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Technology and innovation at the service of art


Image courtesy of Fluidra

An unprecedented water and light show created with Autodesk software

Behind a leading business group like Fluidra, there is more than half a century of excellence and innovation in the swimming pool and wellness sector. A story of effort that began in a small workshop in Barcelona and has grown to a world leadership position. In 2019, Fluidra set a new challenge: to create the celebration show of their own 50th anniversary. A special project for a special customer. Five months of work, with more than 25 companies involved, culminated in an unprecedented show combining water, light and synchronized swimming. A project carried out entirely with the use of BIM methodology, from design to construction and assembly, all in record time.

The music, choreography, a magical water screen and the play of lights and jets on the floating platform made Fluidra's 50th anniversary celebration spectacular. We have put technology at the service on the art”, explains Xavier Vila, Technical Director of the Technical Office. “Our platform is much more than a fountain, for the diversity of effects and its interaction with the swimmers; it is a unique show because the platform is unique in the world,” he adds. A total of 4,500 people attended the 5 performances of the show (Barcelona, October and December 2019).

Fluidra: unique and innovative water experiences

Fluidra's commitment to the implementation of BIM makes them a benchmark in this methodology (its first project developed with BIM was Likids de Caldea (Andorra, 2015), the world's leading children's wellness centre).


The multinational group has over 135 branches, 30 production centres, more than 5,500 employees and operates in over 45 countries; it manufactures and distributes all the components for the construction, renovation and maintenance of swimming pools, ornamental fountains, aquariums and ponds. Their motto clearly describes their mission: “We create the perfect pool and wellness experience.”

The Challenge: to build a floating platform in record time

To commemorate their 50th anniversary, Fluidra created an unprecedented artistic show that took place on a floating platform, designed and built with BIM. Without this methodology, which allowed it to be executed in a record time of five months, the project would have been unfeasible. The company had to face a second challenge: to make the work of assembling and dismantling the platform compatible with the daytime activity of the Club Natació Atlètic Barceloneta swimming pool, where the show took place. This forced the work to be done at night , keeping the structure submerged during the day. Autodesk Revit and Autodesk Inventor were two key tools in the workflow, improving communication between the parties, facilitating decision-making, and halving costs and waste.

The 48sqm., 4,000kg carbon steel floating platform had 118 water jets and 208 LED lights, and was designed with Autodesk Inventor

Without BIM it would not have been possible to achieve this in the short time available.

Gerard Lladós, Director, Dept. of Architecture, BIM and Technical Office Management, Fluidra Engineering Services.

Revit and Inventor save 60%

Fluidra built a modular platform that is easy to assemble and transport, designed with Autodesk Inventor: a non-slip carbon steel surface of 48sqm. and 4,000kg with 118 water jets and 208 LED lights. “Autodesk Inventor allowed us to design and calculate the steel lattice of the structure for later manufacturing,” explains Gerard Lladós. For its part, Autodesk Revit allowed to obtain 3D views and to extract the bill of materials from the database of the modelled elements, so that the purchasing and logistics department could order the necessary materials for the construction.

Revit and Inventor made it easier for the different stakeholders to understand the project and improved decision-making, as well as saving costs through automation and the use of virtual models.

Gerard Lladós, Director, Dept. of Architecture, BIM and Technical Office Management, Fluidra Engineering Services.


The project was created according to efficiency and sustainability criteria. From the beginning, the materials were optimized as much as possible and waste minimized. Revit and Inventor enabled a 60% reduction in costs, savings on prototypes and maximum traceability, with a 50% reduction in waste generated during all phases.

The BIM methodology allowed us to reduce costs by 60%, since we did not have to make a previous prototype because we took advantage of the 3D virtual model.

Gerard Lladós, Director, Dept. of Architecture, BIM and Technical Office Management, Fluidra Engineering Services.

Autodesk's software and the assistance of partner Asidek streamlined the entire process and made it possible to create a collaborative system with Autodesk Revit where evacuation routes could be foreseen, steel could be optimized in the construction of structures and the design of facilities. “To guarantee traceability throughout the project, we managed to converge different solutions and parts of the project in a single file, whatever allowed us to coordinate a all the actors involved from the initial phase, design, manufacture and The construction and The assembly,” explains Fluidra's BIM director. The BIM methodology was essential to bring agility and efficiency to the workflow and to present the project to the decision makers.

A lower platform immersed the structure during the day to make the pool activity compatible with the assembly. (Image: Fluidra)

BIM, from design to construction

In the design phase, Dynamo was also used to automate the numbering and labelling of drawings, eliminating manual processes and speeding up mechanical work. In addition, it was used together with Autodesk Revit to generate the technical documentation necessary to submit to the public administration from the BIM model.

To avoid unforeseen events, Fluidra presented the project with Autodesk Live, which allowed to show it in Virtual Reality to the risk prevention team, the Club Natació Atlètic Barceloneta and the company that legalized the work. “Once again, BIM allowed the decision makers involved to put the project into context and access to quality information,” adds Lladós. Another important challenge for Fluidra was to share with suppliers all the information they had created with Inventor. Thanks to the BIM methodology, Fluidra was able to create an OpenBIM model in IFC format that any agent could open regardless of the software used.

Fluidra's crew were in charge of the assembly of the platform and the installation, except for submerged work. Autodesk Navisworks allowed the analysis and subsequent correction of conflicts during the hydraulic design phase, as well as the coordination of assembly during execution. “Navisworks provided seamless navigation of the project and a global 3D view of the project,” according to the BIM Manager. On the other hand, to be able to move the pieces of the platform, Fluidra manufactured a truss based on the structural checks done with Autodesk Robot Structural Analysis Professional.

Each presentation had a capacity of 900 people, distributed in already existing grandstands and additional others that were installed for the occasion. This coordination and management of spectators was carried out using Revit's schedules.

Finally, Fluidra used CFD technology with Autodesk CFD Ultimate, to simulate the acoustic behaviour and validate compliance with the municipal environmental regulations required by Barcelona. CFD Ultimate allowed to create a computational mesh and a visualization of the sound field.

The designers, engineers and architects of Fluidra's engineering team worked in a BIM environment, using the latest technology available, to design the project and offer the best solution in the form of a 3D model of the entire facility. As the BIM Director states, “all the projects that Fluidra has carried out with Autodesk solutions have been a success from the design phase until the generation of documentation, virtual reality, conflict and coordination analysis, fluid simulation studies, etc.”. Thanks to their long experience with BIM, Fluidra were able to carry out the entire project with this methodology and in record time. The result is: a spectacular event that left its mark on the audience, that celebrated the 50th anniversary of the group.

A total of 4,500 spectators enjoyed the water and light show on Fluidra's 50th anniversary (Photo: Fluidra)

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