A total of 14 trusses
create the roof
up considerable extra loadings.
“When designing the roof steelwork,
we had to take into account the ride’s selfweight,
water loadings as well as dynamic
loads from riders. The rides are hung from
downstand columns located at the diagrid
nodes. These forces are generally resolved by
a push/pull action in both directions of the
diagrid,” adds Mr Hamilton.
Adding some extra complexity into the
design, the roof of the drum is not flat, as
it slopes downwards towards Christchurch
spire. The trusses consequently taper from a
maximum depth of 4m.
To form the rooftop diagrid Billington
Structures has installed a total of 14 trusses,
seven spanning in one direction and the
others spanning at an adjusted angle of 90
In order to erect the diagrid most of
the trusses were installed piece small
along with the main supporting steelwork.
The supporting columns consist of 24 ×
18m-high 500mm × 300mm RHS columns
that are spaced regularly around the drum
perimeter. A compression truss that runs
around the rooftop perimeter of the drum
then connects the columns to the diagrid
Only when there were enough supporting
columns in place could a truss be installed,
and so they were erected progressively as
the erection team worked its way around the
None of the sections spanning the central
part of drum were erected as complete
trusses as they would have been too long,
consequently these trusses were brought
to site in erectable pieces, with the longest
section measuring 28.5m-long.
A small amount of temporary steel was
also utilised to support the diagrid until it
was complete and fully self-supporting.
Connection design has also been a
challenging aspect of the steelwork package.
Some parts of the diagrid require nodes
that have to accept up to five bolted beam
connections and, at a later date, the rides
“Building the facility in the middle of
Coventry city centre has required very
careful and sympathetic logistics planning.
The footprint of the facility encompasses
nearly the entire footprint of the site which
drove the need for Buckingham Group
to develop and implement a just-in-time
“For this to be successful we have had to
obtain full support from all relevant subcontractors
and suppliers. The daily briefings
and workshops between Buckingham Group
and our supply chain partners creates a
working environment where priority is
given to the necessary orders, with all parties
supporting the importance of maintaining
this strategy and understanding how it
benefits everyone,” sums up Buckingham
Group Project Director Colin Roddy.
Coventry Water Park is due to open in
The steel erection
in a circular manner
around the site