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Olympic Stadium Renovations Confirmed: New Roof To Be Built


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It's basically confirmed right now! Stadium renovations and a new roof will be built over the next 700 days!

But the type of roof we'll see is still up in the air, either: an identical inflated teflon dome, a rigid covering, a fixed fabric roof, a retractable fabric roof, or one with an open centre. Pavco looked at a number of stadiums around the world, including the Pusan Dome in Korea, the new Durban soccer arena and the Commerce Bank stadium in Frankfurt, as well as Wimbledon, which is being covered with a retractable roof.

New roof by 2010

Crown corporation that runs BC Place studying options

Jeff Lee, Vancouver Sun

Published: Wednesday, March 05, 2008

There will be a new roof on BC Place in time for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

But whether it will be the familiar air-supported roof that has graced Vancouver's skyline for 25 years, or a more modern open-centre roof has not yet been decided.

David Podmore, the chairman of PavCo, which owns BC Place, confirmed Wednesday the Crown corporation plans to replace the roof in the next 700 days, in time for the opening ceremonies of the Olympics.

He said the corporation is looking at a number of options: an identical inflated teflon dome, a rigid covering, a fixed fabric roof, a retractable fabric roof, or one with an open centre.

Podmore would not say how much the new roof would cost, but pledged it will be recovered through the development of condominium towers on property Pavco owns at the corners of the stadium.

That project [to redevelop surrounding stadium lands], which has not yet received city council approval, is still in the concept stage and would not start until after the Games, he said.

A report assessing the options for the roof is nearly complete and will be sent to the provincial cabinet within a month, he said.

If he had his choice, Podmore said, he'd swap the air-supported dome for a more efficient retractable open-centre roof that would free Pavco of crippling energy bills that exceed $1.4 million a year.

"I think it is pretty obvious that if we could get rid of the air-supported feature, that would be great. It does impose constraints on the building in terms of what you can do," he said.

"I think if we are able to get there, we would more than likely cover the seating and hopefully have an opening over the centre field."

Podmore said Pavco's choices will be limited to options that can be completed in time for the Games.

"Obviously, we wouldn't undertake it if we weren't confident it could be done."

He also said only proven technology will be chosen.

"There are different systems around the world. I will tell you that we are looking at proven technology," he said. "We don't really want to invent something."

Because BC Place was built to support an inflatable roof, changing the roof system would also require structural changes and upgrades, including "beefing up" support structures, he said.

"The technical answer is that this building is designed to work in compression, so that everything is working to pull that building in," Podmore explained.

"If you introduce a system that places a load on that compression ring, the tendency is that is pushing the building out."

An engineering assessment of the building is being done. Pavco has also hired Dominion Construction as a construction manager.

Pavco officials began exploring options for a new roof last summer, following the accidental deflation of the dome in January 2007 when an end panel blew out. The accident sharpened debate about whether the stadium should be torn down or retained.

Ultimately, the government decided the province needs a stadium the size of BC Place and that it made no economic sense to take it down.

"I think the accident, if it did anything, was to make a lot of people think about this building," Podmore said. "My own impression is that people sort of ignored the building and that it brought them to think about it and realize it's a pretty valuable building."

Pavco asked for tenders for replacing the current roof from the three companies in the world that build air-supported structures - Bird Air, Fabri-tec and Hi-Tec. But it also decided to look at whether a more modern form of roof could be built.

"We have those bids and we are currently evaluating them. We are also looking at other options," Podmore said. "We are trying to assess the full range of options for the building, what the cost of those might be and the timetable for construction."

Warren Buckley, the CEO of Pavco, said the corporation looked at a number of stadiums around the world, including the Pusan Dome in Korea, the new Durban soccer arena and the Commerce Bank stadium in Frankfurt, as well as Wimbledon, which is being covered with a retractable roof.

All of those use technology that didn't exist when BC Place was built in 1983.

"I think the reality is that there are other treatments and opportunities for us now that didn't exist before that are really quite exciting," he said.

By converting to a retractable roof, Pavco would eliminate a major drain on its finances. Podmore said the cost of keeping the roof inflated is roughly the same as the corporation's $1.4 million annual deficit, which is covered by provincial taxpayers.

Podmore said the decision to replace the roof isn't being driven by the Olympics, but rather by the fact the teflon dome is at the end of its functional lifespan.

