New South African Stadium Built with Fire-Rated Systems

Construction of Moses Mabhida Stadium, located in Durban, South Africa, which will host the 2010 International Federation of Association Football, World Cup, was completed in October and features anti-fire systems from Wrightstyle, a United Kingdom-based supplier of specialty glass and steel. The company provided fully assembled and pre-painted screens and doorsets for the project, certified to give two hours of fire protection. The fabricator for the contact was Alustar of Durban.

 According to information from Wrightstyle, capital expenditure on the stadium will be close to Rand 2 billion, making it one of the most ambitious construction projects ever undertaken in South Africa.

The stadium features a 106-meter high central arch accessible by a high-tech cable car designed to take visitors up to its highest point, where they can disembark and take in panoramic views of the city. This 350-meter long free-span steel arch weighs 2,600 tons and, along with the roof, cost nearly Rand 450 million.

The stadium is said to epitomise architectural innovation and takes its design inspiration from South Africa’s flag, with the stadium’s grand arch representing the unity of the nation. The two legs of the arch on the southern side of the stadium come together to form a single footing on the northern side, symbolising the unity of a once-divided country.

However, the arch’s primary function is to provide support for the stadium roof which has a surface area of 46,000 square meters and is suspended from the arch by 17,000 meters of 95mm diameter steel cables and secured around the stadium perimeter by a compression ring.