PCL raises the roof on BMO Field
February 22, 2016 by On-Site Magazine
In a feat of engineering that has dramatically transformed the skyline surrounding the City of Toronto’s historic Exhibition Place grounds, PCL Constructors Canada Inc. (Toronto) raised the roof on BMO Field’s south concourse yesterday.
“A critical lift such as the one we performed to raise the roof on BMO Field is an orchestration of precision and patience to ensure that every element goes exactly as planned,” says PCL Toronto senior project manager Neil Barrows. “We have been methodically planning for this moment for over two years in coordination with our partners to ensure it’s done right for the safety of all workers and the enjoyment of fans.”
Assembled on site as one massive structure weighing over 490 metric tonnes (980,000 pounds), the south canopy was lifted in tandem by two lattice boom crawler cranes. With a combined lifting capacity of 1,000 metric tonnes, the two massive cranes simultaneously lifted and then crawled the 377 by 68 foot canopy from the foot of the south concourse, enabling it to be incorporated into the roof structure that will cover the east, west and south stands. Transported from Holland, the CC2400 crane was so large that it necessitated over 100 tractor trailers to transport it to site.
PCL mobilized on site in mid-October, following completion of Toronto FC’s 2015 season to complete the second phase of an aggressive two-year project that has seen 8,400 seats added to the east grandstand, a continuous concourse level, kitchen, and enhancements to washrooms, concessions, and executive VIP spaces. The second phase of the project has focused on creation of the canopy roof.
“To bring MLSE’s vision of providing fans with an enhanced experience to life we brought together an expert team of subcontractors to collaboratively develop an approach to expand and enhance the aging stadium within its existing structure; while aligning the plan with MLSE’s business goals to fast-track the schedule and provide maximum return on investment,” says PCL Toronto vice president and district manager Bruce Sonnenberg.
The east and west canopies were built on-site in 100 by 40 foot sections and lifted into place from the stadium’s exterior to prevent damaging the field. Four steel super-columns have been constructed in each corner of the stadium, their foundations plugged into bedrock using a system of micro piles drilled 7 meters into the ground, along with three enormous legs forged together at various levels to support the load of the roof trusses.
“The two-year renovation of BMO Field is a tremendous project for our teams, our fans and for the entire city of Toronto,” said Bob Hunter, chief project development officer for MLSE. “Working with PCL and valued project partners, we are transforming BMO Field into one of the top stadiums in Major League Soccer, and a venue that can serve as home to other world-class events as well. The next few months will be exciting for us all, to see the roof raised after years of planning, and it will be a very proud moment in May to see TFC take the field in front of a brand new, and sold out, BMO Field.”
See below for two video versions of the south canopy lift (password: bmoreno)
Go behind the scenes of BMO Field’s Phase 2 Expansion with PCL Toronto senior project manager Neil Barrows in this video update (December, 2015) to watch a 600-ton crane lift sections of the east roof into, and learn about the complex engineering and planning involved in expanding and enhancing an aging stadium with an existing structure.
In its role as construction manager, PCL completed the first phase of an aggressive two-year renovation of BMO Field in time for Toronto FC’s home opener in May, 2015. The 12-month project was compressed into just 7 months, and included construction of an 8,400-seat upper bowl on top of the east grandstand, bringing capacity up to over 30,000.This phase also saw the addition of a continuous concourse level and kitchen, and enhancements to washrooms, concessions, and executive VIP spaces.
PCL mobilized on site in mid-October, 2015 following completion of Toronto FC’s 2015 season for the second phase of the project focused on creating a canopy roof to cover all fixed seating, to expand and enhance the aging stadium within its existing structure. To carry the colossal load of the roof trusses that cover the east, west and south stands, four super-columns were engineered in each corner of the stadium, plugged into bedrock using a system of micro piles drilled 7 meters below ground.
Temporary blue shoring towers were installed along the east and west sides of the field to support the 15 roof girders during construction. All work was completed using cranes from outside the stadium to prevent damaging the field. The east and west roof canopies were built on-site and lifted in sections.
Assembled on site as one massive structure weighing over 490 metric tonnes (980,000 pounds), the south canopy was lifted in tandem by two lattice boom crawler cranes.
With a combined lifting capacity of 1,000 metric tonnes, the two massive cranes simultaneously lifted and then crawled the 377 x 68 foot canopy from the foot of the south concourse, enabling it to be incorporated into the roof structure that will cover the east, west and south stands.
Transported from Holland, the CC2400 crane was so large that it necessitated over 100 tractor trailers to transport it to site. Once the roof sections are installed and all trusses are bolted, the shoring towers will be removed. To integrate the arrival of the Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts, PCL has completed an additional scope of work to include an extension to the field of play, new movable north and south stands, new home and visitor locker rooms, and field lighting.
To ensure that BMO Field remains a soccer first venue, the playing field will be a dual system between natural grass and artificial turf.
Along with a new sound and lighting system, these upgrades will bring BMO Field on par with other premiere MLS venues, enhancing the fan and player experience by providing a louder, more energetic stadium, as the venue prepares to host the 2016 Toronto FC season:
BMO Field expansion project partners:
- Owner: The City of Toronto
- Operator: Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment
- Owner’s Representative: ICON Venue Group
- Construction Manager: PCL Constructors Canada Inc. (Toronto)
- Architect of Record: Gensler
- Consultants: Entuitive, Thornton Tomasetti
- Structural steel partners: Canam Heavyfabricated 3,600 tons of steel roof components at its Saint Gédéon de Beauce location in Quebec, with steel erection completed by Canam’s own Central Steel Erectors and Local 721 Ironworkers.