The cavernous Ballarat Sport and Events Centre encapsulates 8 multi-use sports courts including 3 show courts of 3000, 1000 and 300 seat capacity. Anchored by strong community support for the Ballarat Miners and Rush Basketball teams, the venue provides competition approved facilities for all, from grassroots to professional athletes.

Spanning 8,500 sqm across one level the new venue is a regional sports destination and includes a range of amenities and services to encourage activation, commerce and year-round visitation. A café, kitchen, reception, staff administration, gym, retail, meeting/function rooms, physio spaces and premium changing facilities are all integrated into the campus, all under one roof.

To provide adequate clearance for a championship basketball court, the space needed to encompass a tall roof height and large spans over the courts. Positioned at the main entrance of the court areas, two tubular exposed steel frame trusses, span 37m across the arena. As well as being a key feature of the design, the truss disperses the loading requirements of the enormous roof. Splayed steel columns are carefully positioned to spread the load evenly across the ceiling.

The structural steel detailing considered the finish of the steel truss design, wall framing elements and bespoke connection details to satisfy the desired building aesthetic. The cantilevered roof over the main foyer entrance was also a pivotal area where ACOR Consultants collaborated closely with lead architect Mantric and the wider consultant team to interrogate the analytical model in order to conceptualise the most efficient engineering and architectural solution.

Managing soil conditions across the site, was also a critical design consideration to prevent building movement and protect the long-term durability of the asset. The clay soil around the site is highly reactive, meaning that the footings need to be able to shrink and swell with changes in moisture content which can lift and lower the building. A raft slab was devised to mitigate the fluid soil conditions and stabilise the foundations and footings.

The use of REVIT was key in achieving efficient design coordination whilst enabling the team to provide accurate 3D visualisations of the structural steel framing at each of the design milestones. This added value though aiding engagement with key stakeholders, providing cost certainty and a more accurate tender briefing to inform the contractors construction and staging methodology.