Shovels hit the dirt at a Dec. 3 groundbreaking ceremony for the Minnesota Multipurpose Stadium, kicking off construction on the new $975-million home for the National Football League’s Minnesota Vikings in Minneapolis. Thornton Tomasetti is providing structural engineering, building skin, construction support and kinetic mechanization services for the 1.7-million-sf, 64,000-seat stadium designed by HKS Sports & Entertainment Group. The Minnesota Sports Facility Authority is the developer and Mortenson Construction is the general contractor. The stadium features a series of operable panels in a glass endwall that pivot to provide natural ventilation and access to the west plaza. The steeply lofted steel roof, a principal architectural feature, is designed to shed the Minnesota snow. A single monumental steel ridge truss spanning 970 feet along the length of the field will provide the primary support for the roof structure. On the south side of the ridge, the roof will be clad with a clear ETFE system. At 240,000-sf, the transparent roof will be the largest ETFE roof in the United States. The transparency will afford panoramic views of the outdoors, allow natural light to infuse the interior of the stadium and produce additional solar gain to warm the stadium. Excess heat will be vented out of the stadium’s peak as part of a coordinated sustainability strategy. The other side of the ridge will be a traditional steel deck and membrane roof. The seven-level superstructure will consist of precast concrete seating units and cast-in-place concrete frames and concourses. The stadium includes 115 suites and 9,000club seats. A lower suite level will be the closest to the field of any NFL venue. Scheduled for completion in time for the 2016 NFL season, the project will seek LEED certification.
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