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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 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

Opportunity

To host target shooting events at the Pan American/Parapan American Games in Toronto, a new shooting range was needed.

The $5 million development, sited alongside the Toronto International Trap and Skeet Club near Innisfil, Ontario, would feature two facades 213 feet (65 meters) long, with a shooting range on the top level forming a canopy for a firing line below.

Because the location was in close proximity to a few residences, the original idea of using natural terrain as the containment was not an option. The acoustics also posed an environmental challenge, since noise from shooting events might disturb local residents.

Solution

We had responsibility for the ballistics, architecture, acoustics, mechanical, electrical, and structural engineering, with all engineering design being undertaken in-house.

Our team created an innovative design for a ballistic containment system. 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.

We used an innovative virtual-reality tool to demonstrate the facility’s full compliance with regulations governing shooting events. Using a specialized 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.

Outcome

Our virtual-reality tool proved successful, and the facility was signed off as suitable for bullet containment. This was a world first for the sector.

The venue has a distinctive profile which incorporates green-friendly materials such as timber to blend in harmoniously with its surroundings. The design minimizes noise levels while complying with local noise by-law regulations.

The shooting facility is enclosed to control air movement for the air pistol and rifle event but incorporates many naturally ventilated spaces so that heating or cooling systems are no longer required. This reduction of operational energy demand resulted in major cost savings.

Following the games, the facility became a high-performance training facility for Canada’s top pistol, rifle, and shotgun competitors.

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