For the Vancouver Convention Centre Expansion, Glotman•Simpson had to determine how to build a living green roof above a 180 foot clear Ballroom span and a 300’ x 735’ Exhibition Hall space below.
The solution developed was a unique system of multi-storey, deep-steel trusses, holding up the roof and its soil. We determined that every added inch of soil would increase structural costs significantly. Our thinking enabled the architects to realize their design vision in the most affordable way possible.
This exciting structure features mega size steel trusses, irregular sloped green roofs, leaning columns and glass walls, large plaza spaces, and meeting rooms of all sizes up to 55 metres x 100 metres, with high wood ceilings. A 35 metre high grand foyer welcomes guests from the south, and tunnel bridges lead to the two adjacent hotels. The expansion also includes additional waterfront retail, a seawall and bike path, and access to the seaplane base and marina.
The heart of the structural solution was to be regular bays of multi-storey trusses, some nearly 100 feet tall, and beams anchored to eccentric braced bays for seismic resistance. The interstitial space in the trusses between the main exhibition hall and the main floor below was used as parking level for 443 cars. Early estimates of steel quantities at conceptual design were within 5% of final built quantities in this 17,498 ton steel building, covering approximately 420,000 square meters of irregular unique structure tailored to building usage. Success of coordination and speed of steel delivery is owed to using Tekla steel detailing software to prepare the project for tender.
Images: © Bob Matheson