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$1.9B Vegas Stadium Gets Quake Measures

Monday, September 16, 2019

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A recent tour of Las Vegas’ $1.9 billion Allegiant Stadium construction site revealed the tactics being put in place to protect the structure from earthquakes.

“You think of these things being fairly static,” said stadium company chief operating officer Don Webb to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

“But actually, this building is intended to move because of its thermal expansion and contraction, and it has to be able to move during an earthquake. The roof will be able to sway and withstand the greater seismic force.”

Project Background

In January, officials with the project announced that the stadium was one-third complete and on budget, adding that policies were put in place for the venue’s massive grass tray system and diversity performance goals were well-exceeded by contractors.

Renderings courtesy of MANICA Architecture

A recent tour of Las Vegas’ $1.9 billion Allegiant Stadium construction site revealed the tactics being put in place to protect the structure from earthquakes.

Reportedly, Mortenson Construction and McCarthy Building Cos., head contractors on the project, had exceeded the percentage of women and minority workers that’s required by law.

According to the Benefits Oversight Committee, small business enterprise participation was at 19%, which exceeds the goal of 15%, with $159 million of the $843 million in subcontracts awarded to firms that qualify as small business. In addition, 14 women-owned firms received contracts and 72% of those are Nevada-based businesses.

A safety plan was also OK’d for the stadium’s 9,500-ton, movable natural grass field that will be moved onto the stadium floor from outside before every game.

The 4-foot-deep tray, which will be loaded with grass, sand, gravel and irrigation and drainage components, will roll in on 13 rails through a 14-by-240-foot opening in the stadium. Powered by 76 electric motors, the move will take about 90 minutes. (Arizona’s State Farm stadium also uses this feature.)

Prior to that, a big update for the project came in October 2018, when officials announced that workers had begun installing the 52 truss columns at the site.

The 52 steel beams will frame the exterior 65,000-seat indoor stadium and ultimately hold up its translucent polymer roof, which will rise about 200 feet. The columns weigh about 65 tons each.

“In order for it to hold up the roof and hold up the enormous ring beam that ties those stainless steel cables that support the ETFE (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene, a fluorine-based polymer) roof, all of that is highly, highly precise,” Don Webb, chief operating officer of the Raiders’ construction subsidiary StadCo, told the Review-Journal.

Other design elements include:

  • Translucent stadium components around the building envelope will give the stadium a black appearance during the day but allow the inside lights to be visible from the outside at night;
  • Envelope ribbons will serve as ventilation and drain water from the roof; and
  • The north end of the stadium is slated to feature folding 80-by-120-foot lanai doors that open to a view of the Las Vegas Strip.

The Review-Journal reports that the stadium is being built with “earthquake-friendly columns and bearings” attaching the roof to the main concourse.

In February, PPG announced that it inked a multi-year corporate marketing agreement with the Raiders team. Financial terms were not disclosed, but the agreement did include that protective and decorative coatings from PPG will be featured in the new stadium.

Most recently, in July, officials announced that $40 million in additions were approved, raising the overall budget to $1.9 billion. The additions include 20 more suites and a field-level club area.

At that point, $944.7 million had been spent on the project and the final three of 26 steel canopy trusses were slated to be installed in the coming weeks.

Now, installation of the cable steel roofing system that will support the translucent roof is well on its way, and should continue through October.

Earthquake Talk

The Review-Journal reports that the stadium is being built with “earthquake-friendly columns and bearings” attaching the roof to the main concourse.

“It’s like a knuckle,” Webb said. “It can rotate at the top and bottom of a column because of a pair of bearings that allow the roof to move independent of the concrete floor.”

The columns and bearings have about a 3-inch give side to side, 4 inches vertically and 1 inch front to back.

Webb noted that each column is labeled with “QC” and “QA” for both quality control and assurance officials to check the work.

   

Tagged categories: Disasters; Good Technical Practice; Health and safety; NA; North America; Safety; Stadiums/Sports Facilities

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