The Westin Resort and Spa in Whistler, B.C., affords coveted ski-in and ski-out convenience to both Whistler and Blackcomb, two world-class ski mountains. The resort boasts luxurious guestrooms, meeting spaces, restaurants and a full-service spa complete with saunas, eucalyptus steam rooms, an indoor-outdoor pool and indoor and outdoor hot tubs. With a section of the indoor-outdoor pool and outdoor spa in an area where daily snowfall can reach up to three inches, the Westin was challenged to keep the 1,990-square-foot pool deck free of snow and ice during winter use. Traditional methods of snow removal, such as shoveling and salting, would be costly, messy and labor-intensive.
Don’t Shovel the Snow, Melt It!
Chris Turcott, vice president of Cressey Development Corporation, suggested an Uponor snow and ice melting system which melts snow and ice right when it comes in contact with the surface. In a snow and ice melting system, warm water circulates through PEX tubing imbedded in the cement. The warmth from the water warms the pool deck to a temperature that melts snow and ice on contact. “The Uponor snow-melting system was simple, reliable and offered ease of installation,” says Turcott. “Using a snow-melting system alleviates potential liability concerns for hotel owners when there is no snow or ice for hotel visitors to slip on. Additionally, using the snow and ice melting system eliminates the need for messy salting, laborious shoveling and expensive snow-removal equipment.”
Mechanical System Information
The snow-melting system for the Westin resort included 2,553 linear feet of 5/8" Wirsbo hePEX plus tubing embedded in the concrete of the 1,990-foot, square-pool deck. The system heated the pool deck to a mild temperature of 3°C (38°F), providing the deck with a snow- and ice-free surface in the winter and added warmth in the summer.