07 Sep Overlay for Pan Pacific Swimming Championships
The 2014 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships recently hit the water in the newly revamped Gold Coast Aquatic Centre following a $42 Million face lift as the first major test for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
The redevelopment of the Aquatic Centre is one of the most significant Commonwealth Games legacy projects and provides a world class venue for the Gold Coast. The Centre was completed in July 2014, just in time for the PPSC and now includes two 50m competition pools, a dive pool, a 25m pool and two spectator legacy podiums.
Integrated Event Delivery Management (iEDM) was awarded the contract to undertake the engineering project management for the PPSC overlay in May 2013, thirteen months prior to the commencement of bump in of the facility. “It was important us to be involved in the PPSC overlay as it was the first major test for the facility and as a proud Gold Coast Company we want to prove that we can deliver world class temporary venues in our home town” said Director Liam Howe; “Under the brief from our Client, The City of Gold Coast, we sourced primarily local suppliers to deliver the $1.5 million overlay”.
The bump in for the temporary infrastructure overlay was 4 weeks working on a 7 day working week with over 300 contractors. Both east and west stands combined totalled 3,280 seats, 40 media tribunes and 6 broadcast commentary booths. Most significant of the challenges was transitioning the rear of the stands from the venue podium 2.5m above the ground on to the ground level. The additional height and surrounding landscape made the build process slower and a change in build methodology which was more resource heavy.
A number of key features in the overlay were a first for not only the venue, but also some for Australia. The cantilevered roof sheltering the eastern grandstand consisted of a modular system imported specifically for the event from Germany. To the north, the centre-piece of the venue- an 11m high wall- boasted 66m2 of high definition vision boards, broadcast vantage point and production lighting – arguably the most impressive visual aspect of the overlay.
Sunrise behind the Eastern Stand
View from the Pool deck
The Northern Wall
For the majority of the overlay planning period, the GCAC was inaccessible or simply a ‘hole in the ground’ whilst under construction. Further, as the venue was being constructed, designs were amended and developed, which provided a significant challenge for the project managers. “Most venues we build in are already complete so we have an opportunity to walk around in the space. However, in this case the majority of our planning was done through our design team. As we had very limited access we were so heavily reliant on our designers to Pan Pacific Swimming Championships the point where they produced over 200hrs of design in bringing this venue to fruition” said Howe. Enhanced by 3D design capabilities iEDM set up a series of images and fly throughs to understand their overlay designs on the brand new venue so there was nothing missed.
Engineering project management for temporary overlay is the signature of locally based iEDM. However, even the highly experienced company were put to the test at the exposure of the elements, in particular the wind across the event week. “We had to meet many goals, such as reducing wind on the pool deck and achieving our desired look and feel of the venue for both the broadcast and the patrons. Due to the temporary nature of the overlay we spent a lot of time working with our engineers to ensure we could cope with most weather events. The weather was not kind to us but the overlay stood up to the challenge”.
The finished product was a remarkable testament to the project delivery team’s efforts over many months, resulting in a world class event for the Gold Coast which can be seen with the video below. iEDM has a long standing working relationship with the City of Gold Coast across a number of major events; the successful partnership clearly pivotal in the success of the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships.