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$21M Fix Slated for MN Stadium Exterior

Thursday, March 5, 2020

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Terms have finally been reached between the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority and eight companies associated with the design, engineering and construction of Minneapolis’ U.S. Bank Stadium regarding fault exterior panels.

Weeks after reports surfaced of multiple MSFA closed-door meetings, a joint statement released by the authority and M.A. Mortenson Co. announced that the stadium’s exterior will undergo a complete replacement, costing approximately $21 million.

What Happened

Work was done to the exterior of the $1.1 billion stadium in June 2017, after multiple zinc panels were loosened by high winds in a snowstorm the previous December.

Darb02, CC-BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Terms have finally been reached between the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority and eight companies associated with the design, engineering and construction of Minneapolis’ U.S. Bank Stadium regarding fault exterior panels.

This was after the authority had already paid several million dollars to replace a moisture barrier after dampness was found on a parapet, prompting an investigation into why water seeped into the building and created puddles in a women's restroom, a concourse and a storage area in the stadium’s northwest facade.

That same year, a leak within a snow gutter system on the stadium required $3 million to fix.

The MSFA proposed replacing moisture barriers on the joints of the building's interior panels, then adding a new layer of Tyvek under the zinc panels to provide extra protection.

In June, Rick Evans, Executive Director and CEO of the MSFA, said that the organization was in talks with general contractor M.A. Mortenson Co., as well as subcontractor MG McGrath, which did the paneling.

Evans said at the time that MSFA wasn’t sure how much it would cost to remedy all of the problems. He said he didn’t expect the MSFA to pay for any repairs because the facility’s building materials were still under warranty. Meanwhile, though, a Mortenson executive went on record to say that the MSFA would pay for the additional materials.

Total costs for the repairs have never been made public.

Since then, the entities involved in the stadium’s construction have reportedly been in mediation discussions, with the MSFA releasing a statement last month acknowledging the ongoing talks.

What Now

The joint statement says that the MSFA and Mortenson, along with M.G. McGrath, Inc; Custom Drywall, Inc.; TRI-Construction, Larson Engineering, Inc.; Thornton Tomasetti, Inc.; HKS, Inc.; and Studio Five Architects, Inc. “agreed that a mutually determined solution was the best approach to this matter given its scope and complexity. Reaching an agreement took time, but all parties were committed to the process and achieving a fair and appropriate outcome.”

The statement says that, while all of the issues have been fixed, the companies have agreed that it’s in the structure’s best interest to receive a completely new, “enhanced exterior enclosure.”

“The design and construction team’s responsibility was to deliver a building that would pass the test of time and there was sufficient evidence to be concerned that the system as designed and built may not,” the statement said.

“As stewards of the public’s investment in this stadium, the MSFA also questioned whether the original enclosure system would perform its necessary function over the life of the building. All parties agreed it was in the MSFA’s best interest to replace the original exterior enclosure with a superior system to what is currently in place.”

The new exterior aims to be designed, engineered and constructed differently than the original with “water barrier redundancies” that the original design did not include, however, it will be aesthetically similar to the original.

HKS will oversee the design work while Simpson, Gumpertz & Heger will conduct the engineering. Mortenson will manage the construction effort and M.G. McGrath will perform the new construction work.

The $21 million price tag will be covered by a general account established through the mediations, funded by the eight companies.

Construction is slated to be complete in two years.


Tagged categories: Building envelope; Cladding; Completed projects; Maintenance + Renovation; NA; North America; Renovation; Stadiums/Sports Facilities

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