C+S February 2021 Vol. 7 Issue 2 (web)

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THE COVER Engineering Titletown – story on page 10

CHANNELS STRUCTURES + BUILDINGS 14 Building Value into Sports Facilities 17 Belgard® Diamond Pro HD Blocks Key to Coordinated Effort to Build Seven Segmental Walls for Large Costco Complex 19 TEXAS LIVE! 20 Designing an Earthquake Resistant Stadium in Ten Months with Constructible BIM 22 Sofi Stadium 23 Answering the Call at TD Garden TRANSPORTATION + INFRASTRUCTURE 25 Engineered Rigging Debuts Cantilever Segmental Bridge Lift On Indiana’s Cline Avenue Bridge BUSINESS NEWS 27 Basewell – Guardian2 Case Study 28 Comeback Season: The Future of Venue Design Amid COVID-19 SURVEYING 31 A Race for Precision 33 How to Truly Benefit from GNSS Modernization

departments 8 Events

35 Benchmarks 36 Reader Index Columns 5 From the Publisher Jamie Claire Kiser 6 Making Sport a Spectacle for All to See Luke Carothers






VOLUME 7 ISSUE 2 csengineermag.com

publisher Chad Clinehens, P.E. | 479.856.6097 | cclinehens@zweiggroup.com media director Christy Zweig | 479.445.7564 | czweig@zweiggroup.com Production & circulation manager Anna Finley | 479.435.6850 | afinley@zweiggroup.com ART director Maisie Johnson | 417.572.4561 | mjohnson@zweiggroup.com Editor Luke Carothers | lcarothers@zweiggroup.com

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Civil + Structural Engineer (ISSN 23726717) is published monthly by Zweig Group, 1200 North College Avenue, Fayetteville, AR 72703. Telephone: 800.466.6275. Copyright© 2020, Zweig Group. Articles not be reproduced in whole or in part without the written permission of the publisher. Opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of Zweig Group. Unsolicited manuscripts will not be returned unless accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Subscriptions: Annual digital subscription is free. To subscribe or update your subscription information, please visit our website www.csengineermag.com/ subscribe/ or call 800.466.6275.

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from the publisher

Many firms tout their culture and describe their workplace as having a “family-like” dynamic. While the sentiment is well-intentioned to express a supportive culture and a place of trust, the reality is that families can be extremely dysfunctional. We’re stuck with our families in ways that we are emphati- cally not “stuck” with our coworkers or our companies. To that end, we encourage our clients to see their cultures like professional sports teams. Athletes also have to trust their teammates and support them as they develop, nurture injuries, and have off days. The difference is that they are brought together to win, and if the team isn’t functioning properly, trades can be made to get the right blend of locker room demeanor and talent mix to secure a formula for victory. Bringing together with different talents and skill sets to enhance a client project is not much differ- ent than building out a team with bench depth and unique perspectives. Developing talents so oth- ers can fill in for each other fosters scalable growth, client experience, and career progression. This makes obvious sense when the topic is putting together a project team with the appropriate blend of attributes for a client or project, but it also applies to the power of a diverse team in making effective decisions. The key to understanding the positive influence of diversity is the concept of informational diversity. When people are brought together to solve problems in groups, they bring different information, opinions, and perspectives. Simply interacting with individuals who are different forces group members to prepare better, to anticipate alternative viewpoints and to expect that reaching consensus will take effort. Research confirms this, A Harvard Business Review study of a nationally representative survey of 1,800 professionals, 40 case studies, and numerous focus groups found that leadership with both inherent and acquired diversity (traits you gain from life and work experiences) are 45 percent more likely to report a growth in market share over the previous year and 70 percent more likely to report the firm captured a new market. Getting the right “players” into the right positions on the team is essential as well – project manag- ers have to be technically adept, but as a PM, they also have to be exceptional communicators, both internally and externally. It’s a different “muscle,” perhaps, than they have exercised before, and it requires great trainers and mentors to help develop a PM into all they are capable of becoming. It also requires reckoning with the fact that the most technically skilled team members may not be the right fit to lead and manage a team, which can be hard for AEC firms that define project manager to include managing people and projects. Minimizing the importance of someone who is able to rally those around them around the project success and to encourage and collaborate with the project team mem- bers in favor of a system that overstates technical prowess as a qualifier for leadership is a mistake, but it’s one we see all the time in the firms that we work with. Building a company that sees itself as the best version of a team keeps the competitive edge that helps motivate those around us to go the extra mile, to continue to feel the need to push their own profes- sional development to continue to earn their spot on a team they are proud to be part of, and to recruit others to join them and wear their team colors proudly is, in my opinion, a much better paradigm to aspire to for any AEC firm.

Jamie Claire Kiser

JAMIE CLAIRE KISER is managing principal and director of advisory services at Zweig Group. Contact her at jkiser@zweiggroup.com.




