A multi-million-dollar civic centre constructed from prefabricated steel sections manufactured 5,000 miles away in Dorset, England has recently been completed in the heart of Belize City. Christchurch based REIDsteel has performed the structural design, detailing and fabrication, including the cladding and glazing, for the landmark project in the Central American country.
The Belize Civic Center, costing $32.9m Belize Dollars (£12.7m), includes an air-conditioned arena with a seating capacity of 4,500 for sports and entertainment. The complex also features international standard basketball and volleyball courts, practice courts, offices, media boxes, changing rooms, parking and a deck area for boats to dock.
REIDsteel project engineer Pepe Oliva said: “There has been tremendous interest in Belize about the new national civic centre. It is possibly the largest public construction project in the country’s history. Although we have designed, made and supplied many buildings in this part of the world, it is still incredibly rewarding to deliver a project of this magnitude on time and on budget to the client’s satisfaction.”
Oliva added: “Like most of our buildings in Central America and the Caribbean, the Belize Civic Center has been designed to withstand hurricanes and other natural disasters. We hope it will serve the people of Belize, and be a source of civic pride, for many years to come.”
The roof structure and all exposed steelwork were hot rolled structural steel members, galvanized to ISO 1461 to provide protection from the elements and for ease of maintenance, and all designed for hurricane wind speeds of 160 miles per hour.
A total of 750 tonnes of steelwork was required for the3,623 m2 complex, including a roofing system spanning 61 m, together with all the terraces for approximately 4500 seats and all the suspended floors consisting of a galvanized composite metal decking system suitable for cast-in-situ concrete. The glazing package including curtain walling and aluminium framed windows were also packed for export and shipped to Belize.
Although long term durability was a major consideration in galvanizing all steelwork, the added benefit of the provision of a tough robust coating to withstand transportation and erection on site was also of great importance. This resulted in the quick erection of all steelwork, with no extra cost incurred for any touch up on site.
Structural Engineers: REIDsteel