Steel Marvels

Thyagaraj Sports Complex, Delhi

The air-conditioned Multipurpose Indoor Stadium for Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games has a seating capacity of 5000 seats. The complex has been awarded the Indian Building Congress (IBC) Award for ‘Excellence in Built Environment’ in the sports complex.

Initial Thought
The project was envisioned to have long span column free spaces, additional seating capacity, future expandability, sustainable construction, low maintenance costs, amenities, enhancements for patron comfort, security and aesthetics.

It was supposed to be a precinct for sporting and entertainment events to be one of the greenest sporting arenas in the world, by using high performance glazing for thermal control, water conservation strategies, renewable energy and waste management.

The Thyagaraj Sports Complex for us was an opportunity to pave the way for Sustainable buildings in India. We were focussed and driven in our approach towards Green Construction despite of little awareness and lack of resources at the time of conception of the Complex. A multidisciplinary team of experts worked together to overcome practical challenges in designing efficient structural systems, Solar and gas-based energy systems and innovative plumbing solutions. A green building becomes sustainable only when it goes beyond the built form, transcending to touch the social and economic aspects of the place. Our intent while designing this complex was to make a positive contribution to the community and we feel that we succeeded in many ways. The multifunctional design, accessibility, parking provisions have enabled hosting of a plethora of events even after the Commonwealth Games. Also, the building has its own power plant which can contribute to energy needs of the local community long after the games have ended.
Rakesh Kapoor, Principal Architect, Rakesh Kapoor & Associates

Architectural Features
It is India’s first IGBC Gold certified stadium while the complex has been awarded the Indian Building Congress (IBC) Award for ‘Excellence in Built Environment’.

Thyagaraj Sports Complex was also selected for the CIDC Vishwakarma Awards 2011 and was adjudged as the ‘Best Infrastructure Project’.

The stadium constitutes of one show court and two warms up and practice courts side by side for Net Ball games, originally intended for Commonwealth Games.

With a seating capacity of 5000 (Permanent, Retractable and Temporary), these courts are at ground level and viewing balconies are on all four sides, which extend for two floor heights sloping with steps. The galleries inside the stadium are provided with steel structural system in the steps to support imported seats.

A basement is provided for car parking and housing other service facilities. Fire escapes are provided with exits away from the building through underground tunnels. The building doubles as an indoor and outdoor venue, with large cantilevered roofs serving as a shelter to an outer concourse for the indoor venue. It provides shade in the extreme heat and shelter in the rain. It also serves as a canopy for the grandstand to the outdoor venue.

The initial proposal was for providing steel trusses with intermediate supports through steel ropes supported on high steel masts with a tensile structure concept. Since the stadium falls in the landing alignment of nearby Safdarjung Airport, the Civil Aviation Authority did not give clearance for such high masts. Therefore, the roofing system had to be modified to flat roof with slight slope towards one side for rainwater drainage.

Green Features
The building features solar and gas-based power generating systems through to rainwater harvesting and an effluent treatment plant, all of which are controlled by an Integrated Building Management System. The external façade of the stadium building is with frameless structural glazing, double panelled with air gap to conserve the temperature inside for efficient air-conditioning.

The multi-disciplinary games stadium spans an area of 25.55 hectares with a seating capacity of 5,000. The overall size of the stadium at the ground floor is about 72.50 x 155 meters and over the play court, the column free span is about 62.20 meters in width.

The overall roof covered area worked out to 107 x 179 meters. The trusses provided are of trapezoidal shape of size 1.30×2.60×3.60 m (height) in cross section with steel hollow tubular sections.

The total length of each truss worked out to 107 meters. In totality there are 19 trusses at 8.6 meter spacing along the length of the stadium. Roof projections of 15 meter, each are provided on the East and West sides and 12 meter each on North and South sides.

Steel Used
By using structural steel framing, large clear spaces can be easily accomplished with beam framing, plate girders or trusses. Minimizing the number of columns and walls and providing larger clear spaces making it easier to customize the space for activities.

Structural steel framing also makes expansion easy by providing elements to which connections are easily made by welding or bolting, and which can be easily reinforced to accommodate additional loading. Steel’s long spans, with reduced column interruption, also provides for maximum flexibility in planning an expansion.

Such projects are a dream of every designer, contractor and was an ultimate experience. The project being one of its kind, posed not only design challenges but was also a construction magnum opus. The erection of a 100 MT truss having around 107-meter length in a single piece was never done before in India, and probably was done on only one or two instances in the world.

The trusses were fabricated in the workshop situated about 300 km away from work site. To enable easy handling and transport, each truss was fabricated in 5 segments. With a legacy of many technologies introduced in India for stadiums through this project, it will continue to be a precinct for sporting and entertainment events.

Touted as the pride of Delhi, it took nearly three years for the Public Works Department to construct this multi-disciplinary game stadium.