Perth’s Optus Stadium, with a 60,000 capacity the third largest sports venue in Australia, opened in January 2017, with a primary focus on Australian Rules football and cricket. Most fans and visitors will probably notice first the bronze façade, made of anodised aluminium to reflect Western Australia’s unique geology.
Engineers, on the other hand, will see a stadium roof cantilevering 35m over the seats below that looks effortless, but belies the expert engineers’ analysis and craft that produced it. The 2018 Structural Awards judges shortlisted the elegant Stadium in their Long span Structures, and Award which seeks to highlight excellence in buildings (not bridges) incorporating particularly long spans, relative to the proportions of the structure.
The judges praised the Arup structural design team for a very well-considered piece of engineering full of small touches that greatly enhance the structural form; from the omission of diagonals between the two bottom chords of each truss, and the minimal arches between trusses to support the PTFE fabric roof that is installed below the main roof structure, to the way in which the fabric was integrated with the steelwork during erection.
Oasys software was used extensively in realising this project:
- GSA was used to determine the design moments and forces in the non-composite steel elements, such as the roof, scoreboards, secondary steel framing etc. Additionally it was used as a load run-down tool and for footfall analysis.
- Compos was used to review penetrations through steelwork
- Alp used to check the response of the piles to ground and structural movements
- Alp, Frew and Slope were all used in the design of the sheet pile wall and concrete retaining wall.