For as long as there have been humans living together, there has been one form of athletic competition or another. From the Olympics in Ancient Greece to Mesoamerican ballgame courts, there has always been a need to house these sports in structures that allow for large crowds of spectators because, after all, spectating is just as human as playing the sport. These structures became bigger and bigger as populations increased. In the late 19th century the rise of professionalism in sports infused more capital into building stadiums to house the public’s ever-growing fascination with spectator sports. Another element was added in the United States, which was the invention of collegiate athletics. The backing of large educational institutions coupled with the rise of pro- fessionalism led to some truly impressive feats of engineering. From 1895 to 1904 the 3 oldest football stadiums in the United States were built: Penn’s Franklin Field (1895), Harvard Stadium (1903), and Texas A&M’s Kyle Field (1904). A few short years later, professional baseball caught up to the trend with Fenway Park being built in 1912 and Wrigley Field being built two years later in 1914. The trend of building large, concrete structures to house sporting events was firmly established by this point in the United States, and stadiums were built from coast-to-coast with emphasis on packing more and more spectators into these stadiums. The mod- ern history of American stadium engineering has seen its fair share of notable triumphs and failures, and our fascination and financial dedication to seeing these projects realized has not been without scrutiny. One valid thread of criticism from this wave of building is that these large, densely-packed structures did little to provide accessibility to spectators with disabilities. In a quest to build bigger structures, little attention was paid to obstacles that could potentially bar a fan with disabilities from enjoying the game or even entering the stadium. Design features common in these early American stadiums–such as concrete stairs, doorknobs, elevated sinks and paper towel dispens- ers–stood in the way of providing a truly universal experience for spectators. However, in 1990 President H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which changed the way engineers and architects designed not only stadiums, but all public places. Along with protecting people with disabilities from discrimination, the ADA required employers to make reasonable accomodations for employees with disabilities and required public spaces to provide a decent level of accessibility to those individuals. From the signing of the ADA onward, older stadiums began reno- vating to accommodate spectators with disabilities. This process involved altering original designs to install wheelchair ramps, Making Sport a Spectacle for all to See Luke Carothers Looking back, moving forward

which posed a challenge in terms of space. Additionally, profes- sional organizations and colleges began replacing door knobs with easy to use handles and lowering and modifying features attached to the walls such as soap and paper towel dispensers, light switch- es, sinks, and toilets. Still for much of the 90s and into the early 2000s, many in the disabled community criticized these institutions for not fully embracing the spirit of the ADA. This led to a number of lawsuits leveled against institutions claiming they had not done enough. Notable among these lawsuits was that of Mike Harris against the University of Michigan in 2007. A former University of Michigan football player, Harris was paralyzed in a car accident in 1986. Since the accident, Harris found difficulty attending games at his alma mater where his seating options were limited to 45 seats in both the North and South end zone sections. To add to the frustration of Mike and others in the disabled community, these designated sections did not have access to the rest of the stadium. In 2010, the University of Michigan renovated the “Big House”, add- ing significant upgrades to their previous accessibility design features such as: upgraded and expanded accessible seating, a shuttle service to and from an accessibility-designed parking area, and assisted listening devices. These and similar upgrades were made to venues across the country in the decade following, but the movement for truly accessible sporting venues pushed on. Recent additions to the movement for accessible sporting venues have also been geared towards disabilities other than physical impairment. In Minnesota, U.S. Bank Stadium was designed with a sensory room for spectators who are on the autism spectrum. Many stadiums are also now designed with alternate viewing methods in mind, featuring interpreters, enhanced listening devices, and flash warnings for strobe lights and pyrotechnics. Venues and stadiums are continuing to adapt their experience to fit not only current legislation, but also the technology available. Many stadiums, such as Ohio Stadium in Columbus, now offer interactive digital maps of the latest accessibility features. From the earliest days of civilization until now, there is a common societal bond that forms around live sporting events. Now, in the cur- rent time it is important to remember that bond when thinking about how stadiums and other venues are constructed. It is vital that we think about how certain segments of the population have been isolated by designs in the past and put their humanity at the forefront of our thought when designing sporting venues.

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 lcarothers@zweiggroup.com.





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events + virtual Events

february 2021

NAHB International Builders’ Show february 9-12 – virtual

PTI Miami Certification Week 2021 february 1-6 – miami, fl

The 2021 NAHB International Builders’ Show (IBS) will be a virtual event. The IBSx Virtual Experience will introduce, showcase, and display the must-have new products, tech, and innovations that savvy builders, remodelers, and other residential construction industry pros will want to include in their upcoming projects. https://www.buildersshow.com/ Forum topics center around one of the SDC’s goals, in addition to Technology Showcase presentations, that highlight new and innovative equipment, materials, and applications that are/will be available to the concrete industry to assure its continued advancement and improvement. https://www.acifoundation.org/technology/forums.aspx Virtual SDC Technology Forum 49 february 9-11 – virtual The DFI Middle East Conference is the region's leading technical conference in the field of foundation engineering. The fifth edition of the conference provides an opportunity for the region’s geotechnical engineering practitioners, academics, and suppliers to exchange information and present the latest developments in the field of foundation design and construction. http://www.dfi.org/dfieventlp.asp?13436 Education for both conferences will be accessible across numerous device types on a robust platform that provides access to live and pre- recorded content. Education will feature timely content presented by knowledgeable experts that provide real world solutions to industry problems including plenary sessions, roundtables, fireside chats, technical papers, poster sessions and short courses. Attendees can network online with specific industry topics, speaker engagement, roundtable discussions and participate in trivia night. The platform also provides one-on-one interactions through text and video chat capabilities. Attendees can also share their biography, social media and contact information with peers to stay connected post conference. https://www.ieca.org/IECA/IECA_Events/2021_Events/21_Annual_ Conference/Registration.aspx March 2021 DFI 2021 Middle East Conference february 16-18 – virtual IECA Virtual Annual Conference & Expo february 22-25 – virtual

