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 Metals News
Recent Research Reports
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.
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
This Week's Magazine
Projected capital expenditure (capex) in the South African automotive assembly industry should reach a record R7.48-billion this year, says the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) in its 2014 fourth quarter business review. Capex...
After several years of navigating project-threatening red tape and currency fluctuations, the 4.4 MW Bronkhorstspruit biogas power plant, which will supply clean energy to a leading automotive manufacturer in Gauteng, is expected to enter production before June....
South African paper and pulp producer Sappi reported earlier this month that it would build a pilot plant for the production of low-cost Cellulose NanoFibrils, or CNF (nanocellulose) at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Sittard-Geleen in the Netherlands.
The long-term outlook for Nigeria is a country that has the potential to be very strong. So affirmed International Monetary Fund (IMF) Nigeria Mission Chief and Senior Resident Representative Dr Gene Leon on recently. "But we are starting from a point of huge...
Poor infrastructure planning and inadequate maintenance are becoming increasingly problematic for new developments and the associated infrastructure required to support such developments. In many urban and rural municipalities, the state of infrastructure has been...