The title “Swimming Anyone” isn’t exactly a reference to constructing a swimming pool in a round shape using Geofoam, but heck, we are only so clever.
But it can be done. The Texican Hotel in Irving, Texas (a suburb of Dallas) decided an above-ground pool for their guests would be a benefit. The project called for long-lasting durability, repair efficiency, and it would have to provide the strength to manage the soft, shifting soil under which the all of that water and immense weight would have to be supported.

The contractor closely examined and planned each phase of the project, and after researching the best approach that provided a financial sense, settled on Geofoam as the sub-foundation. Once in place, an extensive base was poured and then laid one-half inch steel rebar to create a structurally sound, and permanent base for the structure.

Now at the wall construction stage, Geofoam would also come into play as it was deemed to be the best material to shore up the walls and create a smooth under-body for the finish coats of Gunite (also known as Shotcrete) materials.

Taken directly from the project article found here:

Benefits of Geofoam for Pool Wall Construction

Geofoam is a highly resistant backfill material that is only made in the US. The popularity of geofoam as a construction base is increasing rapidly due to its superior quality and material benefits. These include:

  • Consistent product performance
  • Adherence to the ASTM D6817 standards
  • Versatility to be used for many construction applications
  • Ease of use, including the ability to be cut at the job site
  • Light weight coupled with a high density-to-load ratio (320 – 2680 pounds per square foot)
  • Low affinity for water (only 2% – 4% water absorbency)

Geofoam’s high elasticity makes it a perfect barrier to protect our pool shell from the expansive soil conditions of North Texas. Gunite shells are strong but can crack easily due to surrounding ground movement. Geofoam is easier to work with and more efficient to install than standard fill materials commonly used throughout the pool industry.

The creator of the above-published piece is partially correct when saying that “Geofoam is only made in the U.S.” U.S.-made Geofoam was used in this project, but the product itself originated in the 1970s in Norway and took until 1992 to become a product popularized in construction here.

Outer Shell

The Geofoam was cut in the field so workers could have an easier time accessing the necessary pieces to make lining the exterior of the pool’s concrete shell. Because of the loose and shifting soils in Texas, Geofoam is very effective, providing the proper resistance and stability needed to avoid cracking, as Gunite is a relatively fragile product. Excess expansion and contraction would cause the Gunite lining to become damaged.

Another interesting fact: Gunite and Shotcrete can be sprayed directly on Geofoam! It seems as though we learn a new way to use our products every week, and appreciate our customers sharing them with us.

Geofoam for swimming pools is just one more way to gain cost-savings through the use of labor and materials. Geofoam has been used worldwide for under-support for rail beds, airport runways, streets, highways, and sidewalks. We’ve reported on the varied uses for Geofoam from artisan construction to bridge entry construction and embankment support.

If you have a project that is calling for soil stabilization and foundational support and stabilization, think Geofoam. If you’re on the Eastern Seaboard, think Poly Molding.

Just pick up the phone or stop by and we’ll talk through your project and we’ll let you know if we can help.