Stratacell System Saves RAC Arena

Stratacell System Saves RAC Arena

By Kristyn Maslog-Levis

stratacell system saves perth arena

The Citygreen® Modular Stratacell™ System was the system of choice at the recently completed Perth RAC Arena in Western Australia.

The Perth RAC Arena is a 15,000 seat multi-purpose entertainment and sporting arena in the Perth CBD. The venue opened in November 2012 and is located adjacent to the first stage of the Perth City Link, a 13.5 hectare major urban renewal and redevelopment project.

Urbis was responsible for the design and contract administration of all landscaping and the forecourt area of the Arena.

Belinda Foster of Urbis said the Perth RAC Arena landscape concept is “quintessentially a West Australian landscape within a contemporary, flexible urban space”. The venue caters for both major events and everyday use.

redevelopment of perth arena

The flexible design allows for future adjacent development and activity and will provide an important link to Northbridge.

The RAC Arena’s western plaza consists of the permanent park and a full size tennis court area used during the Perth’s annual Hopman Cup Tennis event. During the Hopman Cup, the outdoor tennis court will be the major feature of the plaza and at other times of the year, the court will be covered, creating a passive recreation area.

The Perth Arena’s planting theme is West Australian. This is exhibited through the use of Eucalyptus with clear, smooth stemmed branches, light foliage and free form character, and in the selection of colourful and distinctive shrub planting species.

Grass with Eucalyptus drummondi is a dominant feature of the Western Plaza, providing a soft surface for quiet recreation when the arena is not in full use.

Urbis elected to use the Citygreen Stratacell system as it was readily available, which was critical given the tight time constraints on the project delivery. “It was the best option to assist in achieving the desired planting outcomes in a trafficable environment.

stratacell installation in perth arena

Stratacells are structural soil cells that come in modular units and are assembled to form a skeletal matrix that supports pavement and traffic loads. This structural cell system features almost five times more available growing media compared to the traditional rock and soil method, therefore facilitating healthy root growth.

Because of its advanced engineering design, the interconnected skeletal matrix provides over 94 per cent void space for filling with soil media, or storing/detaining storm water. Due to the high structural integrity of the modules, these matrices can even be used beneath trafficked areas, making it the perfect solution for the Arena project.

Belinda added that the landscape concept included a majestic grove of white-stemmed West Australian trees, the Eucalyptus vitrix, on the Arena’s eastern plaza.

The planting will be robust, durable and hardy requiring minimal but focused and skilled maintenance,” she said.

The use of tall clean stemmed trees will soften the space providing shade during the summer with the light canopies allowing winter light to warm the plaza and create a contemporary forest in the city. The spacing and height of the trees allows for major events to take place without any compromise in space, sight lines or flow through the site.

stratacell application in perth arena

This is the first time that Urbis used the Citygreen Stratacell system and it did not disappoint.

Belinda mentioned some of the obstacles they faced, including that the tree locations were a 900mm deep pit with concrete surround. “The specified trees were natives and sensitive to waterlogging. The design objective was to achieve a mature treed landscape, but with constrained growing medium, this may not have occurred.

By using the Citygreen Stratacell system, these issues were quickly resolved.

The Citygreen Stratacell system was the perfect solution, enabling increased soil volume, trafficability and assisting to maintain soil friability during construction. Together, these elements of this urban landscape space create a flexible contemporary urban space that accommodates the requirements of the Arena facility as well as providing an exciting new civic space for the people of Perth,” she said.

Belinda says the system fits well with the overall design of the arena and that they will definitely be using the Citygreen system in the future.

Citygreen Systems are also advocates of environmentally friendly solutions. Aside from having a very high strength capacity, the Stratacell modules are also recyclable and are manufactured from 100 per cent recycled polymer. As there are no steel components, the modules are corrosion free.

“Great customer service, quick response times and a very in depth QA system with constant support.”

- Laura Wiesenekker, Project Engineer, Densford Civil -

“Citygreen is a very professional  business, and I found everything was great in terms of deliveries, product supply and information. It was all forthcoming and helped us to complete the project.”

- Keith Burns, Architect/Designer, Keith Burns Architect -

“Citygreen offered training and invaluable technical assistance during the works.”

- James Callan, Estimating Manager, Complex Co Pty Ltd -

“Our experience, in working with a Citygreen Design Studio was second to none. We found responses from the design studio to be very timely, and technically thorough. We went backwards and forwards a number of times, looking at different iterations of the design and, nothing was too much trouble to examine and explore different possibilities. I would highly recommend the Citygreen Design Studio to any future client considering using your services.”

- Sandra Smith, Principal Landscape Architect, City Of Monash -

“We are big on compliance on all projects, and the fact that their SmartCertify cloud platform covers all bases, and supports their 20 year warranties, is critical – especially that these pits are being installed under roadways and footpaths.”

- Johny Purkaystha, Civil Program Engineer, Central Coast Council -

"I reviewed all the previous projects that we have installed in the past couple years using your product and I can happily report back that we have 0% mortality in the soil cells, which is incredible!"

- Brendan Wilton, CEO, Trim Landscaping, Bedford, Canada -