PTI is now offering all 2021 scheduled workshops for Field Personnel Certifications in a one week format in different cities and regions around the United States. During the certification week attendees have the opportunity to earn up to 3 PTI Certifications in ONE WEEK. https://www.post-tensioning.org/certification/ fieldpersonnelcertification/scheduledworkshopsregistration.aspx President’s Series: Strategies for Effective Quality Control february 3 – virtual If you've ever had cause to think that structural materials are outside of the public eye, consider how strongly concrete is associated with the DC area. Concrete is a powerful, versatile, and economical material, but persistent modeling challenges and logistical complexity in the field leave many engineers with questions. To further explore these considerations, The Younger Members Group invites all SEA-MW members to tune into a panel discussion and get answers to some of your questions on concrete. https://seamw.org/event-4120322 Prevention of problems is better than having to cure them. The webinar will discuss the latest techniques in Quality Control applied to large scale projects with case studies. Concrete constituent materials evaluation with case studies in several projects in the Middle East will be discussed. Case studies will include alkali-silica reactivity, asbestos, high density aggregate weathering, high chloride materials content, cement type, and quality of cementitious materials. Discussion will also cover concrete mix design, selecting and balancing the right properties: compressive strength, flowability, pumpability, and modulus of elasticity. https://www.concrete.org/store/productdetail. aspx?ItemID=W2102&Format=ONLINE_LEARNING&Language=E nglish&Units=US_Units The congress theme is ‘Resilient Technologies for Sustainable Infrastructures’. The Congress will provide the latest in technology and practice to enable structural engineers to design resilient and sustainable structures. The theme is reflected in the technical papers and invited presentations, which will cover the following topics: Earthquake engineering, developments of codes and standards, bridge engineering, multi-storey buildings, durability, rehabilitation and modification of structures, forensic engineering, sustainability, performance-based fire engineering, digital technology and fabrication, innovative forms, technologies and materials, Performance under multi-hazards. https://iabse.org/Events/Christchurch-2020/Event Special Topics in Concrete Design & Construction february 2 – virtual IABSE Congress 2020 (postponed) february 3-5 – virtual

An Overview of Salt-Scaling Damage march 2 – virtual

Damage caused by de-icing salts, known as salt-scaling, is a major contributor toward repair costs related to transportation infrastructure. Such damage consists of the removal of small chips or flakes of material at the exposed surfaces of concrete elements. To increase the service life




of slabs on grade and reduce potential damage caused by salt-scaling, it is necessary to know the characteristics of salt-scaling and to understand parameters that could be used to control such damage. However, despite extensive studies, many details regarding salt-scaling are still not fully understood, and contradictions within the literature can be confusing. The aim of this presentation is to help better understand the salt-scaling phenomenon and provide insights into the effect of workmanship, mixture parameters, and concrete hardened properties on salt-scaling resistance of concrete. https://www.concrete.org/store/productdetail. aspx?ItemID=W2103&Format=ONLINE_LEARNING&Language=E nglish&Units=US_Units As a structural engineering professional, you can find the latest information, innovation, products, and technology at Structures Congress. Learn best practices to push the boundaries of structural design, and bring back new ideas to improve your practice, help clients problem-solve, and be more innovative. Join us to experience all that SEI/ASCE offers to lead and innovate in Structural Engineering. Interact with and learn from the experts on Blast, Bridges, Buildings, and more, and earn Professional Development Hours (PDHs). https://www.structurescongress.org/ structures congress 2021 march 10-13 – seattle, wa With more than 2,000 attendees, the ACI Concrete Convention combines the brightest minds in concrete with an unparalleled social environment, bringing a premiere event to concrete professionals to collaborate and advance the industry and their knowledge. https://www.concrete.org/events/conventions/currentconvention. aspx?&utm_campaign=s21virtual_jan7&utm_medium=email&utm_ source=press_release april 2021 The concept of living buildings has recently emerged as the new ideal for sustainable building design and construction. Defined as a building that generates all of its own energy with renewable, non-toxic resources, captures and treats all of its water, and operates efficiently with an uncompromising aesthetic, living buildings represent a new species of buildings that blends boundaries between the built environment and the natural world and necessitates creative, integrative engineering and architecture solutions to meet rigorous design challenges. https://www.aei-conference.org/ May 2021 ACI Virtual Concrete Convention march 28-april 1 aei conference april 7-9