"It served us really well and it shouldn't be a surprise to anybody that it needs to be replaced. It's no different than your own home," he said. "There is a maximum of about four years before we have to replace it. So what we are endeavouring to do is to replace it before the Games."

© Vancouver Sun

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That said....here are the mentioned options that were looked at from around the world:

Warren Buckley, the CEO of Pavco, said the corporation looked at a number of stadiums around the world, including the (1) Pusan Dome in Korea, the new (2) Durban soccer arena and the (3) Commerce Bank stadium in Frankfurt, as well as (4) Wimbledon, which is being covered with a retractable roof.

1) Pusan Dome, Korea (or rather more commonly known as Busan Stadium). It is obviously a fabric roof.

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2) Durban Stadium - South Africa World Cup Stadium in 2010. It appears that the roof is also fabric.

durbanstadiumview3.jpg

King%20Senzangakhona%20Stadium%20Durban,%20South%20Africa.jpg

cam18_nacht_02.jpg

....continued.

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But I thought there was no drainage built in PLUS even a donut roof would not be suitable for Vancouver's weather?

Boy, that'll change David Atkins' budget a lot in terms of costumes for the performers.

Umm...if there's no drainage, and there isn't, then they'll build in drainage. :lol:

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They would have to go completely enclosed with the weather in Vancouver. The Pusan Roof is engineered by the same German Company that did many of the Fifa 2006 world cup stadiums and the Montreal Olympic Stadium's roof or one of the versions . The Abuja National Stadium and Kuala Lumpar's commonwealth stadium are also engineered by the same firm. A new roof exactly the same would be the way to go except for the cost of pressurizing the roof. from 1983 to 2007 the roof has done very well for holding up.

The Fabric roofs have had their share of Failures in Harsh and windy conditions. Abuja's Velodrome had the exact same contractors and yet had a failure with local wind conditions. The Main Stadium has had no problems in basically the small location, different design .

The Georgia Dome's Roof System of tensioned cables , Steel Frameworks and Fabric would be the best model for enclosing the stadium, having good running costs (no pressurized air required) and the construction is shorter. The Georgia Dome is of course a full roof but it is very similar in construction to Abuja National stadium , the Fifa 2006 stadiums and the Kuala Lumpar stadium all using steel cable and framing to tension the roof.

jim jones

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I'd go with the Durban Stadium roof design. It will definitely give BC Place that facelift it desperately needs.

You made the best choice.

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Bob Ackles of the BC Lions was just on Team 1040.

He said the club could be "inconvenienced" as soon as the end of this season (September) and definitely the entire 2009 season. He said he still needs to meet with Pavco to discuss the details but ultimately it would be determined by what roof option they go with.

Bob Ackles thinks it could mean an extended road trip for the Lions to start the 2009 season.

Sounds like the Retractable roof option has a lot of momentum.

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CTV News Report Video Clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dPfJOeCHGg

Retractable BC Place roof could cost $150 million

Jeff Lee, Vancouver Sun

Published: Thursday, March 06, 2008

Replacing the inflated roof at BC Place with a retractable one would cost $150 million or more and be one of the most ambitious retrofits of an air-supported stadium roof, according to the primary supplier of such systems in North America.

Peter Fervoy, the business development manager for Minneapolis-based Uni-Systems, said his company has already been asked by Birdair, the manufacturer of BC Place's signature Teflon-coated roof, to supply detailed information about how a retractable roof could be installed on the iconic Vancouver building.

And a Birdair official confirmed Thursday that PavCo, the Crown corporation that owns the world's largest air-supported stadium, is also considering new "green building" technologies including photo-voltaic solar panels with which to generate electricity.

Fervoy didn't know how much it would cost to replace BC Place's 500,000-square-foot soft-top roof with a rigid structure, but said his company has installed many of the fabric and retractable roofs on new football stadiums built in the U.S. On average, those roofs cost about $150 million each.

Even if BC Place opts to install a fixed fabric roof without a retractable section, the cost would likely start at around $100 million, he said.

"That would be a good starting point," Fervoy said, adding that changing the roof system on an existing stadium would be more complicated than on one being built new.

On Wednesday David Podmore, the chairman of PavCo, confirmed the corporation is exploring replacing the 26-year-old dome with a number of options, including a fabric structure that could include retractable panels. Regardless of whether a new roof system is used or the existing fabric is replaced, PavCo still intends to finish it in time for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

He would not discuss the cost of a new or replacement roof, saying a feasibility report has not been completed.

