The project was located in Rockhampton, QLD and has the potential to turn the town into a swimming hub for regional Queensland.
The purpose was to create a feature roof spanning the main Olympic sized pool acting both as a landmark structure for the pool and to provide sun protection for both swimmers and spectators.
The original contract was tendered as a design and construct project. At the tender stage we identified several options for refining the structural arrangement while maintaining the architectural form and function. By rationalising the steel framing and improving the efficiency of the superstructure we were able to provide a substantial cost reduction to the client.
With little area available for on-site storage of materials, and a steel superstructure framing that amounted to 24 semi loads the logistics of delivery became a very important construction issue. Early planning led to the inception of a “just in time” delivery method, where steel arrived in sequence as it was needed on site. Managing this became a full time job, as steel needed to leave the fabricators to be delivered to the paint yard and then be transported to site, all in the sequence it was to be erected.
The large spanning roof led to several construction challenges that were exacerbated by surcharge limits around the swimming pools. Safe crane lifting locations were limited and a 170 tonne crane was required to erect the steelwork and lift the fabric for the pool shade canopy into place. To provide safe working platforms for membrane fixing lightweight spider lift booms were used to minimise loading applied back to the ground.
One side of the membrane panels is fixed with a catenary cable at approximately 1.2m centres. This cable was required to be pulled through the catenary pocket once the membrane had been flaked out across the steelwork. To speed up the install process a special conical shaped PVC guide was created to fix to the cable stud. This enabled the cable to be drawn through the pocket with no assistance from site personnel at the membrane plates – as the cone left a pocket it naturally opened the adjacent pocket and slid through; this also eliminated the risk of the pocket being damaged or torn by the cable stud.
The new facility can genuinely be described as a world class swimming venue and has proven popular with local residents since opening. As the photos show the finished construction looks fantastic; the pool shade canopy adds a major draw card to Rockhampton and improves the available amenities of a growing regional centre.