State of the Art Aquatic Center

Case Study


Pacific Environments NZ Ltd


Mindy Wigglesworth

The long anticipated Sir Owen G. Glenn National Aquatic Center opened its doors to the public earlier this year. The state of the art swimming complex has set a new standard in aquatic excellence, providing kiwis with a world-class training environment as well as the capacity to host national and international competitions.

With a building footprint of 35,843.82ft2, the $26 million dollar establishment features two swimming pools holding more than 3 million liters of water and is anticipated to receive around 5,000 visits a week. Ideal for swimmers at all levels, the center offers an award winning Learn to Swim School and is also utilized as the national training center for the NZ AquaBlacks and The Para-swimming team.

“Autex was chosen as being a good quality, cost effective, NZ made product that is able to withstand the high humidity, high corrosive and high temperature conditions in an internal pool environment.”

Tane Pratt - Associate Architect , Pacific Environments NZ Ltd

Project Background

Pacific Environments NZ Ltd, Architects, became involved with the development of the aquatic center in 2009 when they were asked to provide a masterplan for the expansion of the Millennium Institute of Sport. The building evolved over several years to become the Sir Owen G. Glenn Aquatic Center.  

Acoustics were considered in the early development stages of the aquatic center as noise reverberation has a significant impact on a shared space and its occupiers. Indoor pools generally produce high levels of noise reverberation due to their large open spaces complete with hard reflective surfaces. However, not just any acoustic product would do as this particular type of environment emits high levels of heat and humidity as well as being highly corrosive. 

Solution – Product & Installation

Pacific Environments NZ Ltd worked closely with Autex for a durable, high performing acoustic solution to ensure a long-lasting, acoustically stable environment. Associate Architect Tane Pratt chose Autex acoustic products because they are able to withstand harsh environments and are “good quality, cost effective, New Zealand made, contain a large portion of recycled material, low VOC emissions and have an inherent fire rating”. Made from 100% polyester fiber, Autex acoustic products are not affected by moisture, mold or mildew and will not rot or deteriorate in high humidity environments such as an aquatic center.

Custom-made to fit the pre-designed ceiling grid system, Quietspace® Ceiling Tiles were applied to over 50% of the ceiling to provide superb noise reverberation reduction while maintaining a sleek and discrete look. As Quietspace® Ceiling Tiles consist of polyester they are relatively flexible and won’t crack, crease or break - perfect for the concaved-style ceiling of the pool hall. Quietspace® Ceiling Tiles were also strategically placed directly above the 704 grandstand spectator seats to help reduce excessive noise levels anticipated during competitions.

A 9.84 ft high band of Quietspace® Panel overlaid with Porcelain colored Vertiface® decorative fabric was direct fixed along the length of the wall next to the larger training/competition pool for increased acoustic absorption. The ‘acoustic band’ was purposely installed opposite the grandstand seating and above the side-line spectator seating for complete acoustic balance. The cool calm tone of Porcelain Vertiface® also added a fitting decorative element to the space.

Benefits & Feedback

The Sir Owen G. Glenn National Aquatic Center celebrated its first splash on the 1st of August, 2015. Staff and visitors alike love the center and its achieved acoustic balance. Taking a walk around the aquatic center, there is no echo; the atmosphere feels calm and still even when there is a swim class full of excited children.

Quietspace® Ceiling Tiles are a lightweight, high performing acoustic ceiling tile designed to fit - but not limited to - standard grid systems. Easy to install, non-toxic, non-irritant and non-allergenic; Quietspace® Ceiling Tiles are the ultimate acoustic solution for all applications such as offices, educational environments, healthcare facilities and more.

Quietspace® Panel is a light-weight, semi-rigid acoustic panel that boasts exceptional acoustic absorption properties and is incredibly durable. The addition of a Vertiface® overlay adds to the overall look of the Quietspace® Panel, allowing for a more personalized acoustic product to better suit its intended space.


Looking for a durable acoustic solution? Contact an Autex acoustic professional to discover acoustic excellence today! +1 805 407 9256