Tourism Minister Stan Hagen said Thursday he expects PavCo to submit the report to cabinet within a month. He confirmed the province intends to replace the roof before the Olympics.

Fervoy said PavCo requires the new roof to be finished by November 2009, when the building would be turned over to the Vancouver Organizing Committee. Meeting such a tight schedule is possible but difficult, he said, especially since companies doing such work are extremely busy right now.

"It would require an extremely aggressive schedule to complete," he said. The average time it takes to design and install such roofs is about 36 months, although Uni-Systems has done it in as little as eight months.

"We get excited anytime we hear the words "retractable roof," period," he said.

Bill Barden, Birdair's director of architectural development, said there has never been a total replacement of an air-supported roof system the size of BC Place.

In 1999, Birdair replaced the roof of Syracuse University's Carrier stadium, which is roughly two-thirds the size of BC Place.

Birdair has installed fabric roofs on more than 65 stadiums, including a sister dome to Vancouver's, the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, Ind.

That building will be demolished later this year when construction is complete on a new stadium using a retractable Uni-System roof.

Barden said PavCo asked Birdair for a quote on replacing the existing system. It wanted information on new technologies, including solar panels and rain and wastewater recovery systems. He did not want to disclose the bid price Birdair submitted, noting that two other competitors, Hightex Group and Fabritec Structures, had also submitted bids.

London-based Hightex installed the fabric on the Pusan Stadium, Berlin Stadium and a soccer stadium in South Africa, three projects PavCo said it looked at when considering a replacement system.

California-based Fabritec deals mostly with smaller fabric applications.

Warren Buckley, the CEO of PavCo, also clarified Thursday that although PavCo is considering a new fabric roof over seating with an open centre, it would still require a retractable covering because the stadium is used heavily for trade shows. A permanently open stadium roof such as the one in Munich, Germany would not work.

"A constant, permanent hole in the middle of the roof would not be considered," Buckley said.

"We've looked at it, but when you consider the number of trade shows we have, it would just kill our business. And the last time I looked, it's not sunny every time the B.C. Lions play."

Well, that basically throws out the Durban and Busan options.

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The entire stadium renovation will possibly cost $250-MILLION.

Oops, Liberals discover BC Place needs pricey Olympic refit after all

Vaughn Palmer, Vancouver Sun

Published: Saturday, March 08, 2008

It was May 2006, a committee room in the legislature buildings, and the Opposition was raising prophetic concerns about BC Place.

Was the aging stadium ready for Olympic opening and closing ceremonies? Would taxpayers have to foot the bill for a major refit?

Not to worry, the B.C. Liberals insisted. Though completed back in 1983, the stadium was good for another two decades.

"It is not anticipated that BC Place will need a significant capital infusion," minister-for-the-Olympics Colin Hansen said.

The government had budgeted a mere $2.5 million for the touch-up. The full amount to be covered out of the existing budget for the 2010 Winter Games.

The New Democrats weren't persuaded. Guy Gentner, MLA for Delta North, had been perusing the BC Place service plan and offered his reading of the state of the stadium.

"BC Place stadium is close to its end," he declared, "The roof is ready to fall down."

Yep. That's exactly what Gentner said. May 1, 2006.

The Liberals scoffed. The roof ready to fall down? Where did Opposition members get these notions?

"The member is talking about guaranteed life," replied Olga Ilich, then the cabinet minister for BC Place. "The guaranteed life was 25 years, but that doesn't mean it is going to fall apart in the 25th year."

With proper maintenance, she insisted, "the roof is expected to last another 15 or 20 years."

Gentner again: "So we have assurances from the minister that the roof at BC Place is safe up to and beyond the Olympics?"

Right, Ilich replied. "It should last up to the Olympics and beyond."

Eight months later -- Jan. 5, 2007 -- the roof did fall down. "Human error," they said at the time. But the roof-collapsing tear in the fabric dome exposed BC Place to more than the elements.

A year after a hasty repair job, the roof that was going to last up to 20 years is now said to be in need of replacement in relatively short order.

"There's a maximum of about four years before we have to replace it," government-appointed overseer David Podmore told my colleague Jeff Lee this week.

