Concurrent Engineering In Stadium Construction Construction Essay

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The sports stadium is an ambiguous architectural form, essentially a huge theatre for the presentation of heroic feats. It has been read and written from various perspectives and commonly referred as a series of structures or stand surrounding a ground in the centre allowing an increased number of spectators to watch the event. The Coliseum of Rome is known as first great archetype which indeed achieve its ideal, but very few stadium since have succeeded as well [1]. The demand and rapid development have urged adopting advanced approach of project management; higher level of design and construction method. Fast track construction or known as concurrent engineering; the design and construction commenced simultaneously has gain popularity in stadium construction. Decreased in time could be achieved compared to conventional method but however it increased uncertainties and complexities in the new approach for constructing stadium. Newly built stadium should also cover the surrounding environment: communities' life, political and social. It should articulate as integral a part of towns and cities as those other supporting pillars of modern, urban society such as local government, education, religion, commerce and industry [Sports Architecture]. The contribution of concurrent engineering has been investigated and how far the influence of the application in the stadium construction has been discussed in this paper.

This study was mainly focused on City of Manchester Stadium. The data were collected using triangular method which includes interviews, documentation analysis and observation. The interviews were conducted with three personnel from the Ove Arup and Partners who are responsible for the construction of the stadium. The Ove Arup and Partners has served as the Project Management team serving the client, Manchester City Council. Structured interviews questions were prepared and used during the interview session. Keating has mentioned that case study research is certainly one means for accounting research to develop on intimate and contextually sensitive knowledge of actual management practice. Case study can be seen as an alternative method which offers better understanding for today's practitioner and academia for future development. Similarly, Yin also agreed that a case study is appropriate tools as it helps unravel the complex and dynamic nature of construction project organization in precisely [2].


Arup has adopted concurrent engineering practice in the development of the City of Manchester Stadium. It has proven their success in the manufacturing industry to the stadium development. Nine fundamental principles in the concurrent engineering namely; analysis of client requirement, analysis of project life cycle, development of innovative design solution, integration of the design and construction process, minimization of non value adding activities, implementation of continuous improvement and minimization of design changes and variation were widely used to some extend but depending on the personals experiences and stadium requirements which vary for individual project. In general, the concurrent engineering has been adopted from the day one until completion day. Based on the interview discussion, the reason being the Arup excel on the construction market due to adopting those concurrent engineering fundamental principles into the construction project which it has proven the merit in the manufacturing and aerospace industry.


The City of Manchester Stadium had undergone a complicated process which involved a lot of changes in concept, idea and purpose of stadium before it was finalized. The main aspiration of the stadium is intended to host the Commonwealth Games. Generally the stadium would be idling once the one-off event over. The city council has approached Manchester City FC to come up with an agreement; the stadium will be a new home for Manchester City FC. In conjunction with that, Arup has reworked the design to suit the requirements of both need of events; to stage athletics for the Commonwealth Games and football ground. The stadium was also considered to be utilized for other sporting event like rugby and non sporting events like pop concerts. The requirement Games capacity was 38 000 and to be increased to 48 000 for football capacity. In order to complete the stadium for football club after the Games, the stadium would be excavated 6m lower than athletics field which causing removal of 90 000 m3 of materials and erection of permanent structure in time for the 2003-2004 football session [3,4].

Arup significantly contributed to develop the design to delight all the involved clients. In addition to that, the stadium is aspired to be an iconic landmark in Manchester to add incomparably value to a townscape. As mentioned previously, the one-off event at the City of Manchester Stadium was to be the Commonwealth Games first and football games onwards. This definitely involved a different concept of design whereby the athletics stadium had a seating bias skewed towards the home straight and emphasized on the finishing line. Meanwhile for a football game side views are favored and some preferring views behind the goal. Commonly, the west side is considered to be most favored, previously most club began with just one stand and low afternoon sun disruption is refrained.

Typically, conventional football field consist of very small utilitarian stands which are owned by football clubs in the earlier age [3,4]. This has progressively changed and the multi-usage stadium is on demand. Arup has taken this challenge to make it reality for Manchester City Council and Manchester City FC. The available fund were maximized by ensuring the design is done thoroughly and very clear by emphasizing on every element in the stadium to satisfy as many activities as possible without any tolerance to the architectural needs. There are two distinct objectives that to be achieved in accomplishing the stadium namely: (i) to build for Manchester a new icon and improving the city, and (ii) to design a stadium that is a great experience in every way; not just for spectator viewing event [3,4]. It has been reported, at the current time there was no stadium in UK addressed the both issues. To avoid any fault of existing stadium, the City of Manchester Stadium was deliberately designed with form, structure and circulation in mind. The required seating bias dictated a bowl with high sides on the east and west and low ends north and south, allowing a single roof geometry to cover all seating and leaving large opens areas in the corners for pitch ventilation and video screen [3,4].

