Residential Pools and Spas

New Australian fibreglass pool standards now available

March 24, 2021

The new Australian Standards for design, fabrication and installation of fibreglass swimming pools are now available. The new standards are now Australian-only standards, as New Zealand did not participate in the revision process.

Updating the standards came on the back of two years of development and collaboration with SPASA Australia, relevant members of the industry and Standards Australia.

The following revised fibreglass standards have now been published:
• AS 1838 – 2021 Swimming pools – Premoulded fibre reinforced plastics Design and Fabrication
• AS 1839 – 2021 Swimming pools – Premoulded fibre reinforced plastics Installation

You can purchase the new standards here at Standards Australia.

SPASA Australia is a member of the PL-041 Australia Standards Committee, and drew together the SPASA Australia Fibreglass Advisory Group.

The advisory group co-chairs – Lew Beale, Charles Rickard and Anthony Cross – have jointly extended their thanks and appreciation to SPASA Australia for driving the Standards process, and especially thank members of the advisory group and the Standards Australia committee that represented all sectors of the industry, from planning, engineering, material supply, manufacturing, installation and servicing.

In relation to the important preparatory work of the advisory group, Beale says: “Composites manufacturing is constantly innovating through new material sciences and application processes, and minimum standards for both areas has never been more important.”

Rickard says: “With more than 25 years of installation learnings since the last Australian Standards review, coupled with advances in our working knowledge of site soil conditions across Australia, the long-term performance of in-ground pools in all site conditions is now well understood.”

Cross says: “The local market is experiencing growing competition from new entrants and the industry is quickly segmenting with the pressure from increased demand for customisation coupled with smaller block sizes, and often more challenging site conditions, so our industry standards for manufacturing and installation need to respond.”

Joint standards now only Australian standards

Previously, these standards were Australian and New Zealand (AS/NZS) Standards, however Standards New Zealand did not proceed with the joint development of the above revisions due to funding and internal resource constraints at that time. This means that these Standards will no longer be joint AS/NZS Standards and will be published only as Australian Standards (AS).

SPASA Australia and the swimming pool peak industry body in New Zealand, SPASA NZ, are already in discussions with Standards New Zealand on the process of how to update the AS Standards for the New Zealand sector.


AS/NZS 1838 Swimming pools – Pre-moulded fibre-reinforced plastics – Design and fabrication and AS/NZ 1839 Swimming pools – Pre-moulded fibre-reinforced plastics – Installation were being reviewed as part of the Standards Australia “Aged Standards” process.
SPASA Australia lobbied Standards Australia advising that the standards were critical to the industry and wanted to see both standards reconfirmed as they were both still technically relevant, and wanted the opportunity to review them rather than have them withdrawn.
Standards Australia agreed to reconfirm the standards on the provision that SPASA Australia submit a project proposal to update the standards within 12 months.

SPASA Australia established the Fibreglass Advisory Group made up of the following individuals:
• Anthony Cross – Compass Pools
• Lew Beale – ALT
• Charles Rickard – Rickard Engineering
• Bob Biernat – Freedom Pools
• Lynley Papineau – ALT
• Dean Voice – Allnex
• Jason Smith – Leisure Pools
• Larry Beston – RF Composites
• Chris Meyer – Narellan Pools
• Stefan Ossenberg – Protector Aluminium
• Lindsay McGrath – SPASA Australia
• Spiros Dassakis – SPASA Australia

The SPASA Australia Fibreglass Advisory Group worked on the draft Standards Australia Project Proposal over a period of approximately eight months.

SPASA Australia submitted the project proposals to Standards Australia for approval and Standards Australia approved the proposals for both standards.

Standards Australia Kick-Off meeting took place in March.

Standards Australia Committee PL-041 Glass Reinforced Swimming Pools started reviewing the Standards based on SPASA Australia’s Project Proposals.

Draft Standards sent out for public comment. Public Comments reviewed

New Standards Published:
• AS1838 – 2021 Swimming pools – Premoulded fibre reinforced plastics Design and Fabrication; and
• AS1839 – 2021 Swimming pools – Premoulded fibre reinforced plastics Installation

CAPTION: Fibreglass shell manufacturing image courtesy of Narellan Pools. Illustrative purposes only


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