Tekla Software Plays a Role in the Construction of FIFA World Cup Stadiums

Tekla software has been used in the structural design and construction of the stadiums of the FIFA World Cup taking place in South Africa between June 11 and July 11. Of the ten arenas for the world's most watched sports event, three have been modeled using the Tekla Structures 3D BIM (Building Information Modeling) software.

A total of five completely new stadiums were built for the world Cup. Two of them, the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit and the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, were modeled using Tekla Structures. In addition, the modeling of the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg, renovated for the Cup, was made with Tekla software.

"The Cup stadiums are large and structurally challenging buildings in which attention has been paid to appearance. Building them without the help of 3D BIM software would have been very difficult," says Risto Räty, Executive Vice President of Tekla Corporation.

Roof structure of main stage challenged construction

Tekla Structures 3D BIM software
All the new stadiums built for the Cup are fabulous creations, but the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth really stands out, thanks to its fantastic roof structure. Completed this year, the stadium is one of the main stages of the Cup. In addition to the group-level matches, also one of the semi-finals and the match for third place will take place there. The individually shaped white roof structure, made of teflon-coated fiberglass, is held up with 36 steel girders. The total weight of the curved beams supporting the futuristic structure is nearly 2,500 tons.

One of the most interesting parts of the project was the compression ring. To make the 3D model, we had to duplicate the model and simulate the deflection so the compression ring could be fitted properly after the girders erection," says Daniel Barbeau at CadMax, who was responsible for information modeling.

Tekla Structures 3D BIM software
The complex nature of the structure put the Canadian steel detailers, CadMax, and Tekla Structures software to a test. Seamless coordination of the 4,200 drawings required for the erection of the stadium between project parties was an additional spice in the job. Membrane designer and connections engineer Birdair was located in Buffalo USA, the steel detailers of CadMax were in Québec, Canada, the part manufacturers in Kuwait, the structural engineers in Germany, and the contractors in South Africa.

Despite the tight schedule, the stadium was completed well in time before the games, already last summer. The CISC (Canadian Institute of Steel Construction) in Québec awarded CadMax's modeling of the steel structure of the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium as the best project in 2009 outside of Québec.

BIM software as key to success

Tekla Structures was also used in the renovation of the 44,530-seat Royal Bafokeng stadium, named after the Bafokeng people who live in the area. The South African company Pinnacle Projects was responsible for the modeling.

"The erector stated to us on one of our many site visits, that he would not have been able to erect this structure without the 3D model," says Tommy Mulherron and Oscar van Rensburg of Pinnacle Projects, the company responsible for the structural design.

Tekla Structures 3D BIM software
In listing the benefits offered by Tekla software, Mulherron mentions accurate amounts of building materials and the faultless fabrication process of structural parts facilitated by accurate model drawings.

The same information model was utilized both in steel shops and the site. In addition, through the information model the project management was always up to date with the progress of the work.

According to Mulherron, the project was unique as a whole, and the success in the demanding job did not go unnoticed: The Southern African Institute of Steel Construction picked the renovation of the Royal Bafokeng Stadium as the winner in their Technical Excellence category.

The third stadium modeled with Tekla Structures is the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit, completed last year for the event. It was modeled by the South African company Mondo Cané, a user of the Tekla Structures software since 1999. The Web Viewer model they created was utilized by architects, detailers as well as fabricators.
Tekla Structures 3D BIM software
The steel structure of the stadium weighs approximately 1500 tons, and 90% of the super structure was made from tubular sections that required accurate profiling.

"The project was split between two fabricators so we separated the model into various phases and assigned different assembly marks per phase. We used the cloning feature of Tekla Structures effectively to reduce the amount of work", says Rob Chalmers who was responsible for steel detail design and workshop drawings.

NBM&CW June 2010

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