New Orleans

Key Players

Owner Tulane University

Lead Design Firm Gould Evans

General Contractor Woodward Design+Build

Structural Engineer Thornton Tomasetti

Civil Engineer Morphy Makofsky

MEP Engineer ADG New Orleans Inc.

Landscape Architect Phronesis

Associate Architect Lee Ledbetter + Associates

Tulane’s new Yulman Stadium has brought football back to uptown New Orleans after 40 years of off-campus play. The 30,000-seat stadium ties into existing buildings on one end and sits 20 ft from neighborhood backyards on the other end. Working on a constrained site with severely limited space, full coordination became very important. The project team, led by contractor Woodward Design+Build, relied heavily on BIM to coordinate work.

As soon as the project began, the team immediately encountered pushback from the community. The city of New Orleans would not allow the team to pull permits for anything, even demolition, until the contractor met with community groups to discuss issues such as water management, parking, trash pickup and usage.

With the narrow and limited site, the team sequenced the work as efficiently as possible, using the field itself as laydown space while building the stadium around it. Woodward also incorporated elements of prefab design to help meet the demanding schedule.

During demolition and pile driving, Woodward went beyond its typical quality-control inspections for matters such as vibration and noise. Crews had to drive more than 3,800 timber and precast concrete piles for the stadium’s foundation. The team also had to remove a number of large cypress stumps and move the piles.

Stormwater drainage was another important issue. One part of the project involved building a 60,000-cu-ft stormwater detention system just outside the stadium.