Innovative technologies from Studco Building Systems helped the builder Lend Lease overcome formidable obstacles during the redevelopment of the Margaret Court Arena at the Melbourne Park complex.

Executed as part of the $700-million redevelopment of the Melbourne and Olympic Parks events precinct, the Margaret Court Arena project involved the erection of a 9-metre high acoustic perimeter wall and the installation of the fastest operable roof in the world, which would allow the stadium to operate in all-weather environments. This was the third retractable roof tennis court at the Melbourne Park complex.

The project presented some of the most complex challenges ever seen by Studco, including extreme roof deflection in two directions, rigorous acoustic performance, enormous free-spanning wall heights intersecting with a multi-faceted roof structure, and punishing wind pressures. The 2014 Australian Open was also held at the site halfway through the two-year build program, further complicating matters.

A collaborative approach under the direction of builder Lend Lease and the use of innovative technologies including Studco’s real-time 3D CAD modelling and computer-based acoustic simulations helped overcome these challenges. Routine weekly inspections ensured correct installation and design compliance.

Thousands of custom-rolled 150mm steel studs were used in a chase wall configuration in conjunction with Resilmount M24R chase wall resilient brackets to create the main wall structure around the stadium. The wall was then lined with USG Boral Fibrerock and Multistop lining boards along with a variety of different feature panelling components.

This design delivered significant cost savings from the original design; simplified on-site handling of materials; improved build efficiencies; and removed the need for many heavy, fabricated structural steel sections using innovative combinations of Studco’s lightweight steel sections.

Studco’s involvement in the Margaret Court Arena project continues their long term association with Major Projects Victoria including the Melbourne Markets in Epping, Hamer Hall Redevelopment, AgriBio Centre at Latrobe University, the Melbourne Recital Centre and The Australian Synchrotron.