Fire engineering measurements were also taken into consideration during the design development stage. It has been anticipated, if consuming alcohol and viewing game law ever changed, the game's drama could be brought into very heart of the building when the dividing wall are removed as the main concourse serving the largest lower tier is directly behind the last seat [3].

It always had been Arup's intention in accession of design standard. Because an urban design approach was adopted for stadium, it was able to attract activities making it a 'good neighbours' with civic character and purpose. It also made the stadium centerpiece of a regeneration initiative for an entire quarter of the city. Visual depth and dynamism were created from the building's element. It has been challenging to create a sculptural form from the super geometries of roof and bowl for cityscape. An atmosphere of sporting breathtaking and comfortable environment was incorporated by providing an excellent pleasant space to attain and watch the game without any hassle.


Development of the City of Manchester Stadium has faced tremendous phases in the design process. By complying their principal, the designer had successfully submitted their design proposal to Manchester City Council with an objective to host the 2002 Commonwealth Games and later to be renovated prior to handing over to Manchester City FC. It always had been inspiration for continuous usage of the stadium at least for 100 days in a year after the games. The design of stadium should exhibit the city status as a major sporting center surrounded by mixed use development which would be lively on non-match days [5].

The development of the stadium involved two phases. The first phase merely is to build the stadium to cater for the Commonwealth Games. Meanwhile the second phase involved the final construction of the stadium for the football club. The design had taken into account the overall need and requirements of the stadium which need renovation and upgrade work from phase 1 to 2. The stadium had to be elongated to allow the running track in the athletic field. In phase 1, three sides of the stadium were constructed permanently, while one side is temporary. In phase two, the temporary side was replaced with permanent structure, erected additional seats and lowered the ground 6 m below for the football field.

Distinct element in the stadium is the cable-stayed roof. The roof has adopted a method known as the grounded tension ring. A catenary cable links all the forestay cables and the corner tie cables were provided to resist the uplift forces. This is an innovative adoption from the opposing cable solution [6]. In the phase 1 the roof were completed in a horseshoe arrangement along with the three permanent stands. In phase 2, the entire roof system was completed as originally intended.

Initial requirements of the stadium was obtained from the Manchester City Council but the designer managed to gather more detailed requirements of the stadium which was developed through their discussion with the clients; Manchester City FC, Manchester 2002 and relevant sports governing bodies [6]. The project awarded in form of contract and procurement to a single construction management, whereby they are in charge for both phases. The strategy adopted by the project management team by involving preferred main contractor and key sub contractor during the design stage development had been fruitful. The best form of contract was established after the involvement of all relevant parties in ensuring the design is buildable within the period of stipulated time and budgeted cost. The overall process revealed the complexity of the design and the designer successfully managed to bring all the multidisciplinary team to share the same objective successfully build the new iconic landmarks for Manchester.


Design changes occur when there are some needs of amendment to the original design by the client, consultant or contractors. The changes could be major or minor depending on the necessity. Definitely it would impact to the project cost and time. According to Martin, very less design changes had been done in City of Manchester Stadium compare to other stadium which were designed by them especially in his involvement. It can be seen that, less design changes has contributed to complete the project on time and lead to receiving numerous award or accreditation from creditable institutions. The project management team has taken proactive action to minimize design changes by introducing to the involved professionals the significant corrective actions and preventative measures in the project.

Based on the interviews, it has been indicated that preventive measures were widely adopted in the City of Manchester stadium project to minimize the design changes. An appropriate window had been provided during the design development stage to capture the clients' requirements and needs. Finalization of the design with clients was one of the most important factors to minimize the design changes. The clients were involved at the design stage itself to provide their requirements as the design developments was in progress. Regular discussions were conducted to have both way communications to result the best design solution. As concurrent engineering approach was adopted for the City of Manchester Stadium, the designer was under pressure to produce working drawing in a short period of time to the contractor who has already started their work at site without jeopardizing the clients' requirements. This has to be done to avoid any delay at the sites. Expertise and experiences of the personnel involved had played vital role to foresee the problem that might be encountered and resolved it at the design stage itself.