Moreover, Podmore added, given the age of the roof, "it shouldn't be a surprise to anybody that it needs to be replaced."

Not to Gentner, anyway. But the Liberals ought to be a little red-faced.

Then again, that's not likely when you recall their lack of shame on the convention centre overrun, which is another project Podmore was brought in to rescue.

The no-more-than-four-years estimate on the remaining life-span of the roof poses a dilemma, because the Winter Olympics are scheduled to fall in the middle of that time frame.

"What we are endeavouring to do is to replace it before the Games," Podmore said. But with less than two years to opening day, that would be cutting it fine.

Recall, too, that the overrun on the convention centre expansion was the result of a rush job.

As to the potential cost of this boondog . . . er, project, my colleague Lee has extracted some preliminary estimates.

Figure at least $100 million for a replacement fabric roof, $150 million for one of those nifty retractable jobs.

Not including other costs, like the need to beef up the supporting structure of the stadium if the roof technology changes.

Throw in a state-of-the-art upgrade of the BC Place interior and you've got a tab maybe 100 times larger than the $2.5 million the Liberals were touting two years ago. ($250-MILLION STADIUM RENOVATION)

Needless to say, the government has rethought who should pay. No longer is it to be Vanoc's responsibility, which was (quoting Ilich) "our expectation" back in 2006.

Now the Liberals say the stadium improvements have nothing to do with getting ready the Olympics. (Where do people get these ideas?)

And at this point it would be unfair to stick Vanoc, which has done a better job of getting its costs under control, with the tab for another miscalculation by the provincial government.

The New Democrats baited the Liberals about the looming costs to taxpayers one day this week. But the latest minister in charge of the stadium, Stan Hagen, insisted "this is good news for British Columbia."

No need to mention he's the guy in charge of making feeble excuses for the $400-million overrun on the convention centre job.

Taxpayers need not be concerned about having to cover the cost of refitting BC Place, Hagen insisted.

The project will be financed through the sale and development of public land around the stadium.

Liberal cost accounting: If you sell the silverware to pay for a new roof, that's not a drain on your household finances.

Besides, Hagen assured the legislature, the government will negotiate a "fixed-price contract" for the BC Place renovations.

"Put us down as being a little skeptical," returned NDP House leader Mike Farnworth.

Me, too.

vpalmer@direct.ca

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CTV News Report Video Clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dPfJOeCHGg

Retractable BC Place roof could cost $150 million

"It would require an extremely aggressive schedule to complete," he said. The average time it takes to design and install such roofs is about 36 months, although Uni-Systems has done it in as little as eight months.

that ludicrous..36 months!?!? entire stadia get built for 30 months...!! are they going to use ants to install the roof?

may - september 2008 - roof design and building plans approval

september - november 2008 - contractor confirmed

november 2008 - december 2009 - roof construction and general stadium upgrade

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november 2008 - december 2009 - roof construction and general stadium upgrade

Which leaves just one month for the final rehearsal of the ceremonies... It seems that - just for this part - we are heading to a new Athens.

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that ludicrous..36 months!?!? entire stadia get built for 30 months...!! are they going to use ants to install the roof?

Well ants would probably more productive than most builders i've met.

I guess there is design, engineering and testing phases as well as the actual construction. Vancouvers weather doesnt help either.

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Which leaves just one month for the final rehearsal of the ceremonies... It seems that - just for this part - we are heading to a new Athens.

Two months actually, if all goes well. VANOC has a contract with Pavco/BC Place that the stadium be handed over to them in November 2009, after the CFL BC Lions season finishes.

I'm not sure where the BC Lions will relocate to during construction...possibly an entire season on the road?

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that ludicrous..36 months!?!? entire stadia get built for 30 months...!! are they going to use ants to install the roof?

may - september 2008 - roof design and building plans approval

september - november 2008 - contractor confirmed

november 2008 - december 2009 - roof construction and general stadium upgrade

I believe that they do plan on getting a contractor and design confirmed sometime this spring. Well actually, I believe Dominion-Fairmille has already been chosen as the contractor and it would be a design-build contract, with a fixed price.

Design/Build or "Turnkey" is a system of contracting where there is a single source of responsibility for both design and construction.

The advantages of design build over other forms of contracting include:

* Early confirmation of price - before committing to the expense of a complete design or purchasing property, owners can be provided with a guaranteed maximum price for their project.

