Climate Pledge Arena’s roof crowning glory



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Video: Seattle Kraken (YouTube)

Climate Pledge Arena – the first certified carbon-neutral arena in the world – is in full ‘building mode.’ With the last concrete for the crucial south buttress poured, and digging down and temporary roof support work is through.

Climate Pledge Arena is a multipurpose arena in Seattle, Washington, United States. It is located north of downtown in the 74-acre entertainment complex known as Seattle Center, the site of the 1962 World’s Fair.

It is a brand new arena under a historic roof. This whole development which will bring about a sea change in the area is the most significant private investment in Pacific Northwest sports and entertainment history.

The partnership is between Amazon, Oak View Group and the City of Seattle to repurpose and redevelop an arena constructed under a historic landmarked roof originally built for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair.

The Seattle World’s Fair was a world’s fair held from April 21, 1962, to October 21, 1962, in Seattle, Washington. Nearly 10 million people attended the fair.

Seattle Climate Pledge Arena August 2020 updateImage: OVG

Rockwell Group, the global architecture and design firm, designed a comprehensive set of premium arena amenities, each offering its own unique experience. These seven spaces will offer guests something they have never seen before in the market.

Ken Johnsen, Construction Executive, Oak View Group, and Jesse Erickson, Quality Engineer, Mortensen Construction, describe the latest progress on Climate Pledge Arena, which will become the new home of the Seattle Kraken (National Hockey League (NHL Seattle) and Seattle Storm, in the behind-the-scene video.

Stephen Collins of Oak View Group will be a Speaker at Coliseum Online Week US 2020, to be held from October 19th to 23rd, and will speak about the Climate Pledge Arena.

The Seattle Kraken is a professional ice hockey expansion team based in Seattle. The Seattle Storm is an American professional basketball team based in Seattle, Washington, playing in the Western Conference of the Women’s National Basketball Association.

More than a year back, construction workers at Climate Pledge Arena were disconnecting 20 concrete y-columns and four large buttresses from the venue’s historic landmark roof while erecting temporary steel columns to hold up the roof. The innovative, never-done-before-at-this-scale concept was to keep the roof in place while the crew excavated 600,000 cubic yards of dirt to make way for a brand-new subterranean arena.

The effect was the 44-million-pound iconic roof, designed to honor the native Salish cedar-woven rain hat, appeared to be floating in mid-air. The dig went as deep as 70 to 90 feet in some places of the site while the new ice-level dimension is 53 feet below ground. The excavation doubles the arena’s square footage to 800,000, which, among other fan-friendly measures will keep all “back-of-the-house” and loading dock facilities underground. This is to ensure that fans face no inconvenience.

Music aficionados will be thrilled to know the eight-bay loading dock area plus world-class acoustics under the roof will be highly appealing to the biggest musical acts on tour and will help make the events mind-blowing ones.

Those y-columns are now all reconnected and same for all four buttresses, east, west, north and, as of late last week, south. The south buttress completion is a huge milestone because it bears a significant amount of the roof weight plus serves as part of the new front entrance on Thomas Street, along with the 36,000-square-foot Alaska Airlines Atrium.

Remarked Jesse Erickson, Quality Engineer for Mortensen, “It’s the piece to tie the roof in so it is completely freestanding. The south buttress has been difficult and challenging … we had to tie into the buttress with geometry and angles the ironworker crews had never done before, tying in rebar [intricate steel-caging work] at the perfect angle.”

“The slope of the Thomas Street buttress also required pre-engineered geo foam cut at precise, unforgiving angles to fit into the space. The first few days of the ironwork required consultation with engineers by the hour,” informed Erickson, who belongs to Seattle in US and who watched “many Sonics games and concerts from Red Hot Chili Peppers to Coldplay” at the site.

The final concrete pour over the rebar work and geo form sealed the deal on all of the “going down before we go up” prep work, said Ken Johnsen. From five-stories below and beyond will rise not only the Kraken but brand-new, world-beater, zero-carbon fully sustainable arena for sports, music, family entertainment and community events.

Referring to the steel erection work being well under way in the northeast and northwest corners of the site, Johnsen, Construction Executive for Oak View Group and the Seattle Kraken, remarked, “We’re building the arena now. We’re done with excavating, temporarily holding up the roof and putting in the underground [utilities]. We are now fully in building mode.”

Mentioning that the project was undergoing evolution every day, Johnsen added, “One major change in the last two months is we are now hanging the banners of Climate Pledge Arena and the Seattle Kraken. It is so cool to say those two announcements were made on the floor of the arena and under this roof.”

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