Grandview Heights Aquatic Centre’s striking glulam roof

Photo credit: EllisDon Corporation

This is not your typical suburban swimming pool, according to project manager Gary Watt of construction services firm, EllisDon Corporation.

The firm was awarded a silver award in the General Contractor $15 million to $45 million category for its work on the Grandview Heights Aquatic Centre (GHAC) in Surrey, Canada.

With three levels: the basement, where the mechanical systems are located; the main level, where the swimming pools are situated; and a mezzanine, where there is a gymnasium and a viewing area for spectators, the 94,180-square-foot facility is located at the intersection of 168th Street and 24th Avenue in South Surrey and is owned by the City of Surrey.

“It has a unique and complex design. For example, there are large buttress columns at either end of the building and an undulating roof form. Every part of the structure was like a custom build,” said Watt.


Photo credit: EllisDon Corporation

The striking feature of the GHAC is its roof, which is a wooden deck that sits on top of the glulam beams that are suspended between concrete buttress structures on either side, as well as in the middle of the building in a curved formation.

The undulating roof form was designed to provide clearances for the Olympic dive platform at one end, and the recreational water slide at the other.

The undulating roof form was designed to provide clearances for the Olympic dive platform. Photo credit: EllisDon Corporation

The five by 10-inch glulam beams hung like cables from post-tensioned concrete buttress at each end of the building.

Prefabricated from regionally-sourced Douglas Fir beams, EllisDon had worked with the structural engineer to lift the beams into place with mobile cranes in just eight days.

Slotted steel structure connections that were attached to the glulam roof beams permitted deflection tolerances of 200 mm in the roof design.

The roof is supported by vertical cast-in-place concrete columns, creating a division between the leisure pools and competitive and diving pool area.

EllisDon had worked with the concrete form-work subcontractor to create a modular form work design for the columns that could be assembled and modified quickly during the project. In addition, the rebar cages were prefabricated before the modular forming system was installed, which saved time and money.

Construction of the aquatic centre began in August 2014 and substantial completion was reached in December 2015.

The final construction cost was “just under $45 million,” said Watt.


Source: Journal of Commerce