The Atlanta Falcons will play their home opener against the Green Bay Packers this Sunday, 9/17. As exciting as that is on a normal year, this year will be that much more special as it will also mark the opening of their brand new $1.4 billion stadium, the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
The highlight of the new stadium is the pinwheel retractable roof, which opens in 8 minutes and looks like the opening scene of a James Bond movie. There were some scares that it would not be ready for the first game of the season, but Falcons’ officials have stated that the roof could open, weather permitting. An open roof would mark the first time the Falcons have played in an open air stadium at home since 1991, the last year they played in the Fulton County Stadium before moving to the Georgia Dome. The new stadium will not only host the Falcons, but will also host the Atlanta United of the MLS, the 2018 College Football National Championship, the 2019 Super Bowl and the 2020 NCAA Men’s Final Four.
Other than the retractable roof, some of the key features of the Mercedes-Benz are:
- A flexible capacity, which can hold up to 75,000 people for a football game or World Cup soccer match and up to 83,000 for a NCAA basketball game.
- A floor to ceiling window on the northeast corner with a view to downtown Atlanta
- A 360 degree HD video halo board which wraps around the top of the entire stadium. It will be 58 feet tall and span a total of 1100 linear feet in diameter, making it the largest video board in the world.
The construction was carried out by a joint venture called HHRM JV, which is made up of team members from Hunt Construction Group, Holder Construction, H.J. Russell & Co., and C.D. Moody Construction Co.
EarthCam was on site to document the progress for 39 months, from June 2014 to September of this year.
There have been a few devastating structural collapses across America and the world this year. In March, an under construction pedestrian bridge collapsed in Florida, killing 6. In Colombia, ten workers were killed when a large section of a bridge being built collapsed. Both of those tragedies happened while the structures were still being built, but a recent collapse in Texas has a bit of a different story.
As America’s infrastructure is continually described as “crumbling,” I thought it would be a good time to take a look back to how highways were paved around 70 years ago. A lot has changed in the past seven decades, but you might be surprised by how similar paving still is.
On Monday morning, a 13 story building in Miami Beach that was being prepped for demolition suddenly collapsed, injuring one Project Manager that was struck by debris.
One of the best parts (for me, anyway) of large developments that cost hundreds of millions of dollars being built is being able to learn about different construction methods that can reduce costs or deliver the project sooner than traditional methods. The Crown Sydney, a future 890 foot tall tower in Australia, is using a method called “top down construction” to shorten their project schedule and avoid additional hazards on the $740 million project.
In January of 2018, ten construction workers were killed and another eight were injured when a bridge spanning the Chirajara canyon in Columbia partially collapsed. That collapse has since been blamed on a poor design, reports have stated. Last week, the remaining sections of the bridge were demolished in dramatic fashion.
A couple weeks ago, we shared a list of the 100 tallest buildings to ever be demolished. One of the most interesting things that I learned while researching for that article was that although Detroit’s Greater Department Hudson Store was not the tallest building on the list (it was #21), it was the tallest on the list to actually be imploded.
Back in September of 2017, the $100 million renovation of the Seattle Space Needle began with the installation of a 28,000 pound scaffold system ring designed to circle the famous saucer shaped top of the Needle.
One thing’s for sure, the only thing better than one structure being demolished is two structures being demolished at the same time. Late last week, a decommissioned Florida Power Plant saw to the implosion of two 462 feet tall cooling towers in spectacular fashion.
Learning to tie several useful knots has been on my to-do list for a while now and I’m reminded of that every time I tie some insane knot that’s way too loose or nearly impossible to un-tie. I guess one of my my biggest hurdles is figuring out which knots would be most useful for me.
Construction crews were preparing to replace window glazing on the 47-story tall Wellhouse na Leninskom tower in Moscow, Russia, when a cable snapped just as the window was about to reach the top of the structure