• Arup

    Melbourne Rectangular Stadium

    Melbourne, Australia

Project Summary

The AUD 268 million Melbourne Rectangular Stadium accommodating 31,000 fans features a cutting-edge bioframe design with a geodesic roof. Because the roof geometry was subject to many changes throughout the design lifecycle, Arup needed to conduct optimization studies of the roof to develop the final geometric and structural design. To test alternate geometric configurations, produce documentation with details of the roof steelwork members, and provide the fabricator with a final model allowing for calculated deflection for steelwork fabrication, Arup required integrated, parametric 3D modeling tools.

Arup used Bentley GenerativeComponents for parametric modeling of the roof structure to test alternate geometric configurations and accommodate final preset values for fabrication and construction. Using data from this model, Arup conducted optimization studies of the roof steelwork. The final analysis model was imported into Bentley Structural (now OpenBuildings Designer) for an integrated model. Project documentation and steelwork drawings were generated from the structural model and a final GenerativeComponents model was built incorporating calculated deflection of steelwork. This preset model was used as the primary setout for the roof geometry and steelwork fabrication.

Using Bentley’s GenerativeComponents for the optimization studies realized an estimated 300% return on investment, and resulted in an optimum roof profile and cost-effective final design, saving 10% in roof steelwork tonnage. Bentley Structural (now OpenBuildings Designer) provided an estimated 200% return on investment in project documentation and scheduling. Bentley’s integrated, interoperable modeling software enabled Arup to generate the geodesic roof design, which requires 50% less steel than a typical stadium roof.

Using two scripts in GenerativeComponents, Arup created a centerline wireframe model of the roof for structural analysis. The first contained variables to define the base geometry and test alternate geometric configurations. The second generated the typical lacing configuration for each shell. Arup conducted optimization studies of the roof steelwork members using data exported from the GenerativeComponents model. Using Bentley Structural to complete the BIM model, Arup incorporated the final steelwork member sizes for the contractor and fabricator.

Project Playbook: OpenBuildings Designer


  • Bentley’s integrated, interoperable software enabled Arup to provide the contractor and fabricator with a complete and accurate 3D structural model of the roof steelwork and geometry.
  • GenerativeComponents allowed Arup to rationalize the roof geometry and quickly regenerate different geometric combinations for optimization studies, resulting in an efficient, cost-effective design.
  • Using Bentley parametric and information modeling software, Arup delivered a cutting-edge bioframe stadium design with a geodesic roof, realizing an estimated 500% return on investment.
User Quote:
  • “Arup has already produced the first projects using Civil BIM strategy, saving 30% of costs.”

    Oscar Julián BIM Manager, Infrastructure Department Arup