The Pan American Games is the third largest multi-sport event in the world, assembling thousands of athletes from 41 countries across 36 sports. Held every four years, it is followed by the Parapan American Games, which attract athletes from 31 countries in 17 sports.
In 2013, the Peruvian capital, Lima, was elected host city of the XVIII Pan American Games and VI Parapan American Games, to be held from 26 July to 1 September 2019. The Games presented a huge opportunity to revitalise the city, its infrastructure and accelerate economic growth and societal changes.
But by 2017, a combination of severe floods and complex domestic political issues meant little progress had been made. With just two years remaining until the opening ceremony, Peru was facing the possibility of having the Games withdrawn and receiving a significant fine.
Peru – seeking an opportunity to bring in the global best practice that could enhance the country’s ability to deliver its own infrastructure projects – entered the first-ever government-to-government con-tract with the UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT). DIT would supply a UK Delivery Team (UKDT) to work with the Peruvian organisers and deliver, ready for operation, $600m worth of venues and infrastructure required to stage the Games – in half the time that would normally be necessary.Arup, as part of the UKDT consortium, brought experience from the delivery of the London 2012 Olympics and other major events, and decades of working with unique construction cultures, to quickly turn around local mindsets and working behaviours. It took a period of workshops and coaching for the local contractors to adjust to the open, collaborative working practices.
Arup’s main role was to provide design and technical assurance, and temporary overlay design. Three main clusters of Games facilities, each with several venues – for sports from athletics to swimming to shooting, including temporary infrastructure and accommodation – would need to be designed and meet operational and legacy requirements, constructed, commissioned and made ready for operation, with each phase requiring a significant shift of skills, thinking and decision-making.
Arup was soon able to break down that culture by arming its local partners with high-quality information and reporting. Using the New Engineering Contract, the UKDT was able to procure and appoint design-and-build contractors for the five main work packages – including new sports venues and the Athletes’ Village – within just three months. A project management office provided a ‘single source of truth’, empowering local contractors and creating a transparent, collaborative working environment. This allowed Arup to work with contractors to optimise their designs for buildability, accessibility, in-Games performance and their post-Games legacy.The Games were opened by the Peruvian president on 26 July 2019, as promised six years earlier. Peru now has a suite of world-class venues that can serve its public and professional athletes for generations to come. More importantly, Peru has a construction industry revitalised by best-practice, with the confidence and skillsets to deliver the major projects it needs to fuel and sustain development.
View the Arup profile in the MCA Members Directory.