Certainly, college and major league sporting events are representative of American experiences. A new sports stadium often becomes a point of pride for a university or city. For the construction industry, these projects are recognized as some of the most prestigious facilities to build. Sports facilities are exciting projects that often change the skyline of the cities in which they are located.
Complex building projects. One of the unique aspects of sports stadiums is that they are sophisticated buildings that combine aspects of many different types of construction into one state-of-the-art facility. They include some of the most advanced technology such as:
- Retractable roofs that open and close depending on the weather; as well as
- Playing fields that are built on railroad tracks so that they can be removed from the facility to remain outdoors when not in use.
Sports stadium projects can also have luxury suites, restaurants, concession stands, nightclubs, locker rooms, training rooms, banks, pools, spas and so much more.
Stadium construction also requires specific skills, a level of experience and a commitment to safety that not all contractors possess. For this reason, the list of contractors with the ability and expertise to perform stadium construction is short. Kirlin is one of the most experienced contractors for this line of work.
While all construction requires a unique skill set, the construction of a sports facility typically requires a contractor with a proven track record and acquired knowledge. Given the investment made by the owner of a sports facility, as well as the community in which it is located, the contractors selected to perform the work are held to the highest standards. Sports facilities demand the following expertise from the companies that perform the work.
Contractors must exhibit the highest level of safety standards and commitment to ensure the project is a safe working environment for all its workers and visitors. Kirlin has an Experience Modification Rate (EMR) of .65, which is well below the industry average and speaks to our commitment to safety. (Note: the EMR rate is a number used by insurance companies to gauge both past cost of injuries and future chances of risk).
Fast track scheduling.
Since this type of construction generally has an event scheduled for its opening venue, all efforts are made to complete the project on time, and on schedule. Kirlin is able to maintain a defined schedule because of three advantages: 1) our in-house expertise on BIM/3D modeling, 2) our innovative fabrication facilities, and 3) our internal systems for pre-planning and scheduling. In truth, the complexity of sports facility construction matches up perfectly to the strengths of Kirlin.
Many times, these types of projects can experience initial budget opportunities that typically get worked out through a collaborative working environment with the owners, architects, engineers and contractors. Kirlin’s collaborative team approach is critical on this type of construction and serves us and our customers well.
Many sport facility projects are on a design-assist delivery schedule or are designed as a GMP (guaranteed maximum price) project. These delivery types allow for the commencement of construction even as the final design is being completed. Kirlin’s in-house design capabilities, combined with our engineering skills, are advantageous to this delivery method and are often the reason for our competitive edge.
The Kirlin Experience.
As noted above, the construction of sports facilities is one of the strengths of Kirlin. In fact, Kirlin is one of the most experienced stadium builders in the country with 22 sporting facilities as part of its resume. Examples of Kirlin’s sport facilities include:
- The Ballpark Of The Palm Beaches, one of Kirlin’s most recent projects, is the Spring Training facility for both the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals located in West Palm Beach, FL.
- Marlins Park is the baseball park for the Miami Marlins, located in Miami FL.
- Amway Center, the Orlando Magic arena in Orlando, FL.
- Nationals Park is the Ballpark for the Washington Nationals in Washington DC.
- Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, FL is the Football stadium of the Miami Dolphins and the University of Miami.
- Raymond James Stadium is a multi-purpose football stadium located in Tampa FL. It serves as the home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as well as the NCAA’s South Florida Bulls football team.
- American Airlines Arena is a sports and entertainment arena in downtown Miami, and home to the Miami Heat.
- FedEx Field is a football stadium in Landover, MD and home of the Washington Redskins football team.
- Capital One Arena (formerly the Verizon Center) is an indoor arena and home of the Washington Capitals and the Washington Wizards.
- Oriole Park at Camden Yards is the baseball park and home for the Baltimore Orioles
- PNC Arena in Raleigh, NC is the home of the North Carolina State Wolfback Basketball team.
- Cole Field House is the indoor practice facility for the U of Maryland football team.
- Wendell H. Murphy Football Center is the training center for NC State in Raleigh, NC.
- Carter-Finley Stadium in Wake County, NC is home to the NC State Wolfpack football team.
- Eddie Smith Fieldhouse is the home of the North Carolina Tar Heels during the indoor track and field season, as well as the indoor training facility for Carolina football.
The Kirlin advantage.
With every sport facility project, there is a need for some special planning. Often, that means taking advantage of the latest technologies to manage and prioritize the project. One of Kirlin’s greatest strengths is our ability to build the project virtually through design and coordination. We use BIM (Building Information Modeling) to build the project virtually. As a result of this effort, we are then able to take the design model and break it down into buildable pieces (also known as “spooling”). Once the project has been broken down, we are able to fabricate the pieces – which ultimately allows us to build the project piece-by-piece in the field. The entire process includes building the project offsite in one of our many fabrication facilities, then moving it to the site, and finally, assembling it on location, somewhat like an elaborate erector set. This construction process allows for several advantages, including 1) the ability to maximize the allowable schedule time, 2) minimize safety concerns, 3) provide the highest quality and 4) increase productivity onsite for a professional installation.
Minimizing field conditions.
Since we are able to build the project virtually, we can maximize our fabrication off-site and assemble the pieces onsite, minimizing certain field conditions and safety concerns. This allows us to build more aggressively and safely in a controlled environment. Our work is also more timely, since we can build in the shop, rather than onsite and ship it to the site for just in time delivery. The shop environment, logistics, temperature, and other conditions never change. In-house fabrication is the most productive and safe working environment that can even be extended to 24-hour fabrication if necessary.
The need to pre-plan and fabricate offsite for on time delivery is critical in these types of projects. Our goal is to have the field forces receive the material and equipment they need, when it is needed, to maintain the project schedule and to allow assembly of the pieces from the shop, with no modifications. Kirlin has fabrication facilities up and down the east coast, enabling timely projects with greater flexibility, higher levels of productivity and increased safety.
Safe work environment.
Safety is always the utmost concern when constructing sports facilities. Indeed, safety is always a concern, on any type of project, but stadium projects in particular have a lot of high work and very large equipment. Additionally, systems are often required to be installed on a fast track schedule. Kirlin understands that our people are the most important and valuable asset of the company. We are passionately committed to ensuring that we protect all of our employees by providing a safe and healthy working environment. We utilize a concept of safety throughout the entire design and construction process. We perform safety and constructability reviews, coordinating all departments and all personnel, throughout each phase of the project.
We recognize that thoughtful planning minimizes accidents. Daily pre-task planning includes Stretch and Flex – which is a program designed to minimize soft tissue injuries. We continually review job hazard analysis reports, and our field manager conducts weekly tool box talks. The content of these discussions is project specific or relate to the project in some way. We talk about critical elements that should be discussed prior to the work being performed. Examples include: talks on ladder awareness, training on specific equipment, the proper way to lift, and other pertinent information. These tool box talks are conducted once a week by the field supervisor and take place at the job site with every person on the job.
Working with subcontractors.
Our subcontract partners are critical to our success on stadium projects. We typically have subcontractors performing various skilled work such as sheetmetal, building automation controls, insulation, test and balance and chemical treatment to name a few.
There is also a type of networking involved in a sports facility project. Almost all of these projects include outreach programs to increase local participation and community involvement. We work with local minority, women and disadvantaged businesses to bring them into the project as often as possible. Kirlin embraces the M/WBE programs and works very hard to exceed the requirements on these projects. For more information on sporting facility construction, please contact the office of Kirlin nearest your location.