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Atlanta Stadium Roof Won't Be Ready for Kickoff

Friday, July 28, 2017

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The one-of-a-kind retractable roof on Atlanta’s new $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium will not be ready for the facility’s kickoff next month.

Images: Mercedes-Benz Stadium

The one-of-a-kind retractable roof on Atlanta’s new $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium will not be ready for the facility’s kickoff next month.

The stadium’s debut event—a National Football League exhibition game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Arizona Cardinals—is slated for Aug. 26, and it will take place under a closed roof.

Design & Delays

The construction for the roof has already been responsible for multiple opening-day delays (it was originally slated for March 1, then June 1, then June 30). Now, it’s the roof’s alignment, which was originally slotted to take 40 days after the stadium’s completion, that’s going to take a bit longer.

“As we come into new information and new obstacles, we figure out what impact it’s going to have on schedule,” Steve Cannon, CEO of Falcons parent company AMB Group, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The construction for the roof has already been responsible for multiple opening-day delays (it was originally slated for March 1, then June 1, then June 30). Now, it’s the roof’s alignment, which was originally slotted to take 40 days after the stadium’s completion, that’s going to take a bit longer.

“It became clear, based on the construction moves of the roof we have had, based on some of the delays we have had, that we didn’t have time to automate the roof.”

Because construction runs right up until the opening of the facility, the alignment process for the roof now has to take place around a packed schedule of events, which means it will take the team well into October, at least, to complete the mechanism.

The uniquely designed retractable roof (by international architecture and engineering firm HOK in collaboration with tvsdesign, Goode Van Slyke Architecture and Stanley Beaman & Sears) is made to open or close within approximately 12 minutes. It’s made of eight, 500-ton steel panels (or petals) that are to move in unison, which is the tricky part.

In order to open or close the roof now, it takes about two days to allow for meticulous tests and alignments. Two more of the slow open-and-closes are slated before the stadium’s opening.

“Almost every one of our timelines over the course of the last year has been compressed,” Cannon said. “We have not been able to compress the mechanization of the roof. Essentially, we put that off. … Until we have full control where we can say we can open or close that roof quickly, we’re going to keep it closed.”

   

Tagged categories: Commercial Construction; LEED; Project Management; Stadiums/Sports Facilities

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