Mischa Haramia, who worked as the project manager for Henderson Engineers, says that one of the key ideas throughout the many different design iterations was maximizing the use of location by utilizing the constant cool breeze coming in from the Pacific Ocean. The difficulty of this process was compounded by the fact that, when moving around the outside of the stadium, the grade changes by up to three levels. To promote air movement through the stadium, fans are strategically placed based on the levels at which the wind enters. According to Haramia, this movement of air allows heat to move through the sta- dium and exit the structure vertically through the movable roof panels. This system both improves the experience for fans and protects key mechanical systems in the structure. While SoFi Stadium’s location is certainly beneficially in terms of pro - viding a constant cool breeze, the same location stands in stark contrast when seismic considerations are taken into account. The structural engineer, Walter P Moore, had to account for the extreme seismic en- vironment of Southern California, which led to the stadium being con- structed using what is known as a “seismic moat.” This means that the stadium’s underground structure is separated from the surrounding soil by an alternate wall system, thereby eliminating pressure from adjacent soil movement. While this structural system provides critical protec- tion from seismic activity, it also created challenges to venting exhaust air from the structure. The team wanted to maximize floor space and didn’t want to cut holes in the building’s exterior. As such, they opted to use the space between the building’s walls and the exterior wall of the seismic moat, using it as a plenum for exhaust air that is constantly pumped at two locations. There were additional challenges, according to Haramia, because, like the foundation structure itself, the canopy system moves independently during a seismic event. This required not only predicting how each individual system will react during a seismic
event, but also how these independent movements would affect the other systems. As spectators of Super Bowl LVI and others who have attended games at SoFi Stadium can attest to, it is a one-of-a-kind experience that re- flects the thought and ingenuity that went into its design and construc - tion. After hosting the Super Bowl this past February, SoFi Stadium will also host the College Football National Championship in 2023 as well as the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games in 2028. The stadium will play host to not only the biggest events in the American sporting landscape, but also the world.
LUKE CAROTHERS is the Editor for Civil + Structural Engineer Media. If you want us to cover your project or want to feature your own article, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 2022 csengineermag.com
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