Safety benefits for large international project thanks to long-standing experience of TÜV SÜD's stage equipment experts
The Oslo Opera House, officially opened in April 2008, sets new standards in stage technology. Its overhead machinery alone comprises over 200 electric and hydraulic drive systems – the current world record. "Standardized catalogues of criteria are unsuitable for such a large-scale international project", explains Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Manfred Bühl, head of TÜV SÜD's team of experts who carried out the mechanical and safety testing of the stage equipment. "Instead, an integrated approach must be adopted and the array of different criteria carefully analysed and weighed against each other.“
To ensure the high level of safety required for staging and production facilities, the Norwegian building client Statsbygg, the governmental building agency, demanded third-party testing of the mechanical and safety systems in accordance with European standards and DIN 56950. Statsbygg looked for highly qualified and experienced experts with in-depth technical expertise, design know-how and familiarity with the relevant standards and directives.
"Without our long-standing experience, we would not have been able to meet the extremely tight schedule", says Manfred Bühl, expert in the Lifts and Machinery department at TÜV SÜD Industrie Service authorized as per Art. 36 of the Accident Prevention Regulation for Staging and Production Facilities for the Entertainment Industry" (GUV VC 1 / BGV C1). At the new Oslo Opera House, the design examination, third-party inspection and final approval of the stage equipment had to be carried out simultaneously and parallel to installation and construction, which resulted in increased workload and higher time pressure. As many different international companies were involved in the construction project, the stage equipment was built to different technical standards and the documentation pertaining to materials, components and calculations prepared in different scripts and languages. The "translation", comparison and evaluation of standards demanded a high level of interdisciplinary expertise and tact on the part of the TÜV SÜD experts. In addition, new approaches had to be developed and implemented in consultation with all stakeholders to meet the required level of safety and availability. "In individual areas, we first had to define user regulations before we could prepare hazard assessments, install safety devices or recommend measures for emergency preparedness and response," notes Manfred Bühl.