Solve Complex Problems with Crowd Barrier Systems and Guardrails at New Sports Stadium

The Christchurch earthquake which destroyed much of the city’s key infrastructure, also ruined many popular, well-used sporting facilities. As part of the massive rebuild Christchurch City Council built the new Nga Puna Wai Sports Hub in Wigram.

Solve Complex Problems with Crowd Barrier Systems and Guardrails at New Sports Stadium

Designed by Beca and built by Hawkins Construction, the sports hub includes athletics tracks and fields, hockey pitches, tennis courts, rugby and rugby league fields. It opened in early 2019. Hawkins contracted Moddex NZ to deliver handrails and balustrades on the rugby league field grandstand.

The project was complex, requiring crowd-loading compliant barriers and guardrails, with lighting built into handrails and multi-directional access ramps.

Early in its involvement in the project, Moddex was able to advise on crowd-loading requirements and identifying the correct thickness required for the handrails and balustrades.

As well, the lighting, which had already been purchased, was non-compliant and needed to be retrofitted into the larger diameter pipe work.

And as if these problems weren’t enough, two different systems – one crowd-loaded and the other not – needed to be coupled together, requiring a degree of flexibility unusual on such projects.

Usually, details like these would be ironed out early in a project but Nga Puna Wai was well advanced by the time the contract was awarded to Moddex.

Part of the advantage in Moddex’s modular, galvanized steel, powder-coated rails is that different systems can be seamlessly connected – one crowd-loaded and the other not. This flexibility allowed for the required engineering standards to be met, while keeping the same look throughout the stadium and keeping to budget.

Building lighting into the handrail and balustrade system is a very smart way to provide lighting to walkways and access. One area of particular complexity was the lighting built into the balustrades on an access ramp with a number of transition points. The electrical wires buried in the concrete on the edges of ramp had to emerge at the exact places the balustrade stanchion posts would be fixed to the ramp so the wiring could be carried up inside the posts to their final position. The Moddex team worked in close collaboration with a number of sub-contractors to ensure exact placement of the stanchions with extreme accuracy and superb attention to detail.

Installing the components on-site also came with challenges. To ensure on-time delivery, a larger than usual crew of Moddex and Moddex-approved installers was recruited, who worked long hours to complete the job on time.

Such a range of difficulties would have felled many a company, but Moddex has been solving problems like these for several decades, recently completing 30 kilometres of complex, load-bearing guardrailing on the Melbourne Skyrail track.

Moddex NZ managing director Jeremy Raikes says, “We are pleased to have worked with Hawkins Construction and Beca to contribute to an iconic project of national significance.”

View the project case study here>

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