Surrey 2010 Olympic Games Preparation Center, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Financial Stewardship: construction speed
This center played a prominent role in the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver as a training venue for Olympians and volunteers, as well as a central location for all recruitment and logistics. The project got off to a late start, so shortening construction time as much as possible was critical. The structure was architecturally intense, with curved top walls up to 40 ft (12 m) high and extensive reveals, recesses, and block-outs. The specified finish was a light sandblast and two coats of clear sealer, so quality finish was essential. The project was planned assuming 24/7 production to increase the chances of completing the project in the 6-week allotted time period (one quarter of the time typically allowed for this type of structure). Shotcrete was an integral part of the success of the project in terms of schedule and quality. The time from the first excavator bucket hitting the ground until structural completion was 3-1/2 weeks, without the need for 24/7 production or even the need for a second shift. The speed of construction was even more remarkable considering the 50-year record-breaking snowfall with up to 3 ft (0.9 m) of snow and subzero weather conditions for the entire duration of the project. All vertical portions of the project were placed with shotcrete, including the structural walls, building envelope, and architectural features. The tall walls were formed on one side to full height (up to 40 ft [12 m]); the use of shotcrete with one-sided forming on such tall walls with multiple block-outs reduced the amount of formwork to one-sixth of what would have been needed on a traditional placement.
The Surrey Olympic Games Center during construction. Photo courtesy of American Shotcrete Association