At the world’s largest (virtual) event for unmanned and autonomous systems, you’ll find your momentum, that something extra that gives you a competitive edge – your X factor. https://www.xponential.org/xponential2020/public/Content. aspx?ID=3662&sortMenu=107001

Drone XPO may 26-27 – ExCel, London

Drones are transforming the processes of many sectors and improving safety. More and more companies are using drones for different purposes. At the DroneX Trade Show & Conference you can reimagine the possibilities of unmanned vertical flight, and take a first-hand look into the latest technological advancements. https://www.dronexpo.co.uk/ september 2021 Commercial UAV Expo Americas 2021 is where the commercial drone community gathers to learn, connect, and drive the industry forward. In addition to content about new opportunities and challenges the industry is facing due to COVID-19, industries covered include Construction; Drone Delivery; Energy & Utilities; Forestry & Agriculture; Infrastructure & Transportation; Mining & Aggregates; Public Safety & Emergency Services; Security; and Surveying & Mapping. It is presented by Commercial UAV News and organized by Diversified Communications. https://www.expouav.com/ Commercial UAV Expo Americas september 7-9 – las vegas, nv The International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE) is a scientific/technical Association comprising members in 100 countries and counting 56 National Groups. The aim of the Association is to exchange knowledge and to advance the practice of structural engineering worldwide in the service of the profession and society. Founded in 1929, IABSE hosted a series of Congresses every four years from 1932 to 2016 and every year from 2019. https://iabse.org/ghent2021 IABSE Congress Ghent 2021 september 22-24 – ghent, belgium

AUVSI XPONENTIAL may 3-6 – atlanta, ga & virtual




Engineering Titletown By Luke Carothers

For well over 100 years in the American Midwest, football has been as much a part of life as death and taxes. In Green Bay, Wisconsin, this seems to be doubly true. Often billed as the last of the “small” NFL franchises, the Packers and the people of Green Bay have a unique relationship in the modern climate of professional sports. This relationship began around the turn of the 20th century when several small semi-professional football teams combined and secured $500 for equipment and uniforms from a local meat packaging com- pany. Thus, the team the NFL now known as the Packers was born on the shores of Lake Michigan. These early Packers teams won often, securing 6 NFL championships while playing their games in the small, 25,000 seat wooden City Stadi- um. Their success, however, outmatched their seating capacity, and in the 1950s the NFL threatened to move the franchise to Milwaukee if a new stadium wasn’t built in Green Bay. Fearing the loss of a franchise that had given much to the identity of the small town, the city built the first stadium exclusively for an NFL franchise. In 1957 the new stadium was completed (originally called New City Field), and was renamed to honor the late Curly Lambeau in 1965. Orig- inally built to hold around 32,000 spectators, it has since been expanded to hold just under 73,000 screaming fans for Packers’ home games. To say that Green Bay is football-obsessed is an understatement. Since 1960, every single Green Bay Packers home game has been sold out, and, to add to that, they still have roughly 115,000 people waiting in line to receive season tickets. With so much focus on one place and one team, it is no wonder there have been numerous improvements to not only the stadium, but also the areas immediately surrounding it. In addition to upgrading seating, add- ing field lights, and other stadium improvements aimed at cultivating the flow of football-crazed fans, several improvements have been made to the infrastructure in the surrounding areas to ensure they have capacity to handle high-volume crowds at distinct and predictable intervals. In early 2015, coming at the end of a 3-year stadium renovation that gave the stadium new infrastructure and lighting, the Green Bay Pack- ers announced plans for an innovative project that would transform 35 acres of land just west of Lambeau Field. The plan–dubbed “Title- town”– was to build an innovative, mixed-use development aimed at accommodating not only the fans and visitors who flock to the area, but also local residents. Subsequently, an initial plan for the project was made by Rossetti Ar- chitects, Sterling Project Development, and Titletown Development. The plan was to create a space that could incorporate several differ- ent groups of end-users. As such, space was planned for a number







of different activities that both supported game-day activities as well as encouraging year-round tourism. The original development plans included space for things like a brewery, a luxury hotel, and a health clinic as well as a sledding hill and 10-acre park and plaza, all of which is featured at the final space. At the initial stages of development, there was a strong need to bring in a civil and structural engineering team with a strong background in working on mixed-use developments, and raSmith was brought on board. They were tasked with evolving the site. More specifically, they had to develop the plan in a way that provided access to the site, balanced parking with developable building area, and provided space for a public plaza. When raSmith joined the Titletown Design Team, the development space was not yet defined. Using public input sessions, the develop - ment team was able to determine how the space was being used through Phase I of development. After gathering input from the public, it was decided that Phase I would consist of buildings such as Hinterland Brewery, Lodge Kohler, Bellin Health, and Titletown Tech as well as a plaza that features a sledding hill, skating rink, playground, a full size football field, activity area, and a lot of open space. Additionally, according to Senior Project Manager Ryan J. Lancour, the project faced constraints based on scope when the project acquired land, eventually growing by approximately a third and incorporating the re-construction of two public roadways. Initial plans were also made for a second phase of development that would create a more pedestrian-friendly experience. Phase II was focused on increasing the number of townhomes and reconstructing a major public roadway; it also includes the construction of a podium that significantly increases the development’s parking capacity while keeping open space above. From a structural perspective, the team was able to overcome chal- lenges posed by varying soil bearing conditions underneath the site of the Bellin Clinic. In addition, the site was further complicated by the inclusion of a partial basement that would be constructed below Construction is underway for this multi-family apartment building.

