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$21M Repairs to MN Stadium Exterior Near Completion

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

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Work to replace the exterior of Minneapolis’ U.S. Bank Stadium is reportedly entering its final phase.

Officials determined last year that the $1.1 billion facility, that’s just six years old, needed an entire exterior replacement after a slew of moisture issues and patchwork fixes.

The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority and Mortenson Construction said in a joint statement that, “The new, enhanced exterior enclosure will be designed, engineered and constructed differently than the original enclosure, and it will provide water barrier redundancies not included in the original design.”

A new Tyvek moisture barrier, as well as new black metallic zinc panels are part of the $21 million plan, which is expected to wrap up in the fall.

What Happened

Work was done to the exterior of the 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

Work to replace the exterior of Minneapolis’ U.S. Bank Stadium is reportedly entering its final phase.

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.

In early 2020, terms were reached between the MSFA and the eight companies associated with the design, engineering and construction of the stadium regarding faulty 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 would undergo a complete replacement.

The joint statement said 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 said that, while all of the issues had 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 is overseeing the design work while Simpson, Gumpertz & Heger are conducting the engineering. Mortenson is managing the construction effort and M.G. McGrath is performing the new construction work.


Tagged categories: Building envelope; Exterior coatings; Maintenance + Renovation; NA; North America; Renovation; Stadiums/Sports Facilities; Water-resistive barrier; Zinc

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