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Visualisation of the TO2015 shooting range from a distance Design for the TO2015 shooting range

TO2015 Pan American/Parapan American Games, Canada

We were the lead consultant responsible for engineering, architecture, acoustics and ballistics for the delivery of a shooting range for the Toronto 2015 Pan American/Parapan American Games – the largest multi-sport event ever hosted in Canada.

Design drawing of the shooting venue
Design for TO2015
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Design for TO2015 We had responsibility for the ballistics, architecture, acoustics, mechanical, electrical and structural engineering with all engineering design being undertaken in-house.
Image credit TO2015

Key facts

  • The $5 million development features two 65m long facades, with a 10m shooting range on the top level forming a canopy for a firing line below. On the lower level, the 25m and 50m outdoor playing field can be screened.
  • We had responsibility for the ballistics, architecture, acoustics, mechanical, electrical and structural engineering with all engineering design being undertaken in-house.
  • Architectural services were undertaken by Magma Architects and WZHM.
  • The building sits alongside the Toronto International Trap and Skeet Club near Innisfil, Ontario.
  • Following the games, it will become a high performance training facility for Canada’s top pistol, rifle and shotgun athletes.

Challenges

  • What initially resembled a remote location was found to be situated in close proximity to a few residences. This meant that the original idea of using natural terrain as the containment for ballistic sports was no longer an option. An innovative solution was required.
  • The acoustics also posed an environmental challenge – noise from the shooting events could potentially disturb local residents.

Solution

Our team created a design of a ballistic containment system to overcome the challenges related to proximity with residences. Through rigorous performance testing of all available materials, we made significant cost savings in the development’s design.

Our acoustics specialists used computer prediction methods and practical experience gained from designing shooting ranges for the London 2012 Olympic Games to predict noise levels and resolve acoustic challenges by recommending design revisions at the earliest stage. The new design minimises noise levels while complying with local noise by-law regulations.

The venue has a distinctive profile which incorporates green-friendly materials such as timber to blend in harmoniously with its surroundings.

Value and benefits

By using timber and other renewable materials we ensured that the venue is non-obtrusive and sustainable. The shooting facility is enclosed to control air movement for the air pistol and rifle event but incorporates many naturally-ventilated spaces such that, heating or cooling systems are no longer required. This reduction of operational energy demand has resulted in major cost savings.

We used an innovative virtual-reality tool to demonstrate the facility’s full compliance with regulations governing shooting events. Using a specialised headset, we placed the chief firearms officer inside our 3D model to check whether signs of daylight could be detected. This was undertaken as an additional method to confirm that bullets could not exit the venue. The method proved successful and the facility was signed off as suitable for bullet containment. This was a world first for the sector.

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