Titletown Phase II under construction

the water table. To overcome this, raSmith constructed an augercast pile system to support the at-grade portion of the building in order to provide the best value while also minimizing construction impact for the residential building adjacent to the site. raSmith’s Titletown Teams (Phase I & II) CIVIL Ryan J. Lancour, P.E., Senior Project Manager, Client Manager for Titletown Jeremy Jeffery, P.E., Senior Project Engineer, Lead Design Engineer John Casucci, P.L.S., Senior Project Manager, Surveying Services Pat Hawley, P.E, PTOE, RSP, Assistant Director of Transportation Services Justin Schueler, P.E. Traffic Project Manager, Lead Traffic Engineer STRUCTURAL Phase I Steven Roloff, P.E., LEED AP, Structural Project Manager Robert Ray, Senior Structural Engineer Phase II Steven Roloff, P.E. LEED AP, Structural Project Engineer Jeff Derra, P.E. LEED AP, Senior Structural Engineer Michael Kren, P.E. Project Engineer




Titletown is within walking (or leaping) distance to Lambeau Field.

Capturing the spirit of Green Bay, Titletown is a destination for any season.

From playing to dining, visitors enjoy scores of activities at Titletown.

In winter, the plaza area features an ice-skating rink and tubing lanes.

and freeweight use. Based on owner and architect concern for those noisy activities being noticed on the first level offices and exam rooms, raSmith recommended that a roll-out floor isolation system be incor - porated into the design. As time passes, the Titletown project continues to grow. From the first announcement of Phase I in 2015 until now, this project has seen a high level of development from the perspectives of both form and function. raSmith’s Structural Project Manager Steven Roloff, P.E, LEED AP, notes his team’s ability to achieve “flexible design solutions” as a way to create fewer issues during the construction process. According to Roloff, his team was able to lessen these construction issues by incor- porating details that allow for larger field tolerances than normal. While work still continues on Titletown’s Phase II, it is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

A play area and full-size football field offer hours of fun for kids and families.

From a use perspective, the team also had concerns about sound- and foot-induced vibrations coming from the Bellin Health Clinic’s second floor, which was designed for activities such as running, jumping,

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 lcarothers@zweiggroup.com.




Building Value into Sports Facilities Rigid-frame fabric buildings offer a high-quality

solution for budget-minded projects. By Shannon Humbert and Eric Donnay

We live in a world where spending power can create some pretty wide disparities. Gawdy mansions and luxury cars exist because somebody can afford them, even if most of us are quite comfortable and happy living in a family-friendly house and driving a reli- able, modestly-priced vehicle. Similar gulfs in wealth are evident in the sports facil- ity market, where professional franchises and the top major college athletic programs can rely on massive television contracts and booster funds to construct any type of building they deem necessary, with every bell and whistle included to play games, train ath- letes, or attract recruits.

essentially provided a conventional approach to building construction, just with fabric material as a more cost-effective cladding for the roof and sidewalls. Custom Fit Besides inspiring more structural confidence, rigid-frame design also opened up a new world of possibilities by providing much more design flexibility, allowing users to customize their fabric buildings to the precise dimensions necessary for the sports or activities taking place inside. When web-truss fabric buildings first became available to the athletics and recreation market – and even to this day – they were typically sup- plied in standard, pre-engineered sizes. Therefore, if a certain length and width were needed, for example, customers would have no choice but to go up to the nearest available standard size. Another feature of this building style is its curved frames, which can create unusable space along the sidewalls. The end result is that users often have to find ways to fit their building, rather than designing the building to fit their actual needs. With structural steel design, purchasers can start out with a clean sheet and develop a custom building plan from the beginning of the process. If the plan calls for basketball or volleyball to be played near a side- wall, the wall and roof slope can be built high enough to accommodate that activity. If the plan calls for tennis courts, the structure can be designed to USTAguidelines for building peak height and allow for the necessary space around each court. Ultimately, the rigid-frame design provides the ability to value-engi- neer a fabric building. By having their exact specifications met, users can get the space they truly need without paying for excess space or construction materials.

