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Improvements at Miami Dolphins stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. Courtesy Miami Dolphins.

Miami Dolphins Stadium Improvements

  • COMPLETION DATE
    2017

Overview

Thornton Tomasetti is providing structural, façade and construction engineering services for major renovations to the Miami Dolphins Stadium. When complete, the Dolphins and the University of Miami football team will once again play in a world-class stadium.

The first phase, completed in 2015, added a new lower bowl to the sidelines, bringing fans closer to the field. It also replaced all seats and rebuilt the concourses at the 100 and 300 levels. Phase two, which will be completed in 2016, adds a long-span, cable-supported canopy over the seating bowl. Other updates include suspension of four large high-definition screens and suite renovations at the 200 concourse level.

The new canopy is completely independent from the existing stadium structure, minimizing the need for retrofits to the older structure and allowed the work to be phased to accommodate the 2015 playing season. Eight concrete mega-columns – two at each corner – were tucked close to the stadium walls. Steel masts rise between each pair of columns. Together, they support and stabilize long steel trusses that span high above the inner and outer edges of the seating bowl.

Our façade engineers designed the translucent ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) roof. Inflated pillows of ETFE cover the canopy, blocking rain and direct sun from the seating bowl, while letting light in. We also performed Tekla modeling and connection design that allowed early material procurement – a crucial factor in meeting a tight schedule.

The revamped stadium will host a variety of events year round, including college football championships, soccer matches and concerts.

NFL, sunlife, Sun Life Stadium, dolphins, 360 architecture, 360 Architecture
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Materials & Systems

ETFE & Fabrics

The use of lightweight membrane structures can enhance design, budget and building performance – but only if their attributes are considered early in the design process. With the ability to span great distances, these systems are used in dynamic and sculptural forms and can be quickly modified to meet changing weather-related or programmatic needs by adjusting shading, thermal and aesthetic characteristics. Our façade engineering consultants are experts in the application of ETFE, fabric and tensioned membranes, from concept evaluation to integration of these lightweight systems into building skin designs.

Specialized Expertise

Stadiums & Arenas

With hundreds of sports projects in our portfolio, we have the experience and expertise to tackle any project, anywhere in the world. Baseball, football, soccer, basketball, hockey, softball, cricket and tennis, along with track and field, aquatics and equestrian sports facilities – we’ve done them. And we’ve collaborated with the world’s premier architects and design teams, building strong relationships to deliver great projects.

Structure plays a more visible role in sports facilities than in almost any other building type. The distinctive visual identity of a stadium or arena is often expressed through the exposed structure: the soaring, seemingly weightless shape of a canopy or the different configurations of a retractable roof or movable exterior wall. The structural system must also support a first-class patron experience and deliver maximum efficiency and economy. Our structural engineers seek out creative structural design solutions that offer an optimal balance for the seemingly incompatible goals of economics, aesthetics and function.