As we begin to enjoy live sports and music again, brand new arenas welcome us in, with innovations aimed at protecting us and the environment. What could be more fun then a newly renovated arena—and a new home team? Just ask Seattle Kraken fans.
Building In Real Time
On the East coast, new arenas are popping up in Nassau County and Buffalo New York. Not to be left out, Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena was completed just in time to host a National Hockey League home opener, for the Kraken. Begun in 2018 and interrupted by the pandemic, builders on the massive renovation effort overcame numerous obstacles en route to hockey season. As Construction Dive reports:
Underway since December 2018, the renovation led by Minneapolis-based Mortenson included interiors and walls but preserved the original roof. The windows system was salvaged, as well as the curtain wall system. With construction wrapping up late last month, the NHL’s newest venue since Detroit’s Little Caesars Arena in 2017 will officially open its doors just in time for the Kraken’s home opener.
But getting the arena ready for Saturday night’s opening puck drop was no small feat, as the project team contended with challenges around preserving the roof, digging a tunnel and mitigating the COVID-19 impact.“The speed of the project was a major challenge. We had to build the arena itself about 10% faster than the other major arenas that we’ve completed [to get it ready for the Kraken’s home games],” said Greg Huber, project executive at Mortenson, the general contractor for the arena. “Certainly it was a major challenge, it’s not like we had all the time in the world to build it.”
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Originally, Seattle’s Climate Change Arena was designed by famous architect Paul Thiry for the 1962 World’s Fair. As Construction Dive reports, to preserve the original roof:
The team had to dig down underneath the existing structure and out of the bounds of the building foundation. They then had to support the roof structure while they built a brand new arena underneath it.As part of the demolition phase, the team first took out the windows, though the glass and steel mullions were eventually brought back. The curtain wall system was also salvaged, renovated and reinstalled.
Good To Know
Normal has certainly shifted a lot since many of the large projects finishing up this year were begun. Especially with building underway during the height of the pandemic, new health and safety measures became increasingly important. For example, at the UBS Arena in Belmont New York, clean air flow efforts involved increased attention to innovations in ventilation and filtration systems. Meanwhile, the Seattle Kraken have now taken the ice in a certified, net-zero carbon arena, powered by solar and wind energy. According to The New York Times, in addition to clear and renewable energy, The Kraken also plan to eliminate single-use plastics over time, have electric charging stations for vehicles—and encourage fans to collect rainwater for conversion to ice.
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