In most of the sporting world, there exists a similar goal of design- ing the best athletic facility money can buy – it’s just that the amount of money to actually work with is much lower. For the majority of universities, schools, communities, or recreation clubs in the process of procuring a new athletic facility, finding the best value is paramount. Cost-Effective Sports Architecture The conversation for many entities naturally begins with traditional brick-and-mortar buildings. This makes sense, since it’s the con- struction option with which most people are familiar, and there are usually very few question marks about how such a building would look and function. In reality, though, not everyone is in a financial position to spend mon- ey on traditional construction. Many organizations have instead turned toward more affordable alternatives, such as tension fabric buildings. However, even this building category alone offers some drastic differ- ences when it comes to engineering, quality, and longevity. First of all, it’s important to establish how fabric structure styles have evolved in the past decade. More than 10 years ago, Legacy Building Solutions introduced rigid-frame, structural steel engineering to fab- ric building design. Prior to this development, fabric structures were mostly built with web truss framing, a system still prevalent among many suppliers today. By utilizing I-beam frames, fabric buildings instantly achieved more universal credibility. From an engineering perspective, rigid-frame de- sign was a known and proven method. From an end user viewpoint, it




Of course, fieldhouses and practice facilities for sports like football and soccer typically do require a lot of space, another area where rigid- frame fabric buildings prove cost-effective. The inherent strength of these I-beam structures, combined with lightweight fabric cladding, allows for long clear span roofs with no support beams. Old-school fabric structures lack the true engineering integrity neces- sary for really long spans. Brick-and-mortar buildings are structurally sound, but the larger the building needs to be, the greater the price difference between traditional construction and rigid-frame fabric buildings, which can be installed at a fraction of the cost. Interior Environment Another construction option that has long been popular, due to its price tag, is steel buildings. While steel-sheeted structures can help fill a certain niche in the industry, their cost-saving advantage gradually disappears as the building dimensions become larger. And no matter what size structure is required, steel buildings tend to fail the aesthetics test, generally offering poor lighting and acoustics. By contrast, the interior environment inside a fabric building offers a softer feel, better acoustics with less echo, and much improved lighting due to the reflective properties of the fabric material. People who’ve never set foot inside a fabric sports structure often comment that the atmosphere exceeds their expectations. While having an attractive venue is certainly beneficial to those using or visiting the building, engineers and architects will also take notice that the same materials used to create that welcoming atmosphere are actually serving another purpose in helping to meet building codes. For projects where state or local energy codes must be met, a rigid-frame design allows building suppliers to easily apply insulation – typically with R values ranging from R-19 to R-30 – along the interior of the structure. The insulation is secured and then covered with a fabric liner that is actually the same type of fabric used for the exterior cladding. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) has the been the primary fabric of choice for

sports facilities for many years because of its durability. The fact that users can select different colors of fabric to match their team, school or organizational branding is also a selling point for fabric in general. Leg- acy Building Solutions offers a newer fabric called ExxoTec™ PVC that delivers more durability and a longer life expectancy, due to the added layers of primer and lacquer around its high-strength woven fabric. To install the fabric, Legacy relies on its patented fabric attachment system that uses half-inch diameter bolts to clamp a keder rail to the top flange of the structural steel frame. Fabric panels are then slid through the keder channel to connect to each beam. This process allows fabric panels to be pulled into place with the properly calculated horizontal and vertical tensions. Wider fabric panels are used for the interior than the exterior of the building, but otherwise the process is the same both outside and inside. With the interior liner tightly secured, maintenance concerns for the fabric cladding itself are practically nonexistent. Behind the Scenes For many industries, the I-beams in a fabric building are left exposed and may require some kind of treatment to protect the steel. Since the structural frames in most fabric-cladded sports facilities are encap- sulated by insulation and liners, typically a primer coating is all that needed to treat the beams. That said, building users in coastal locations or who experience high humidity conditions due to their facility application – such as a swim- ming pool – could consider epoxy paint for I-beam treatment to protect against corrosion. Because the steel beams are permanently out of view, some users might choose this option purely for the peace of mind of knowing that the structural frame is well protected. It is worth noting that the rigid frame building design allows for ef- fective passive ventilation within the walls. Ridge and soffit vents use the natural movement of warm airs to help remove moisture from the insulation cavity, another key piece in meeting building codes for a given environment.




Built Fast, Built Right Rigid-frame fabric buildings can also be completed in far less time from start to finish than traditional brick-and-mortar buildings. While the time to build the framework is similar for a fabric building and a metal-clad structure, fabric panels can be applied in one-third the time needed to screw down metal siding. A big reason for the overall reduction in fabric building lead time is that companies like Legacy are full-service suppliers who can handle every step in the process from start to finish. By employing their own design engineers, manufacturing fabric panels and I-beams in their own facilities, and sending their own in-house professional installation crews to every jobsite, these companies can ensure full quality control and constantly keep projects moving, without any of the unexpected delays experienced by those relying on outside vendors. All things considered, tension fabric structures offer exceptional value for sports venues large and small. From proven structural integrity to a high level of interior finish and craftsmanship, rigid-frame fabric buildings make it possible for any entity to obtain a facility they can be extremely proud of, without breaking the bank.

