Sports, Entertainment, Arena, Architecture, Roofing, Fort Worth, Texas
Trail Drive Management Corp.
The new Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas, was designed to echo the iconic Will Rogers Memorial Center, a historic landmark built in 1934. The site of the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo as well as other concerts and sporting events, Dickies Arena was designed to provide a modern entertainment experience and configurable event spaces that would stand the test of time. The multiple roof systems on the project â€” including the plaza deck surrounding the arena â€” were essential in delivering on these goals.
Dickies Arena features a domed main roof with a cupola at the top that pays homage to its historic neighbor. â€śOne of the major themes, especially of the dome roof structure itself, was to have a kind of throwback to the original Will Rogers Center, which is still there,â€ť says Eric Nelson, AIA, RID, CCCA, vice president at HKS, the architect of record for Dickies Arena. â€śThe Will Rogers Center was one of the first buildings of its type to have a long-span steel truss roof system. We used that existing structure as the inspiration for the roof structure inside the arena. We have these very thin, elegant looking trusses that are very art deco.â€ť
The new structureâ€™s domed roof is surrounded by low-slope roofs and complemented by two towers topped with metal roofs. Dickies Arena also features a pavilion with a standing seam metal roof, which sits on a plaza deck that serves as an outdoor event space as well as a giant roof system covering exhibit space and areas for housing rodeo livestock. The venue is also designed to provide excellent acoustics for concerts and features luxurious millwork and finishes throughout to provide a touch of elegance. â€śI like to say that itâ€™s a rodeo arena, but itâ€™s designed like an opera house,â€ť Nelson says.
It took an experienced team of design and construction professionals to envision and execute the project, including HKS, the architect of record; David M. Schwartz Architects, the design architect; The Beck Group, the general contractor; Jeff Eubank Roofing Co., Inc., the roof system installer; and Sunbelt Building Services LLC, the insulation distributor and installer of the plaza deck.
The roof system specified for the dome featured an 80-mil PVC system with decorative ribs manufactured by Sika Sarnafil. â€śThe roof system is one that we use pretty regularly on our large sports projects, the Feltback PVC,â€ť notes Nelson. â€śItâ€™s a lot more durable than other single-ply roof membranes, so we really like it a lot. Dickies Arena is an arena that wasnâ€™t just built for the next 20 years; itâ€™s meant to be there for the next 100 years, so we wanted to make sure we used nothing but the highest-quality materials, especially with all of the hailstorms that we can get out there in Fort Worth.â€ť
The roof system installer, Jeff Eubank Roofing Co., Inc. of Fort Worth, Texas, tackled the dome roof first, followed by the low-slope sections and the metal roofs. Work on the dome roof began in July of 2018. â€śThe project progressed pretty quickly,â€ť says Jeff Eubank, vice president of Jeff Eubank Roofing Co. â€śThe dome in and of itself was like two different projects. The top half of the dome is pretty workable and walkable, and the bottom 40 percent of the dome is almost vertical.â€ť
The Sarnafil Decor system was installed over an Epic acoustical deck, which posed some logistical and safety challenges. â€śWe had to engineer special anchors because a typical tie-off anchor could not be used,â€ť Eubank explains. â€śBefore we could set foot on the job, we had to engineer special tie-off anchors which nested into the acoustical deck.â€ť
Eubank and a structural engineer worked with Epic Deck to construct anchor points that would meet requirements for fall arrest. The half-inch aluminum, F-shaped anchors were designed to rest in the flutes of the acoustical deck and featured a ring provide a tie-off point. They were set in place using a crane.
Safety concerns included the Texas weather. â€śOur biggest challenge came with the heat,â€ť says Eubank. â€śSummers in North Texas are brutal enough, but at the end of last summer, a high pressure system just stalled over Fort Worth. We were in the middle of a drought, with temperatures up to 110 degrees. Youâ€™re up on a deck with nowhere to hide, and with it was pushing 200 degrees up there. From a life safety standpoint, we ended up pushing t