The Drawing Office (Chesterfield) Ltd won the multi-material category of Tekla UK model competition 2010 with their 3D building information model of the new Sports Academy, “The Pods”, in Scunthorpe. This is one of the first projects in the UK where this type of building technique has been used for a major leisure project.
BIM in "The Pods", an iconic sports facility
The distinctive, organic and fluid-building form that comprises a series of linked structures emerges from the landscape and integrates with it in an innovative and gentle manner. The structure combines glulam timber members and galvanised steel nodes in a novel and complex triangular geodesic-organic-domed shell structure, where each timber member is of a different length and links to the nodes at different angles. A secondary timber triangular structure infills the primary structure.
A timber roof cassette system provides the envelope. The Sports Academy will offer a 25m swimming pool and learner pool with spectator facilities for 150 persons. There will be a six-court sports hall, dance studio, and a health/fitness facility. The Pods also includes ancillary public areas, such as wet and dry changing facilities, café, crèche, function rooms and business operation areas. “It has been a challenging and rewarding opportunity to be involved in this iconic project,” says Richard Callaghan
of The Drawing Office (Chesterfield) Ltd
. who delivered structural detailing to the project.
Modelling ensured accurate details
“Flexibility of the numbering system and easy visualisation of complex details in the ‘rendered’ mode are important functions in the software for us,” says Richard. “Tekla’s Web Viewer application is a very important tool for collaboration with external parties. In this project we used Tekla Structures version 12.1 as we were involved in the project from a very early date and preferred to run with this original version. For the Sports Academy, we supplied all steelwork & glulam fabrication drawings, foundation and GA drawings for site, all weight/length reports, transport loading lists, NC data, exports in formats to be used by cladding, glazing and cover panel contractors.”
“By using Tekla, the duration of the detailing was condensed into a short period but we were confident that the time spent modelling would ultimately produce accurate final details”, says Richard. “We were constantly in collaboration with the project team during the early stages of the project, but once criteria for the setting out was established, we also maintained regular links for checking individual details. With the nature of the setting out we regularly released Web Viewer models highlighting the complex geometry and interfaces. The project team were very impressed with the Tekla Web Viewer and commented how simple it was to install and use. We used an older version than the current one available but didn’t really miss any of the features which we had been using on newer projects. This project was very labour intensive as every connection was unique; a newer version would not have helped. We kept ‘The Pods’ as one single model rather than splitting into zones and therefore we had to use Tekla Structure multiuser mode for the majority of the project’s duration.”
Read more about Tekla Structures BIM software
- 5 geodesic domes linked together forming a smooth seamless flow
- 182 individual nodes each comprising 27 separate items
- 1536 glulam timber members
- Approx 1% of the project assemblies multiple call off, remainder unique items (only 1 off)
- Model created ‘from scratch’ using levels and northings/eastings supplied by the Consulting Engineer
- Check of the D.O geometry by overlaying 3D DWG of the Consulting Engineers export
- 9833 drawings and 64362 parts form the model from which the structure was created
- 3D structural frame analysis using Autodesk Robot Millennium package