There are also 100 rock anchors that fight uplift pressure. “Each uplift anchor has an allowable load capacity of 175,000 lbs,” she adds. Even the FieldTurf playing surface has a pile-supported structural slab below it because of the weak soils.

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The team also dug up more than 250,000 cu yd of contaminated sand, silt, clay, and debris, and was able to safely reuse much of the fill. In addition, the team rerouted various utilities serving the racetrack, arena, and existing stadium that crisscrossed the new stadium’s footprint. “The proximity to the other facilities also created logistical complications for laydown areas and deliveries,” Lamping says. “It was a tremendous job of coordination and scheduling.”

The heart of construction began in fall 2007 with steel erection, an effort set up after detailed BIM-driven modeling of structural steel design and other skeletal features. The team “horizontally” built out the superstructure’s steel beams, girders, columns, and bracing that support the precast concrete seating sections – without using scaffolding or temporary work surfaces – by pouring concrete over the decking and rebar for each level and giving the steel erectors a completed slab as their platform.

Innovative Play-Calling There were precious few opportunities to call audibles on the project because of extensive planning at every stage.

That planning included use of modern tools to streamline communications, such as real-time document sharing software for sharing drawings, construction documents, monthly reports, progress photos, NCR logs, and schedule updates. It also featured application of radio frequency identification (RFID) tracking tags to track materials such as the 3,200 precast concrete sections on the project, which let the construction team follow every single piece until installation.

The project also sported a decidedly green approach. While the team started on sustainable planning too late to qualify for LEED certification, the ownership entered into a memorandum of understanding with the federal Environmental Protection Agency last year to set goals such as using low-sulfur fuel on equipment and recycling 90% of the old stadium and 83% of construction waste.

The project ultimately diverted 7,000 tons of debris from landfills; used recycled materials in stadium seating, steel piles, and aluminum louvers; and saves about 11 million gallons of water per year through waterless urinals, artificial turf, special irrigation and landscaping, and low-flow fixtures.

Other notable achievements include recording only 37 accidents across 4.6 million man-hours, including only 14 involving days away from work. The team implemented a rigorous safety regimen that pored deeply into each incident for causes and solutions, and reoriented subsequent safety and team meetings – as well as employee retraining modules – around lessons learned. Falciani also saluted a smooth relationship with the Bergen County Building Trades.

Skanska itself exceeded its goal of signing on small, disadvantage, minority, or women-owned business enterprises in the contractor or vendor base, achieving 32% participation, and it ran in-depth seminars to help these enterprises succeed on a large project. The team even developed an innovative checklist to streamline how state building inspectors could track progress on the project through daily updates and real-time tracking.

The whole effort added up to not only a winning project, but a rewarding one as well, Falciani says. “I’m 57 years old, and I truly feel that no one my age should be having as much fun as I did at the Meadowlands,” he adds.

Key Players

Developer/Owner: New Meadowlands Stadium Co.
CM: Skanska USA Building, Skanksa USA Civil
Architect, MEP Engineer: EwingCole
Civil Engineer: Langan Engineering and Environmental Services
Structural Engineer: Thornton Tomasetti