Carrara Stadium Roof
Location: Gold Coast, QLD
Completion Date: 2010
Size: 14,200 sqm
Fabric: PTFE - Saint Gobain Sheerfill II & Sheerfill V
Client: BESIX Watpac
The Carrara Stadium Roof was part of the revamp and redevelopment of the Carrara Stadium in 2010 in order to become the home of multiple sports on the Gold Coast. MakMax Australia was engaged to supply and install the 14,200+ square metres of PTFE providing cover the stadium seating. MakMax also installed some additional tensile membrane shade and weather protection of 2 of the stadium’s public bar areas.
The project architects, Populous, specified the overall shape of the Carrara Stadium Roof panels as part of the master design. Like most stadia architects worldwide, the Populous recognised the flexible, lightweight properties of tensile membrane make it the ideal choice for this project and this application.
Our engineers, drafters, and project managers made this a reality.
Designed to provide a degree of shade and weather protection, while still creating an open-air stadium feel, the high curved roof panels were designed to fit the landscape, borrowing elements of the environment and surrounding structures. Everything down to the choice of long-life and self-cleaning PTFE fabric, to the golden yellow powder coat colour was chosen to reinforce the look and feel of the venue and help to create an iconic home for Gold Coast sports and events.
The most impressive aspect of the Carrara Stadium roof is the rear of each fabric panel, the highly curved shape is unusual for a stadium roof of this size and it adds a point of difference to the overall look of the venue. The flexibility of tensile membrane as a building material is clearly visible by the apparent ease in which these curved shapes are achieved.
A core consideration of the Carrara Stadium roof design was the water-runoff and drainage. The Gold Coast can be prone to strong summer storms, and large areas of fabric can collect a huge amount of water. Because PTFE is such a flexible medium to work with both physically and in relation to engineering possibilities, we were able to design a steep reverse cone in the low point of every panel. This reverse conic shape acts as a funnel, channeling rainwater into a siphonic drainage hub. The system needs only 50ml of water to begin siphoning water from the top side of the fabric making it ultra efficient.
Another practical consideration was the closure details between the tensile membrane roofing and the perimeter solar panels. Featuring six hundred custom-made solar panels installed by the BESIX Watpac, the Carrara Stadium roof has the ability to generate 20 per cent of its energy needs, making it Australia’s first ‘solar stadium’. A degree of research and development was conducted to create an extended flashing arrangement between the tensile membrane roof panels and the glass solar panels.
The Carrara Stadium Roof helps to crown an iconic sporting venue on Queensland’s Gold Coast; originally known as Metricon Stadium, the naming rights transferred to Heritage Bank Stadium in 2023. The stadium is the home base to the Gold Coast Suns AFL team, as well a second home for the Brisbane Heat T20 team, Carrara Stadium has also played host to the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
In 2020 during the extended Melbourne COVID-19 Lockdown, Carrara Stadium became a central hub for many of the re-located AFL teams.