Sep 18, 2009
Kudos for ‘awe-inspiring’ steel-construction work at World Cup stadiumsBack
© Reuse this
The iconic stadium, named after the late trade unionist and former general secretary of the South African Communist Party, was hailed by the judges as “a formidable and awe-inspiring work of genius, of which South Africans and the world will be proud for generations to come”.
As with most iconic stadiums, the central engineering and aesthe- tic element of the Moses Mabhida stadium is its roof structure, which consists of five structural elements, including a major steel arch, supporting cables, a membrane roof and a steel compression ring resting on steel columns.
The 350-m-long and 106-m- high free-span arch, consisting of 56,5-m × 5-m steel hollow boxes and weighing 3 500 t, was fabricated in Germany and shipped to Durban in sections. The magni- tude of this arch is such that a cable car will carry visitors up the middle of it, to a viewing platform on its north side, while the south side will have a 550-step adventure walk.
The compression ring, the structure to which the roof elements are linked, is supported on a series of vertical and inclined structural steel façade columns comprising 102 boxes fabricated from steel plate.
Repeated testing was a major feature of this project and, to achieve the required accuracy for the complex geometry, four compression-ring elements were bolted together in a trial assembly simulating the unstressed geometry. “The fastidious attention to detail and the meticulous testing thereof were a major part of this project’s success,” noted the judges.
Another stadium that received accolades at the Steel Awards ceremony was the winner of the specially added Sports Stadiums category, Soccer City, the flagship venue for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
“It represents a true African aesthetic, combines outstanding steel, concrete and tensile materials that complement each other superbly,” said the judges of the stadium situated just outside Soweto.
“This, in combination with the erection of 28 000-m² fibre-reinforced façade panels and 54 000 m² of polytetrafluoroethy- lene roof and ceiling membranes onto a complex three-dimensional double curvature steel structure, has resulted in this stadium being transformed into one of the most striking, impressive and well-equipped stadiums in the world,” said the judges.
Like the Moses Mabhida stadium, the roof of Soccer City is its most important and interesting element. The roof showcases the flexibility of steel through its curved shapes and radial arches, which form the central design element, dubbed ‘the calabash’.
“The calabash was a most appropriate choice for the shape of the showpiece of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The integu- ment is defined by earthy African colours and an almost animal hide-like tightness, while inside, the stadium springs powerfully to life,” the judges commented.
“From a steel perspective, the deep overhanging roof and capacious circulation spaces are testament to the ability of steel to span large distances. If sports stadiums are the cathedrals of this age, then steel has contributed much to that sensation,” said the judges. “The sheer enormity of this project and its success as a symbol of Africa will boost the image of South African skill and expertise for generations to come.”
SAISC executive director Dr Hennie de Clercq said that the entries, a record number this year, reflected the outstand- ing quality of the local steel construction industry in all its diversity.
“We congratulate the winners but emphasise the exceptional quality of all the entries, which augur so well for the future of our industry,” he concluded.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other News This Week News
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2015: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2015 report provides an overview of the key developments in the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon...
Projects in Progress 2015 - First Edition (PDF Report)
In fact, this edition of Creamer Media’s Projects in Progress 2015 supplement tracks developments taking place under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which has had four bidding rounds. It appears to remain a shining light on the...
Electricity 2015: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2015 report provides an overview of State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, as well as electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
This Week's Magazine
Today’s organisations execute projects within increasingly complex environments – particularly in the engineering sector. The ability to successfully execute these projects is what drives the realisation of successful projects and, ultimately, the achievement of...
South Africa’s distribution grid is a twentieth-century relic, which must be changed to serve the country’s modern electricity needs, says South African National Energy Development Institute (Sanedi) Smart Grid Programme manager Dr Minnesh Bipath. “What we are...
There is a disparity in government funding provided to integrated transport networks – bus rapid transit (BRT) networks ¬¬– and that given to conventional bus services, says Putco executive director Thys Heyns. “We have neglected and strangled conventional bus...
The Johannesburg Social Housing Company (Joshco) is building 502 rental housing units, valued at R200-million, in Dobsonville, Soweto, which are scheduled for completion in June 2016.
Automotive component manufacturer and distributor Metair is centralising its research and development (R&D) work in Turkey, in an attempt to bolster the company’s ability to produce affordable start/stop batteries. The new R&D centre is part of an expansion plan in...