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Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Courtesy IQRemix/Flickr (left) and jasonwoodhead23/Flickr (right).

  • COMPLETION DATE
    2016

Overview

Thornton Tomasetti provided structural design and façade engineering services for the 18,500-seat ice hockey arena that is the new home of the National Hockey League’s Edmonton Oilers. It replaces the Oiler’s old home, Rexall Place. The new arena is a major entertainment center and attraction for the province.

Located on a 16-acres site in Edmonton’s downtown area, the arena complex includes an ice surface that can be used as event space and support facilities such as an additional community ice rink, pedestrian bridge, above-grade parking and an office building. The community rink also serves as Oilers practice space and can be used for smaller local events.

Finding a structural solution that met the needs of the project’s unique geometry was a major challenge. Design elements that needed to be accommodated included large un-braced column lengths, transfers of major column lines, large irregularly shaped slab openings and a long-span roof. The building sits on belled caissons with cast-in-place concrete lower levels and a steel-framed superstructure at the upper levels. A 40-meter enclosed bridge spanning over 104th Avenue links the site of a future development to the south where it lands on slide bearings. The bridge’s mostly glass façade rises more than 20 meters above the deck creating an expansive winter garden.

The winter garden bridge connects the arena and public transportation system to a $2.5 billion-dollar development known as the Ice District. Thornton Tomasetti is also the structural engineer of record for a 56-story hotel and residential tower in the Ice District.

NHL, edmonton, 360 Architecture, oilers
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While the range of shapes and forms that can be designed with modern modeling tools is almost limitless, geometric discipline is still essential for budget control. When forms are still in flux, the design team can use our proprietary tools to interactively study multiple geometric options and establish optimized shapes for structural frames and building surfaces, along with related systems.

Parametric modeling applies parameters such as materials, dimensions or performance criteria to define elements or element categories within a model. Once entered, they can be altered, individually or in combination, to explore and easily incorporate design changes. These 3D models contain intelligent information and can serve as deliverables, or they can be used to generate 2D drawings. Parametric models improve documentation speed and quality, enhance visualization, quickly perform geometry-based analytical tasks and easily calculate material quantities.

Generative modeling uses scripts – instead of direct input – to generate elements, providing even greater flexibility in iterating and testing many options. It allows architects, engineers and other project stakeholders to work together to quickly evaluate any number of concepts and variations.

Specialized Structural Engineering Expertise

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Successfully engineered buildings both resist anticipated loads and maintain comfortable and functional conditions for occupants. Vibrations from walking, dancing, exercising, synchronous cheering, operating mechanical equipment, construction activities and wind gusts can generate motion that disturbs building occupants or disrupts sensitive operations. We use analysis and monitoring to identify vibration sources and determine methods to reduce or eliminate undesirable effects. We have performed vibration analyses in commercial and residential high-rise buildings, laboratories and industrial buildings, stadium grandstands, operable roofs and more.