Reinforcement At Benches and Access Steps

Do pool steps and benches require steel reinforcing?

Reinforcing at deep end bench.

Technically speaking, the benches and steps are not part of the structural shell of the pool, that is the structural member that resists the applied loads to which a pool is subject, i.e. earth pressure from the outside and/or water pressure from the inside. The standard of practice for the construction of benches and steps within a pool has generally been one of two methods, the first is to use undisturbed earth to create the bench or step and tie the reinforcing for the shell along the contour of the steps. The second method is to remove the earth down to the bottom of the pool shell and use solid shotcrete to create the bench or steps.

If undisturbed earth is left in place to form the steps or benches in the deep or shallow portion of the pool, the structural plan specified wall reinforcing steel would be placed around the step or bench shaped earth (3” clear from earth).

If the earth is removed, and the bench is in the deeper portion of the pool, along with the specified wall steel, minimal reinforcing steel should still follow the outer shape of the bench to reduce sloughing of the thickened shotcrete. This would not be required if the earth is removed at the shallow end access step location.

The most common method of bench construction is to leave the earth in place. As stated above, this is perfectly acceptable.

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