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Stadia Design & Technology Expo 2012 Conference speaker in focus: PCL's Andy Tallentire

The crowning glory of the recently completed BC Place renovation is the world’s largest cable-supported retractable roof. Stadia Design & Technology Expo 2012 Conference speaker Andy Tallentire reveals more

 

“Today’s stadia and arenas are modern-day versions of the cathedrals built centuries ago for people to ‘worship’ their respective teams – and should be built to generate a lot of excitement,” feels Andy Tallentire, operations manager for construction specialist PCL in Canada.

Tallentire is one of the many experts on hand at May’s Stadia Design & Technology Expo 2012 Conference at the Los Angeles Convention Center. With 25 years of construction experience, he has orchestrated countless design-build hockey and entertainment arenas, plus numerous sports and convention centres. Most recently, though, he’s been busy overseeing the C$560 million upgrade and new roof installation at Vancouver’s BC Place Stadium.

BC Place is a multi-purpose venue on the north side of False Creek and home to Canadian Football League (CFL) team BC Lions as well as the Major League Soccer (MLS) team Vancouver Whitecaps. The new roof was a key ingredient in the new vision for the stadium and allows BC Pavilion Corporation (the venue’s owner/operator) to tailor the atmosphere for any event – as its website states, “from summer festivals in the sun and football games under the stars to exhibitions comfortably protected from the rain”.

“It’s a combination of a fixed fabric roof and the world’s first inflatable retractable roof supported by 18,000 tons of steel and 35km of post-tensioned cables,” reveals Tallentire, who gained his qualifications in Civil Engineering and Construction Management in England. “It was an extremely complex project with many unique challenges, but is one of the proudest achievements of my career to date.”

Tallentire’s mission at the 55,000-seat BC Place reached a successful conclusion in September 2011 when British Columbia Premier Christy Clark cut the ribbon and opened the doors to a wildly enthusiastic crowd who saw the BC Lions take on CFL rivals Edmonton Eskimos, a game won by the Lions 33-24. The roof opened without a hitch in under 20 minutes.

In addition to the technical challenges incumbent in developing such a unique structure, BC Place had to be renovated from start to finish in just 18 months. Tallentire predicts such refurbs and not new-build projects becoming the norm over the next few decades – not just tweaks to external aesthetics but completely overhauling the interior amenities, too. “There’s a real focus on higher-end finishes to improve the spectator experience, on more corporate branding, alternative premium seating/hosting areas beyond the typical private boxes and club seats and VIP access areas,” he concludes. “Improvements in technology such as 3G and 4G networks as well as advances in social media will also allow more branding and advertising, more sophisticated food and beverage service, and a vast array of features to allow guests to be entertained within the stadium way beyond the actual main event.”

Andy Tallentire will be one of the experts involved in Session 4, a contractors’ roundtable discussion at Stadia Design & Technology Expo 2012 (15.45-17.00hrs, Tuesday 8 May, 2012)

 

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