Supporting the Entire Lifecycle of a 20th Century Sports Icon
For over 20 years, the Georgia Dome was Atlanta’s largest stadium and the premiere location for sporting events, concerts, trade shows, political conventions and other major public activities. When it opened in 1992 it was the world’s largest covered, oval stadium and its innovative cable-supported and Teflon-coated fabric roof was a milestone in the development of lightweight structures. It became the only stadium in the world to host the Olympics, Super Bowl and Final Four.
ENR cited the Georgia Dome in its list of the 20th century’s top projects, describing it as a turning point in the application of cable roofs, fusing design theory and new construction techniques.
We provided structural design services to Heery International, Rosser Fabrap and Thompson Ventulett Stainback and Associates for the stadium’s design. In 2017 we were retained by HHRM – a joint venture of Holder Construction Company, Hunt Construction Group, H.J. Russell & Company and C.D. Moody Construction Company – for its explosive demolition.
- The patented roof structure – the first of its kind – adapted tensegrity geometry to the standard oval of stadium design. Triangulated tension cables and floating compression posts are combined with stretched fabric membranes in hyperbolic paraboloid configurations.
- Despite the roof's complex geometry, our engineers optimized the design to maximize repetition, boosting economy and constructability.
- The nine acres of fabric that covered the dome were clamped to the cable structure on-site.
- We designed structural components – node weldments, steel-pipe posts, steel-strand, bridge-type cables and concrete stands – to be prefabricated. This provided considerable savings in cost and set-up time.
- The roof structure’s web of posts and cables were anchored above eye level to a concrete cast-in-place compression ring, 2,300 feet in circumference.
- The ring floated on bridge-type, pot bearings and were supported by concrete columns cantilevered 52 feet from the upper deck.
- Our forensics team assessed the viability of the dynamic demolition plan proposed by Pettigrew Inc. by performing detailed computer analyses of the implosion, which allowed for optimization of the explosive placement and sequencing.
- Our demolition analysis also ensured that surrounding buildings – the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium was only 83 feet away from the Georgia Dome – weren’t damaged during the demolition.