A massive glass wall was installed at the grand ballroom of the recently refurbished RACV Royal Pines on Queensland’s Gold Coast. Measuring 55 metres in length and five metres in height, the floor-to-ceiling glass wall was anchored and framed by nearly a tonne of stainless steel wire rope and fittings.

Delivering an impressive visual impact in addition to a high level of functionality by enabling a flood of natural light, a stunning view, and flexible exhibition options, the glass wall was designed by Joseph Pang Design Consultants and project managed by Schiavello Constructions, with ASSDA Member Structural Dynamics (Australia) Pty Ltd (Strudyna) contracted to work with Queensland Glass to meet the demanding needs of the wall’s design.

Strudyna Architectural Manager Ross Munro said the Stage 1 installation was extremely complex, and was also the team’s first retrofit glass façade project involving engineering, supply and installation. The client had requested a vertical cable truss, internal glass façade and mirror polished fittings to ensure a high-end finish to complement the refurbishment.

According to Mr Munro, the retrofit installation meant there were many challenges associated with working with an existing engineered structure. For instance, the suspended concrete floor had been built to a specific load capability and included post-tension cables within the concrete floor that had to be accommodated. This affected the loads that could be applied to the cable truss to keep the structure rigid, while considering slab deflection with loads from occupancy.

The cable truss façade featured frameless hinged doors that were also emergency exit doors, so there were no horizontal cable elements to stabilise the trusses.

Strudyna used around 926kg of grade 316 stainless steel in the job including fittings/castings, and 8mm and 12mm Hamma X-Strand, a stainless steel wire strand with a high quality shine finish manufactured by KOS in South Korea to specifications, including annealing, pre-forming of wires and finished lay length, which significantly improved performance. Electro bath polishing was used on the wire rope and floor and head tension plate brackets, while the spyders, rotules and compression posts were hand mirror polished.

The refurbished space also included a staircase and handrail constructed by Arden Architectural Staircases and around 60 metres of 38mm grade 316 curved handrails fabricated and installed on an existing staircase by ASSDA Accredited Fabricator and Member, Stainless Aesthetics that also installed grade 316 capping on about 50 metres of 20mm glass balustrade, as well as further handrail and mirror-finish capping in the refurbishment of the resort’s health and fitness centre, which formed Stage 2 of the project.

The challenging project was delivered within just 10 weeks to meet the venue’s fixed re-opening date.

The RACV Royal Pines refurbishment was recently awarded the 2014 Queensland Master Builders Association’s Gold Coast Construction Award for Refurbishment/Renovation costing $5-$10 million.

Australian Stainless, published by the Australian Stainless Steel Development Association (ASSDA), is a leading industry magazine devoted to showcasing the unique diversity and durability of stainless steel.