The ceremonial final steel beam for the new home of the National Football League’s Minnesota Vikings was lifted into place on Friday, September 18, a day after inclement weather brought an end to the official topping out celebration. A total of 11,100 tons of structural steel has been used for the long-span roof.
Thornton Tomasetti’s structural engineering, façade engineering, construction engineering and kinetic mechanization design teams collaborated with HKS Architects on the 1.7-million-square-foot stadium project, which will reach 75 percent completion by the end of September. The 65,000-seat venue is designed to host a variety of events, including MLS soccer, NCAA basketball and baseball, high school sports, motocross races, concerts and conventions.
The innovative building features five operable panels in a glass end-wall that pivot to provide natural ventilation and access. The design team utilized Thornton Tomasetti’s parametric modeling techniques to perform roof slope optimization studies that have created one of the lightest structural steel stadium roofs in North America. A single monumental steel ridge truss spanning 970 feet along the length of the field provides the primary support for the roof structure. A 240,000-square-foot transparent ETFE system will clad the south roof allowing natural light in and producing additional solar gain to warm the stadium when needed. It will be the largest roof of its kind in the United States. The north roof consists of a traditional steel deck and PVC membrane. The steeply lofted steel roof is designed to shed the heavy Minnesota snow.
The seven-level superstructure consists of precast concrete seating units and cast-in-place concrete frames and concourses. The stadium includes 9,000 club seats and 115 field-level suites, with a lower suite level that will be the closest to the field of any NFL venue. Construction is scheduled for completion in 10 months, at which time LEED certification will be sought for the stadium.
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