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Refurbishment of Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace

The Problem

The existing stadium required increased ground capacity from 39, 000 to 45, 000 to cater for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Our Role

SMEC* were the Structural Engineers on the project with full design services from concept design to project completion.

Project Overview

The project timeframe was extremely tight for the concept, preliminary and detail design. The detailed design took approximately one year, and practical completion was achieved the day before the first game was played on March 28, 2009.

SMEC utilised a range of technologies in design and execution, with many firsts compared to other stadia. The composite steel and concrete structure won an award for technical excellence from the South African Institute for Steel Construction in 2009.

Teams had to consider the existing stadium structure in the design concept. The form finding process to accommodate the additional tier took considerable time but produced an elegant interface between the old and the new structure.The final solution produced an elliptically shaped stadium. The composite steel solution was used to increase the weight of the roof structure to prevent force reversal.This allowed the use of compression-only composite steel members and pre-tensioned suspension bars as roof ties.

*The original stadium design was done by M² Consulting Engineering. The upgrade was also awarded to M² Consulting Engineering (of which Marius Mostert was MD), which was later incorporated into Vela VKE and then acquired by SMEC.

Key Benefits

The stadium is used to train local children in athletics, martial arts, netball, rugby and football. It is used as the home stadium for Premier Soccer League club Platinum Stars, and the Leopards rugby team hosts large attendance matches there during the Currie Cup.

South Africa
Technical Area:
Royal Bafokeng Administration

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