The auspicious date of 12/12/12 will be memorable for many people but especially for the University of Nebraska, the City of Lincoln, and design and construction team members who watched as the final beam for the new $179 million Pinnacle Bank Arena was hoisted into place. Signed by residents, city officials and project team members, the beam was the centrepiece of the topping off ceremony and a point of pride for the community.
Buro Happold is providing structural engineering services for the new arena which was designed by the DLR Group. The project is located on a parcel that is between two sets of heavily-trafficked railroad tracks. The railroad lines were scheduled to be relocated north of the building site one year into the construction, which posed a challenge for the design team. The design team recommended a phased, mixed-material approach that proposed for the concrete bowl frame to be constructed prior to the track relocation and the steel exterior could be added at a later date. This enabled the railways to remain operational and construction on the bowl could progress according to the client’s schedule.
BIM was fundamental in the execution of the project at all stages. The entire project was done in Revit with 3D coordination with other trades. This allowed the team to develop design strategies that addressed significant project components such as achieving the 350-foot span for the roof truss and addressing the interface between concrete and steel while creating an innovative and elegant structural design solution. A Tekla fabrication model of the primary roof members was created by Buro Happold to expedite the delivery process with the steel fabricator. This model enabled connection review in 3D and was a process that enabled more efficient construction process.
Scheduled to open in September 2013, the 15,900-seat arena, is the cornerstone of the redevelopment of Lincoln’s downtown and will serve as both the home of the Nebraska Cornhuskers men's and women’s basketball teams and as a host to large scale events that will make it a major destination in the region.