Buro Happold Selected as Structural Engineers for New Basketball Arena in Nebraska

The 16,500-seat arena – which will break ground in September – will be the new home of the Huskers, aka the Nebraska Cornhuskers, the men’s and women’s basketball teams of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

New York, NY, August 13, 2011 --(PR.com)-- Multi-disciplinary engineering firm Buro Happold announced that it is providing structural engineering services for the West Haymarket Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska; construction will begin in September. When the arena opens in the fall of 2013, it will seat 16,500 with the capacity for 1,500 additional seats in a future expansion. The estimated project cost is about $180 million.

Buro Happold used Revit, a Building Information Modeling (BIM) software package, to develop the structural design for the complex building and site. “In fact, the entire multi-disciplinary team used BIM and the three-dimensional models enhanced communication and coordination,” explained structural engineer Erleen Hatfield, who is partner-in-charge of the project for Buro Happold. “ We will pass on these benefits to the contractor, who will utilize the BIM model to assist in construction.”

Using BIM technology, Buro Happold developed creative structural solutions so the project can be built in two consecutive parts. This was necessary because the site is located on top of two railroad tracks. Although construction will begin in a month, the tracks won’t be fully removed for a year.

The first part of the building is a concrete structure that encloses the basketball court and the seating areas. This structure will be shoehorned into the land between the tracks so construction can start while the site is being cleared. The second part of the project is the façade or “shell,” which has a steel structure that wraps around the arena. Construction will begin on the shell when the tracks are taken out.

Hatfield is also a Lincoln native and an alumna of the University of Nebraska. She explained that, “We drew on our previous experience to resolve the challenges posed by the project’s complex site and design. Due to the ongoing site work, the design team modified the construction sequence and used construction materials and methodologies to keep costs down, all while expediting completion. The new arena will be a boost to Huskers fans and downtown Lincoln. I am delighted to bring my structural engineering expertise to a project for my alma mater, and my hometown.”

There will be three premium seating options: suites, loge boxes and club seats. Each option will include parking in a VIP parking garage as well as other amenities.

The design team includes architect DLR Group in Omaha and Lincoln; structural engineer Buro Happold in New York; MEP engineer M.E. Group in Lincoln; and construction managers Mortenson Construction and Hampton Enterprises in Minneapolis.

Images available upon request

About Buro Happold
Buro Happold is an independent international practice of consulting engineers. Since 1976 we have grown in size and reach to serve public and private clients across a full range of sectors through an international network of 29 offices; our five North American offices are based in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. We draw on the multi-disciplinary skills, knowledge and experience of our local experts to design and deliver award winning building, infrastructure and environmental projects that excel for clients, engage with communities and enrich the lives of users. Sustainability, innovation and holistic consulting are at the heart of everything we do and we are committed to touching the earth lightly. We think harder and are dedicated to addressing the big challenges that face the planet – climate change, population growth and scarcity of natural resources. Current and recent projects include the Grand Museum of Egypt (Cairo), the Louvre (Abu Dhabi), the Aviva Stadium (Dublin), the London 2012 Olympic Stadium, the King Abdullah Financial District (Riyadh), the Royal Shakespeare Theatre (Stratford) and the High Line (New York).

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Tami Hausman