Hanging Tough Because of the airtight nature of a lined fabric building, air flow is very important, and passive ventilation alone is not enough for most athletic structures. Users will need some sort of mechanical means to at least move air, if not also heat or condition it. Often this means the inclusion of fans or an HVAC system suspended from the building frame above. For a rigid-frame design, supporting hanging loads like HVAC, fire suppression systems and lighting isn’t difficult, although it does need to be considered in the original design. Engineers use finite element analysis software to calculate the stresses for each individual I-beam, rather than over-engineering the entire structure and adding unneces- sary cost. Likewise, many sports facilities need to accommodate items such as scoreboards, video platforms, court dividers and netting. Some will even need to add mezzanines for spectator seating. By working with the customer to account for every potential collateral load, building de- signers can simply modify the rigid frame to add the necessary strength for those loads. Added Touches While project managers may be primarily focused on getting the most bang for the buck from a fabric building, of course it’s also common to need to appease certain stakeholders with additional flourishes, such as exterior facades containing brick or stonework. While these elements will add cost, the straight sidewalls of a rigid-frame structure do make it possible to easily include these types of touches. Another possibility with I-beam design is adding a fabric-clad ad- dition to the gabled end of an existing structure. Designers need to consider snow loads and rain runoff for the original building and new addition, among other compatibility factors, but for situations where expansion is a more cost-effective solution than new construction, it often can be done.

S t r u c t u r a l E n g i n e e r s A x i o m # 7 Structural Engineers Axiom #7

Professional Liability is essential. Overpaying is not. Professional Liabi ity is Essential. Overpaying s Not.

I t pays to have the right profes- sional liability coverage. But you shouldn’t overpay. At Fenner & Esler, we’re more than just brokers. We’re A/E specialists. Delivering the right coverage and value to design firms of all sizes since 1923. With multiple insurance carriers. At Fenner & Esler, we’re more than just brokers. We’re A/E specialists. Delivering the right coverage and value to design firms of all sizes since 1923. With multiple insurance carriers. And a proven track record serving the unique risks of structural engineers. And a proven track record serving the unique risks of structural engineers. It pays to have the right profes- sional liability coverage. But you shouldn’t overpay.

Get a quote—overnight. Visit: www.fenner-esler.com Click “Need a Quote” Call toll-free: 866-PE-PROTEK (866-737-7683 x. 208) Ask for Tim Esler. Email: tesler@fenner-esler.com im@Insuranc 4Structurals.com ww .insurance4structurals.com Get a quote—overnight. Visit: w.insurance4structurals.com Click “Need a Quote” ll toll-free: 866-PE-PROTEK (866-737-7683 x.208) Ask for Tim Esler. Email: tim@Insurance4Structurals.com

T H E P RO F E S S I O N A L ’ S C H O I C E S I N C E 1 9 2 3




In 2019, Costco Wholesale set out to open a new, 152,000 square foot warehouse and gas station complex in Eagan, Minnesota. With the groundbreaking in the Spring, the aggressive completion deadline was set for the Fall, just in time for the holiday shopping season. However, the land the company selected had more than a 50-foot grade difference from the South to North end of the site, making a flat surface a challenge to create for the warehouse, gas station, and a 725-car parking lot. The elevation change required varying segmental retaining wall heights across the site, with the need to design two vehicle ramp access ways at either end of the site. Adding to the challenge: the crews building the retaining walls and those moving the dirt had to choreograph the build in less than 90 days to meet the grand opening schedule. Belgard Diamond Pro HD blocks (8”x18”x12”) were chosen for the segmental retaining walls because they can be installed quickly, look great, and are durable enough to withstand Minnesota’s harsh winters. “The project came with several challenges, the first being it was an export site, meaning there was more soil on site than we needed,” says Joseph Kowalski, PE. He explains mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) walls being constructed for Costco are comprised of alternat- ing layers of compacted granular backfill affixed to the Diamond Pro wall face. “Most MSE walls require an excellent sand and gravel mix as backfill,” he says. “Typically, in an export site, we have the native material removed and then import clean sand. We were fortunate that when this soil was tested, it was relatively clean sand and gravel and we didn’t need to bring in thousands of tons of new material. This is good environmental stewardship as well as a cost-saving move.” The very thick layers of sand and gravel on the site were interrupted by layers of lean clay. The General Contractor, Novak Construction, had to be careful not to mix the clay in with the sand when digging, or the sand would have been contaminated and required removal. “They did a very good job with that. We were able to reuse all the sand as intended, within the geogrid-reinforced section of the walls,” says Kowalski. “This was a significant cost saving.” Kowalski worked closely with Structures, Inc., the firm responsible for constructing the MSE walls. The company is well-known nationally for providing earth retention and segmental pavement system solutions for some of the largest and most complex projects in the United States. They had previously worked on Costco projects with Novak and were familiar with the products being used. Belgard ® Diamond Pro HD Blocks Key to Coordinated Effort to Build Seven Segmental Walls for Large Costco Complex

