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Aquatic Center’s Catenary Roof Dips and Waves

Paul Steinbach Headshot
[Photos by Emma Peter]
[Photos by Emma Peter]

The first thing one notices about the Grandview Heights Aquatic Centre in Surrey, B.C., is how its undulating roofline mimics the fluidity of water.

Design D1116insetBut the roof, hailed by Vancouver-based HCMA Architecture + Design as the longest-spanning catenary wood roof in the world, serves several purposes beyond aesthetics. The catenary system of roof suspension is highest over a waterslide and a 10-meter diving platform that bookend a 50-meter pool, but dips down in between to create a lower profile than that of most aquatics facilities, reducing volume and saving on HVAC-related operational costs. It also spares the interior ceiling of up to 15 feet of steel-truss depth susceptible to corrosion. Designers incorporated ductwork into perimeter steel, relocated fire-suppression sprinklers away from the ceiling, and developed a means for the roof to manage deflection due to wind and snow loads while maintaining a tight building envelope. "We're interested in pushing the boundaries and limits of materials," says HCMA managing principal Darryl Condon. "Using wood in tension, using wood as cable — which to my knowledge has never been done before to this scale — was a really exciting opportunity."


This article originally appeared in the November | December 2016 issue of Athletic Business with the title "Aquatic center's catenary roof dips and waves." Athletic Business is a free magazine for professionals in the athletic, fitness and recreation industry. Click here to subscribe.

 

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