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Dubai Arena: Al Shafar Steel Engineering (ASSENT) LLC trusts Tekla Structures for large projects

The awe-inspiring Dubai Arena located in the heart of City Walk recently opened on June 6, 2019. This stunning multi-purpose arena boasts seating for 17,000 spectators and is tailor-made to accommodate a wide range of events including concerts, sports tournaments, and other festivities. Meraas, a renowned Dubai-based holding company has developed this project while Populous—an award-winning architecture firm specializing in sports structures have designed it with great precision.

To produce a successful outcome, Al Shafar Steel Engineering (ASSENT) LLC was invited to supervise and manage this project. Their responsibility included designing, constructing & assembling structural steel for both the façade support system and roof structure; in addition, they provided design services along with sourcing & positioning pot bearings. To ensure security against fire damage all steel structures were protected with an intumescent coating.

No Challenge Too Great

The Tekla BIM Awards winner project consists of designing a multi-purpose arena that requires the coordination of multiple stakeholders and activities. The most difficult part, however, is making certain that the structure abides by safety regulations and offers accessible features while also satisfying the requirements for all kinds of events.

As reported by the American Institute of Architects, 91% of architects surmise that constructing a multi-purpose arena is one of the most intricate building jobs. Meraas and UAE-based construction group ASGC took up this formidable task to build Dubai Arena to make a difference - from conceptualizing to designing it was achieved through their dedicated efforts.

The extraordinary nature of this project is most visible in its impressive steel roof structure, weighing an unprecedented 4,000 tons. The construction and installation process was a groundbreaking endeavor that critics have called "a once-in-a-lifetime method."

ASSENT, the steel division of ASGC, accomplished a remarkable feat by utilizing two cranes of world-record size to lift two massive trusses - each weighing 822 tons! Once both pieces were in place along with supporting and additional steel structure, the total weight of Arena's roof was approximately seven times more than that of an A380 airliner. This truly is an incredible achievement for ASSENT and ASGC team.

To conquer these obstacles, ASSENT relied on Tekla Structures – an incredibly powerful 3D modeling software. Through this, they were able to realistically assess the design, make necessary modifications during the early stages of development, and successfully organize work tasks simultaneously and productively.

Tekla Structures is a powerful tool that has many features that are beneficial for construction projects. One of the main benefits is its ability to create detailed and accurate 3D models that can be used for fabrication and construction. 

The team used it to create a detailed 3D model of the entire arena, which allowed them to detect errors and conflicts early in the design phase, reducing the need for rework and delays. For example, the team was able to identify potential clashes between the steel structure and the MEP systems, which allowed them to make adjustments before construction began.

Collaboration and Efficiency

By leveraging the power of the model, our engineering team was able to maximize benefits with increased design collaboration and coordination, as well as reduce labor-intensive deliverables like COBie.

This gave the builder a clear direction, as well as compliance checking and assurance that the project could be delivered to meet the client's aspirations and develop their knowledge of BIM. This meant that architectural and structural refinements could occur in parallel without losing element-to-element connectivity or resulting in the separation of modeling parts, thus avoiding timely rework at each design update.