Builders of Colorado State University’s dramatic new, on
campus stadium capitalized
on precast concrete stadium components to rapidly complete the structure within
an extremely aggressive building schedule.
Targeted for LEED Gold certification, the $220.1 million facility
has a capacity of 41,200 people, including 10,000 designated student seats,
148 outdoor club seats, 879 indoor club seats, 22 luxury suites each seating16
people, and 43 loge boxes each seating 4 to 6 people. A 360-degree concourse around the stadium and large open patio space
provide unobstructed views of the playing field.
A plaza on one side of the building provides landscaped space for year-round
The project includes both an 82,000 ft2 academics/advising and alumni
center and a seven level structure housing football operations, luxury boxes, a
hall of fame and the press box. Amenities consist of an 11,600 ft2
Stadium Club, 112 concession stands, a 1,200-person hospitality area, training
room, expanded tailgating options, a 50-ft by 84-ft high-definition video
scoreboard and sound system, and high quality WI-FI. The stadium is ADA
compatible with premium seating ADA options and access. There is 78,000 ft2
of covered concourse space.
Horizontal bands of precast fascia panels, glass, metal
and Colorado sandstone help blend the stadium into the surrounding campus
A pressing concern of the university was to have the new
stadium ready for the opening day of football in August, 2017. The incentive for accelerating construction was
significant: a $1 million penalty for every game that the football team could
not play in the new stadium in the 2017 season. Under a Construction Manager at
Risk delivery method, the project broke ground in September 2015. With a 20
month construction schedule, the project has remained on budget and on time.
The stadium design team proposed two alternate riser
systems: precast/prestressed concrete riser units and sandwich plate metal slab
terraces and risers.
To encourage the use of the precast
system, the PCI Mountain States Region (PCIMS) sent a lengthy letter to the CSU
President and to the stadium design team.The letter suggested that the design team consider life cycle costs vs.
for each system and estimated that
the SPS metal riser system would have a cumulative maintenance cost of
$1,750,000 more than the precast system. It was also noted that precast concrete risers in outdoor stadium applications have been used for decades with typical life
spans of 50-75+ years; have inherent fire
resistive, vibration and acoustic characteristics; and would be produced and serviced locally.
Thanks to these life cycle cost advantages, safety
benefits, quality characteristics and long term durability the precast stadium
solution was selected.
Senior Architect and Principal at Populous says that “using precast offers a
two-fold advantage: known for its durability and ‘plastic’ nature it can take
nearly any form with the proper steel reinforcement, and it also advances the
speed of construction. Precast components can be manufactured off site in
controlled conditions prior to construction and then trailered to the site for
new stadium’s lower bowl includes precast rakers, treads and risers on
cast-in-place columns. The fascia or spandrel panels around the stadium are
also precast. The upper bowl consists of precast treads and risers on
structural steel framing. The tower element in the west stands is composed of
on the structure’s west side are precast. On the south side, the lower bay of
the bowl is actually on grade and utilizes cast-in-place walls. Above these are
precast walls. The playing field sits six feet below street level.
stadium has a radial grid, so every bay is slightly different from the one
adjacent to it. This required extensive production planning by the precaster.
In addition, Stresscon helped in doing pre-pours on the cast-in-place lower
bowl section to ensure proper locations for embeds and ledges. Careful coordination
was also required on the upper bowl between precast and structural steel.
Stresscon started manufacturing precast components in two
plants in January 2016, averaging nine pieces a day. Working ten hours a day,
six days a week and utilizing two cranes, erection took less than five months
and completed two weeks early. 4D modeling and an elaborate system of mock-ups
was used by the building team to assist construction. It’s believed that the
CSU facility qualifies as the fastest built college stadium in the country.