Canadian Consulting Engineer

Hopes deflate for BC Place roof

Plans to construct a retractable roof above BC Place Stadium in Vancouver are looking uncertain, as companies ...

September 4, 2009   Canadian Consulting Engineer

Plans to construct a retractable roof above BC Place Stadium in Vancouver are looking uncertain, as companies intending to bid on the project have been asked to hold off for now. On August 26, Kevin Krueger, B.C.’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts, suggested that funds to replace the current inflated Teflon roof were under review. 

The stadium’s existing Teflon-coated fibreglass roof tore and partially collapsed after being over-inflated in January 2007. It was repaired, but plans were to replace it with a retractable structure said to be similar to a roof on the Commerzbank Arena in Frankfurt, Germany. A feature of the new roof is a centrally hung electronic scoreboard.

According to a CBC report, Krueger said that the roof project is so complex the bidding process had been divided into 40 different bids.

The replacement roof was to have been completed by 2011 — not in time for the Winter Olympics but in time for the Vancouver’s major league soccer team, the Whitecaps, to play a debut match in March 2011.

In the meantime, the 60,000-seat stadium near False Creek is undergoing $65-million in other renovations in time for the  Winter Olympics and Paralympics next February. The stadium will be the site of the opening and closing ceremonies. Upgrades are being done to improve accessibility, as well as to refurbish the concourses, suites, washrooms and to enhance the existing roof liner.

The existing roof is 10.25 acres, the largest air-supported dome in the world, pressurized by 16 jet engine fans.

 


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