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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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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
That said, this is an incredible development!



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.















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












3) Frankfurt Stadium - retractable fabric roof




















4) Wimbledon - rigid retractable roof










I'm personally really digging something like the first three options: Busan, Durban, and Frankfurt.....and especially Frankfurt if we decide to go with the retractable roof route. Not so much of a fan of Wimbledon, not to mention it would be costly to build....and we wouldn't be able to build it in time for 2010 considering it's a rigid steel structure.
 

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This is really awesome! In all honesty, BC Place in its current format is POS. However, with a simple roof overhaul like the one in Frankfurt and Durban will make it world class. It never made sense to me as to why Vancouver has a fully covered stadium in the first place. Whenever I think of Vancouver, I think about outdoorsy types of activities. An outdoor stadium fits that bill perfectly.

Also, in addition to the heating cost, money can also be recouped through a stadium naming deal.
 

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Is the Wimbledon roof already built or U/C?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
CTV News Report, March 06

 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So I'm guessing at the moment, the Frankfurt option looks like the most viable one.
That's what I'm guessing too....I personally think it's the most likely option. They have said they both want an indoor venue for trade shows, and outdoor venue for football games.....that means a retractable roof. And the type of roof needs to be light - a fabric type like Frankfurt's - so that the stadium walls can support it with upgrades. Not to mention that it's the easiest type to build, and less time consuming than a rigid steel roof like Wimbledon or SkyDome. Also add on that it's relatively cheap for a retractable roof.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
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.

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Preparations for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics are progressing so well, it's boring....

anyway..250 million is surprisingly realistic. they usually come up with ridiculous estimates and then double them later but 250 million seems about right..maybe 300 million depending on construction costs in canada.

as long as we dont end up with an athens situation
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Preparations for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics are progressing so well, it's boring....

anyway..250 million is surprisingly realistic. they usually come up with ridiculous estimates and then double them later but 250 million seems about right..maybe 300 million depending on construction costs in canada.

as long as we dont end up with an athens situation
Well, there is a possibility we could end up with an Athens situation.

Look at the new convention centre/media centre being built, it was originally set for a early-2009 completion. Due to some earlier complications, the completion date is now September 2009. Not to mention that they ridiculously estimated the cost to be $495-million....the cost today is now nearly $900-million.

Given the fact that the B.C. construction industry is seeing its greatest boom in three decades, there is a huge shortage in labour and the many many many projects are also causing steel/metal/concrete prices to shoot through the roof. As well, every month the costs go up by 1.5%. I too would say the stadium renovations cost would likely come somewhere between $250-300 million....especially since this project is being fast-tracked for the 2010 Games.






How about this for a possible construction timeline?...if they are really organized and committed to this, 24/7 construction:

2008
June 2008 to October 2008: weather proofing interior including installation of drainage systems, preparations for stadium renovations and new roof construction....and removal of all the seats
August 2008 to October 2008: removal of fabric roof

2009
June 2008 to September 2009: installation of new fabric retractable roof structure, including installation of new and beefing up of stadium supports
June 2009 to early-November 2009: Concourse renovations, new seats, exterior renovations, etc.





If a retractable roof is the option chosen, which seems to be what they really want, I think a Frankfurt Stadium system would be the most likely roof we'll be getting:


 

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If the stadium is going to be demolished, it's a waste of money.
But Ok, to host winter olympics, you need a roof don't you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Gordo raising a new roof?

By BOB MACKIN, 24 HOURS
Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Will it be a green convertible for Premier Gordon Campbell when he appears at BC Place Stadium before next week's Vancouver International Auto Show?

Sources tell 24 hours that Campbell will announce what technology has been chosen to replace the roof at the 25-year-old 2010 Olympic stadium. It might be a retractable roof, which could mean the energy-using fans that keep the fabric roof aloft would be shut down.

Crews of German-speaking surveyors have been spotted around the dome in recent weeks, suggesting that Koch Hightex may supply the material. The company's retractable work includes two tennis stadiums in Germany and a bullfighting arena in Madrid, Spain. It has also supplied fixed roofs for stadiums in Berlin and Busan, South Korea.

This could be when Victoria invokes the Significant Projects Streamlining Act to ensure the most important construction job for the Games is finished on time. The fast-track law was enacted Dec. 2, 2003 - exactly six months after Vancouver won the 2010 bid.
 
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