Skeletons have never proved so exciting in Edmonton—even in October—as the one forming out of more than 15,000 individual pieces of steel at the new Rogers Place NHL arena.
As PCL Construction wrapped up early stages of the new arena, set to open for NHL play in 2016, by completing excavation and installing 700 piles and 300 concrete columns, the steel work gives exterior shape to the oil-drop-inspired arena.
Structal-Heavy Steel Construction leads the way for installing the 15,390 pieces and 9,000 tonnes that will take three on-site cranes—the largest crane has a boom height of 310 ft—to install.
The 20,500-seat arena will include a “winter garden,” a climate-controlled public space that ties a new light rail terminal and community skating rink to the NHL venue, giving the entire project a scope larger than simply a typical arena. During construction, the forming of the steel proves the most intriguing portion, as the next year will give definite shape to the final look of the steel and glass structure.
Among the over 15,300 pieces includes the shortest piece of steel measuring three inches long and the longest piece at 85 ft. The average weight of a steel beam, according to Structal, is 300 pounds. Put end-to-end, the steel needed to build Rogers Place would stretch about 100 miles.
Once the steel takes shape, crews will install over one million sq ft of metal decking to form the floors of each above-grade level.
Designed by 360 Architects, the new $480 million venue will replace the 40-year-old 16,800-seat Rexall Place northeast of downtown. Along with the heavy use of steel and glass on the exterior to keep the downtown space from turning into a bunker, masonry and zinc treatments will provide detail.
Inside, the design includes 9,000 seats in the lower bowl and an open catwalk, a first for an NHL arena. For now, though, NHL fans in Edmonton will get excited about a skeleton, even after Halloween passes.
Tim Newcomb is Engineering News-Record’s Pacific Northwest contributor. He also writes for Popular Mechanics, Sports Illustrated and more. You can follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb or visit his website here.