years of craft tradition, coupled with modern technology and expertise are an important basis for our lasting success,’ says Daniel Lechtenberg, who describes versatility as the special strength of his company. The company has encompassive experience in renovating old buildings and half-timber, as well as in historic preservation. But also with modern builds, such as roofs, pergolas, carports and patio surfaces; and in addition façade design, wooden cladding in interior areas and the development of attics.
Expert trade also delivered arguments ‘for wood composite materials’
When choosing the most suitable materials for the sauna garden, the local building materials trader played an important part, and their expertise delivered clear arguments ‘for wood composite materials’. ‘As an expert trader we were also consulted as experts for this construction measure,’ says Klaus Krasenbrink, expert consultant at Lueb + Wolters in Borken. The ‘construction expert centre in the Münsterland’ is a family-run medium-sized enterprise and has been located in Borken for 120 years. The European building materials shareholder has around 120 employees. ‘Wood composite materials are playing a steadily growing part in our range,’ reports Klaus Krasenbrink on his experience, pointing out the convincing characteristics typical of the material, such as slip-resistance and barefoot friendliness. ‘At Lueb + Wolters we have been recording increasing sales amounts in this product group for years now,’ says the timber expert. Lueb + Wolters has been cooperating successfully with NATURinFORM as a supplier for two years. Processing and the use of wood composite materials saves time, work and money, as annual varnishing and oiling is unnecessary. And the patio decks are really easy to assemble and take care of. That is important, both for the professional processors, as well as our end customers.’
The best of wood and watertight materials
Close proximity to water is quite a challenge for wood. If wood is exposed to permanent humidity outdoors for years and years, it soaks up spray water and bulges. Tears develop and micro-organisms settle, creating an even larger area for water. Algae make surfaces like that ever more slippery. On 340 square metres ‘Strong’ replaced the original wooden surface in the ‘Aquarius’ sauna garden. ‘Strong’ is a deck with massive, 38-millimetre-thick carrrying decks, that have proven to be extremely resilient, even under heavy-duty use.
High slip-resistance level R12 according to DIN 51130
NATURinFORM is specialised in the production of wood composite materials: these combine the optical characteristics of wood with the weather-resistance of watertight materials. During the production process, natural wooden fibres are combined with a polymer. These components coat every single fibre, so that no water can penetrate the finished deck. Due to its special technical features, the wood composite material is resistant to humidity. The material does not splinter, not even after years directly next to water. And because water just drips of the surface, it has an especially high TÜV certified safety for walking on: In a test by TÜV Rheinland in 2011, the decks achieved the high slip-resistance level R12, according to DIN 51130.
‚Smart solution‘: Water is automatically drained
‘Smart’ was laid on a further 65 square metres on the bistro patio. This is the first deck to combine the wood composite material’s water-repellant characteristics with a cambered surface. It is curved towards the middle in such a way that environmental or cleaning water is automatically drained. Rain runs off, as if by itself, as the slant is already embedded in each individual deck. Thus, the floor can be laid without a slant. And ‘Smart’ has a good feel to it, too, as it is great to walk on barefoot, without the risk of splinters that occur with pure wood. Later sanding or varnishing is not required with these decks – meaning that there are no costs for maintenance and care, an unbeatable bonus, especially for those operating public surfaces.
’Smart’s wavy stamping refractions light, enhancing the elegant stamped look even more. As it doesn’t have grooves, ‘Smart’ is also not as high, only 19 millimetres. And yet it can still carry heavy loads; it weighs 2.7 kilogrammes on each running metre, but can carry 400 kilogrammes per square decimetre.