Walls were backfilled using alternating layers of eight- to 16-inches of sand and gravel and Mirafi® geogrid reinforcement. Where the slope was particularly steep, the sand and gravel below the walls were undercut and replaced with layers of geogrid reinforcement within the replaced soil. This reinforced soil zone below the wall improved its overall global stability. In some places, the geogrid layers were up to 55-feet long and extended several feet inf front of the wall face. The geogrids are extended to near the face of the Belgard Diamond Pro HD blocks. “The downward lip at the back of the Diamond Pro also provides an extra mechanism to connect the geogrid to the block,” said Craig Vardy, construction manager of Structures. “That’s one of the reasons we enjoy working with the Diamond Pro – you just grab the rear lip connector and the block goes in more easily.” Kowalski agreed that the design and ease of Belgard Diamond Pro block was a big time-saver for this job. “The blocks are ideal for demanding commercial applications like this,” he added. The block’s cores were filled with an angular stone. The combined weight of the blocks and the stones pushing through some of the apertures in the geogrid keep the material firmly in place. Diamond Pro is also approved by the Minnesota Department of Trans- portation based on its higher resistance to freeze/thaw degradation. “We wanted a block that has excellent freeze/thaw resistance when tested using saline water,” explains Kowalski. “These blocks are denser, have less absorption, and a higher compressive strength. We are confident they will provide sufficient resistance to the freeze/thaw climate changes experienced in Minnesota.” With a rough-hewn face style, the natural rock texture and earth-tone colors blend easily into any environment, while functionally, the block wall gives landscape substance and stability. “It’s all about the plant and how they produce the look and aesthetic and needing to make sure that we get the block from a consistent run,” said Vardy. “The Belgard plant did a great job to make sure it matched up.” Experienced in coordinating foremen and crews, Structures was able to quickly begin the early site work. “We had to get the big wall up and




get the site elevated, so they could lay out the pad for the building; that was the number one priority,” explains Vardy, referring to one of the two largest walls on the property. It extends along Blue Gentian Road and is 1,350 feet long and approximately 30 feet high, stretching from one entrance ramp on the East side of the site to the other entrance ramp on the West side of the site. The wall was designed to take the live load of large semi-trucks and firetrucks. “It’s not that common to have walls that tall,” explains Kowalski. “We had no structural concerns, though, because we were working with good material and in accordance with the Federal Highway Admin- istration’s design methodology for wall design; it results in a resilient and conservative structure.” The largest wall on site was 32 feet high, but not nearly as long as the one along Blue Gentian. It retains the earth and supports the back, northeast corner of the warehouse. There are three different types of Mirafi geogrid in this section (5XT, 8XT, and 10XT), and the grids are 33 feet long where the building gets closest to the wall. “With walls this size, we had two loaders at one point feeding directly to backfill,” explains Vardy. Structures worked with the company moving the dirt, with each com- pany’s foreman coordinating with the other as truckloads of dirt were moved around the site and dumped into the geogrids. “We laid 1,000 sq ft. of blocks a day, so we needed to be in sync,” Vardy says. The process of back-filling and building the wall simultaneously, as well as working around utilities and storm pipes on-site, created complications. “There were manhole structures we had to work around, pipe culverts we had to bridge over, and a lot of utilities—conduits for electrical lights and for the gas station. With the size of the parking lot, many storm utility pipes would need to be placed within the reinforced zone of the retaining walls, as well as the functionality of a new stormwater management pond,” notes Vardy. Once the first large wall was complete, Structures Inc. prioritized building by when the site or utility contractor was finished and ready to support another wall. At times, they had two or three crews working onsite at one time.

To maximize space for curb and parking stalls, a Sleeve-It® SD-1 pre-engineered fence post anchoring solution was used to install the four-foot fence directly behind the wall block, along with a guardrail. Structures began construction of the walls in April of 2019 and Costco opened its new facility on Friday, November 15, just in time for holi- day shopping. “Building on a site like this with cast-in-place retaining walls would have been cost-prohibitive and many developers would not have at- tempted it,” noted Kowalski. “The technology of using these types of walls has become more advanced and Civil Engineers and De- velopers are more aware of what can be done with reinforced soils.” For the plethora of large warehouses and distribution centers being constructed on large sites, Kowalski said even a relatively flat (two percent) grade across a 1,000 square foot site may likely require a 20-foot-tall retaining wall. For future segmental wall projects of this magnitude, both Kowalski and Vardy have the confidence in Diamond Pro HD blocks to bring the project in on time, with durability and aesthetics--even in the most se- vere climates. For more information, visit www.BelgardCommercial. com or call 1-877-Belgard (235-4273). About Belgard ® Belgard, part of Oldcastle APG, offers a complete collection of paver and wall products for plazas, terraces, parking areas, roadways, rooftops and retaining walls. Available in a range of styles, premium Belgard products have been found in the nation’s finest developments and award-winning commercial and retail properties since 1995. Oldcastle APG is part of CRH’s Building Products division. As the largest building materials company in North America, CRH provides a single-source solution for commercial construction projects with a full portfolio that also includes structural masonry, masonry veneers, dry mix products, hardscape jointing sands and sealants, stormwater management systems, concrete infrastructure, architectural glass, lawn & garden products, and composite decking.




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