Mercedes-Benz Stadium Erection Engineering
When the Atlanta Falcons wanted to replace the aging Georgia Dome, they sought to create a 21st century stadium capable of serving not only as their home field, but also hosting MLS matches, the NCAA Final Four, and perhaps even the World Cup or a future Olympics. The architect drew inspiration for their unique design from Rome's Pantheon. Their solution is a massive, articulated fixed roof structure with an oval opening. The oval is enclosed by retractable "petals" that seemingly open and close like the iris of a camera.
Our analysis of the actual roof structure revealed that the four primary erection towers had to support three to four times the capacity of traditional towers. The solution was to develop a "mega shore" with adequate capacity by creating a double-wide tower constructed from custom, heavy-duty tower crane sections. To increase the jacking flexibility of the tower, we developed a high-capacity hinged jacking system that capped the top of the four "mega shores." The balance of the roof structure was shored with conventional shore towers.
Originally slated for 18 months of erection, the process was compressed into 11 months. In response, our team developed custom digital workflow models to analyze multiple erection sequence scenarios. Each scenario evaluated shoring loads and resulting truss stresses during each of dozens of distinct erection stages. To accelerate this process, we developed several tools to automate the analysis. These tools paid off as we supported the erector in the midst of constantly-changing steel delivery schedules. This allowed us to evaluate and recommend alternate erection scenarios in real time to maintain the aggressive schedule.