The Eye of the Fish

Maximus
September 20, 2010

Stadium Roof South

So: 400-600 tonnes of wet snow, and the roof of “Stadium Southland” collapses. Te Wai Pounamou is certainly taking a hammering this month. Like you, like most Engineers and Architects are probably thinking: why was it that the roof collapsed, and how we can’t keep relying on people being out of the room or off the street to keep our disaster death toll down. I mean, really: the Earthquake in ChCh, had it occurred hours earlier or later, would probably have killed tens or even hundreds of people – and the Stadium collapse missed out on killing people by a matter of just minutes. We can’t keep thanking our lucky 4 stars, and need to do better. I’d wager that the Engineers and developers of the new stadium in Dunedin are set to frantically re-do their calculations one more time today – their roof is made to roll back and forward, to cover the stadium and also let the light in – as well as to withstand up to 1.5m of snow. But is it wet snow?

All pretty scary stuff – and irritating to me that there doesn’t appear to be any decent photos of the Invercargill Stadium anywhere on the web. How can that be? Isn’t everything photographed non-stop nowadays? Does FlickR and Google not extend to the deep south? The Otago Daily Times online edition for Invercargill doesn’t even mention the Stadium as headline news – come on guys, get with the program! They do have a small article here, but they seem rather unfazed. I’m sure the Engineers are not.

I did find these:

So, as rubbish as the photo is, that seems to be the thing concerned. Here’s the outside, before, in sunny, happy times:

And here it is again, in the snow, looking vaguely Gehryesque:

There is, don’t you think, a certain Frankness about the facade now?

But where is the roof? Where are the Before pictures, of fine upstanding roof trusses that may or may not have been adequately strengthened? And really, where are the rest of the After photos, of twisted hulk and rendered steel? All we have is a photo of some world class table tennis:

And finally, one grab from the news: sadly, can’t see much from that.

Here’s one from NZPA – thanks !

Its not likely that we have many (if any) readers in Southland, but if there are, then send in your pics!

Update: this just in from one of our readers:
STADIUM SOUTHLAND
Surrey Park Sports Centre
Isabella Street, Invercargill
This fast track project was for the construction of 9108m2 of Indoor Sports Facility combining 5 multipurpose courts, 2 events courts, 4 squash courts with the ability to convert to 2 double courts, the latest design climbing wall, seating capacity for 2,566 people, full service amenities, Lounge, Bar and Kitchen. The provision for approximately 700 off-street parking adjacent to the centre was also incorporated as part of this project.
Several innovative ideas ranging from the community court area’s requirement for an unencumbered space using 37 metre clearspan trusses, sound insulated MDF ceilings, to the requirement for full span mobile scaffolding (purported to be the biggest constructed in NZ). A further requirement was for the asphalt to be laid with a +/-3mm tolerance as the sub-base to the specialist sports floor.
At the height of construction 198 people worked onsite which included 48 different subtrades all of which required careful co-ordination and programming.

CONTRACT VALUE: $ 7.0 Million
CONTRACT PERIOD: 7 Months
CLIENT: Southland Indoor Leisure Centre Charitable Trust
QUANTITY SURVEYOR: Southern Quantity Surveyors
ARCHITECT: Mc’Culloch Architects
STRUCTURAL ENGINEER : A S Major Consulting Ltd
SERVICES ENGINEERS: Connell Wagner & Pederson Read Ltd

AWARDS:
RMBF – New Commercial Building, Category Winner 2001
NZIA – Community and Cultural Award Winner 2000

Guy
20 - 09 - 10

there’s some better footage online now:
http://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/news/4144272/Stadium-boss-vows-to-rebuild-top-venue

60 MPa
21 - 09 - 10

Not wanting to jump the gun but
“The roof of Stadium Southland, which was lowered 15 metres and had its pitch reduced to appease neighbours, suffered sagging problems during construction.” –
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/4147747/Inquiry-into-stadium-collapse
that might be the problem.

Occam’s Razor and all that

Gnar
21 - 09 - 10

Lowered 15 metres? FIFTEEN ! ?

WTF?

Well it is certainly lowered 15m now….

Maximus
21 - 09 - 10

I am somewhat amazed that the demolition is starting already on this project – i would have thought that someone would want to do some forensic sifting through the twisted remains to find the smoking gun / twisted bolt / ruptured truss. Smacks of indecent haste to clean it up so soon – but also I think there is a lot we can learn. There’s a great book called “Why Buildings Fall Down” (the sequel was, “Why buildings stand up”) which looks at some famous building collapses and their very obscure factors that caused them to fall down.

If you look at the Stadium, most of the trusses seem to be intact – they’re quite simple trusses, but in the sections of the roof that have come down, the trusses seem to have come down with it. That could indicate that the walls gave way under the snow load, rather than the roof. If the walls buckle out, then the roof falls down, intact, into the hole remaining. The walls do seem to be badly buckled…

Alternatively, and on the other hand, if the roof collapsed first, could the force of the collapse simply have blown the walls out?

m-d
22 - 09 - 10

Three separate formal inquiries have been launched in relation to the collapse, and engineers etc have been onsite since it happened. I’m sure they’ll work it out…

It seems that it met code when it was built, but not recent changes to the code – which doesn’t seem all that tenuously related to arguments on other threads relating to heritage buildings and eq codes. If it weren’t for the fact that we are such a sleepy little nation, we’d probably have thousands dead down south over the last month or so…