Video: Roof raised on Mercedes-Benz stadium
A video showing the incredible feat of installing the retractable roof on the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta has been released. The footage gives a rare insight into the meticulous planning and sheer scale that is involved in such an undertaking.
The Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be the home to the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League (NFL) and Atlanta United FC of Major League Soccer (MLS) and will replace the current home of the Falcons, the Georgia Dome.
Located just south of the stadium it will be replacing, the arena will not only play home to Falcons and Atlanta United but will also host other sports, conventions and entertainment events that would usually hosted at the Dome.
Kansas City based architecture firm, 360 Architecture beat off competition from four other companies to be named lead design firm in April 2013. They then selected three locally based firms – Goode Van Slyke Architecture (GVSA), Stanley Beaman & Sears, and tvsdesign – to partner in the design of the stadium.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held in May 2014 to mark the start of construction on the project.
Mercedes-Benz USA was announced as the official naming partner of the new stadium just over a year ago. The official naming rights agreement will run until 2042.
Looking at the numbers, the height of the stadium will be 305 ft in height and have a total square footage of 2,000,000. A total of 150,000 cubic yards of concrete will be used in the construction of the project, along with 23,000 tons of concrete.
The stadium will house 24 bars and restaurants and 190 executive suites. Fans will be able to move around the stadium by using any of the 25 escalators and 20 elevators installed.
It is envisaged that the new arena will be able to attract other future marquee events. The stadium has been designed to allow for flexibility and can increase capacity from its 71,000 NFL capacity up to 75,000 should the owners desire to host the Super Bowl or FIFA be realised.
For an event such as basketball’s NCAA Final Four, which the stadium was selected to host in 2020, capacity could be expanded to cater for 83,000.
The capacity can also be downsized should the event require it by making use of the innovative mechanised curtaining system for the stadium’s mid and upper bowls.
According to the official website of the arena, the retractable roof was inspired by the oculus in the ancient Roman Pantheon. Covering 14.5 acres and constructed from ETFE fabric that will enable translucent light into the stadium when closed, the roof will provide mean a wide range of events can be held at the venue.
Taking the form of eight unique roof petals, the roof take less than eight minutes to open and will allow the open air to enter the stadium through what is described as a “camera lens-like effect”.
The Mercedes-Benz stadium’s northeast corner will also feature a floor-to-ceiling window that will provide fans with stunning views of the city.
Cutting edge technology will also extend to the score or video board as they are now called. The 360° HD video halo board will be the largest video board in the world. At nearly five-stories (58 ft.) tall and eleven hundred linear feet in diameter, it will give every person in the stadium the option to see unique camera angles and provide exclusive digital content to enhance their match day experience.
The board hangs from the circumference of the roof opening, meaning it doesn’t impede with the opening and closing of the roof.
Fans will be able to meet up and socialise in a 61,000 sq ft fanzone that will be located inside the security checkpoint area outside the stadium.
It will feature the highest levels of environmental sustainability related to design, construction and operations both inside and outside the building.
In a first for the United States, the Mercedes-Benz Stadium design and operating plans hope to achieve all LEED water-related credits, including water use efficiency and rainwater capture and reuse.
In terms of renewable energy, solar PV panels will be installed and car parking areas with spaces for 21,000 vehicles will be equipped with electric vehicle charging points.
Energy efficiency will play a huge part in the stadium’s sustainability. An “open stadium” policy will make full use of natural light and outside air to cut energy consumption.
Building control systems will manage and monitor energy usage including lighting and heating/cooling use.
The stadium will feature 460 LED sports lighting, which will be up to 50% more efficient than the 832 metal halide lights currently used in the Georgia Dome.
Sustainability doesn’t end inside the stadium, as those spectators making their way to the stadium will be encouraged to use bicycles and ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs) through the Atlanta Bike Trail Network and the availability of electric vehicle charging stations. Those who walk to the stadium will benefit from the creation of pedestrian-friendly walking paths to allow people to move easily between the communities on the west side of the stadium and the downtown area to the east.
The cost of the project is estimated at $1.5Bn and is scheduled to be complete by 2017 – a construction time of 37 months.
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