The largest multifunctional arena in Germany
For 21 years, the LANXESS arena in Cologne has been the largest and most visited multifunctional arena in Germany. In addition to the home team’s ice hockey fixtures, Kölner Haie, a wide variety of events take place in the arena throughout the year. This includes: concerts, entertainment shows, sports events and corporate events. As such, the arena is one of the most visited in the world.
To ensure that the arena continues to manage so many artists and visitors, the LANXESS team commissioned Companeer, experts in stadium construction and management, to carry out a feasibility study. The aims were: to upgrade the quality of the arena, create a better atmosphere, allow flexible use of the stadium and increase capacity. Companeer developed a catalogue of measures, checked them for technical, economic, temporal and legal feasibility and coordinated with authorities to gain approval. However, with constructional changes there was the challenge to maintain the preservation of the status quo while re-evaluating the escape routes.
Can safety be guaranteed despite increased visitor capacity?
Companeer envisaged a densification of lower level seating. This would be achieved by increasing the number of Premium Seats located above the lower tier. Further, the row profile would be adjusted to the angle of inclination of the lower tier. This, in turn, would allow the stairways to widen, providing sufficient flow even with the targeted increase in visitors.
In order to ensure visitor welfare, accu:rate was commissioned to simulate the proposed design and verify that no deterioration in safety would occur as a result of the changes and increased number of visitors.
The simulation compared the standard set-up with the newly proposed design in order to identify and evaluate the effects of the changes. The most unfavourable parameters for the simulations were selected so that the worst case scenario could be observed. The results of the simulation therefore did not correspond to a normal situation; rather, they represent a stress test.
Figure 1: The orange framed area represents the simulation area and the.
Results of the analysis
The analysis of a block in the lower level showed that the clearance time of the block improved considerably – despite the increased occupancy rate. The simulation confirmed verifiably that the desired effects of the increased capacity did occur. Thus, the concerns of the fire protection authority were dispelled, leading, finally, to approval.
The legal feasibility of architectural changes was thus proven with the help of our modern engineering tool. Read here how to proceed in a structured manner with such a performance-oriented proof of concept:
Proof by means of simulations: The soon to be published DIN standard 18009-2 on evacuation simulations (article in german only).