* Single source of responsibility - nothing falls between the cracks between the design and construction teams; enables owners to focus on their own business. Consultative, collaborative approach to building

* Schedule enhancement - design build format enables overlap of design, approvals and construction to save both time and money. Facilitates ordering long lead time items

* Trade and supplier input to the design ensures budget compliance and optimizes the selection and detailing of systems, finishes and massing

* Design build now represents more than 30% of all non-residential construction

Built into every Dominion project from the beginning, our integration of services means that the experience and resources to take your project from site identification through to completion is available from a single source.

As well, in B.C. we have something called the Significant Projects Streamlining Act (Bill 75) passed by the Liberals a few years ago to streamline construction of important projects and make certain they're completed on time. It could be enforced for the first time to open up more funds to make sure this baby is done on time. It gives a project god-like powers, and overrides all municipal and federal government rulings and laws.

The Act gives BC Cabinet ministers extraordinary powers to make orders replacing any laws and policies perceived to be a “constraint” to projects that cabinet deems to be “provincially significant.” The Act doesn’t set out criteria for the orders replacing the supposed constraints.

The Act takes a wide view of what could constitute a perceived constraint. As defined in the Act, constraints may include provincial or local laws, regulations and bylaws, as well as any other government policy or program. And a constraint doesn’t even have to be real – it only has to be “perceived.” A proponent could even argue that paying his or her share of taxes is a constraint on a project.

Under this legislation, the Minister responsible will not even be required to give reasons accounting for his or her decisions.

If the vital decisions and contract signing are made this spring, construction could possibly begin as early as this summer.

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Two months actually, if all goes well. VANOC has a contract with Pavco/BC Place that the stadium be handed over to them in November 2009, after the CFL BC Lions season finishes.

I'm not sure where the BC Lions will relocate to during construction...possibly an entire season on the road?

they've had 5 years to plan this so its rather dissapointing.

Wembley had a contract to be finished on time, so did Athens' Olympic Stadium...a contract means nothing than a compo payout after decade long court battles following late completion of the project. I really hope whatever the do is done on time. Nobody wants to see another Athens or Montreal. Would it just be better to remove the roof and go outdoors SLC style and hope for the best in terms of weather?

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Actually Cabinet is supposed to decide on a design and winning contractor (probably Birdair) late this month. They would have to start construction immediately, no delays. The current roof will likely have to be deflated this summer.

So mabey the Lions have a year and a half on the road or at UBC's Thunderbird Stadium (which holds 3000)? How many bleacher seats can they add to Thunderbird?

They can't play at Swangard cause the track around the field doesn't allow enough length for a CFL sized field (110 yards plus two 25 yard end zones).

Bob Ackles has this little dream that the Lions can work around the construction schedule? What is he dreaming? Play football with cables hanging down and cranes all over the place? And the seats partially out? Powerwashing and sealing going on? Drain installation? The concrete floor has to be ripped up.

I think what Bob Ackles is dreaming is that it will be a simple replacement of the current bubble which apparently can be done in 5 months. That's not where this is headed

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This is a serious muck up. Aren't there contracts in place for the use of stadium for the next 2 years? Trade shows, the auto show, the Marathon, CFL Lions games, the Play dome - they all use the stadium throughout the year.

And then remember at this moment in time there are only 23 months left until the Games open.

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The Monster Truck show next February is scheduled, but can be cancelled. Anything can be cancelled. What events can be moved into the Convention Center will be moved. Anything that can't well, bye bye. The Olympics take priority, of course.

The BC Lions have a Lease until 2010. The Lease probably says they would be compensated for any lost reveneue for being displaced.

Hey it's happened before. Didn't the New Jersey Devils have to play part of their season on the road for renovations to their arena?

The BC Lions pay rent. They're a tenant. I'm afraid they don't have much say. What hurts the BC Lions now is the lack of a secondary facility to play in; i.e. no Whitecaps Stadium built yet.

In the case of the Montreal Alouettes, if Olympic Stadium was their only home and it were closed, they'd just play their games at Molson Stadium at McGill University. As it is, Molson Stadium is basically the Alouette's home, save for playoff games which they play at Olympic.

In Toronto, SkyDome closed, the Argos could play at the new soccer stadium for FC Toronto at BMO Field. Not a perfect solution, but at least something to fall back on.

Vancouver? No way ho say. Sorry Lions.

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