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Reliant Stadium, 2003 OCEA
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The $450 million Reliant Stadium was the first-ever NFL stadium with an operable roof. The stadium is unique in that it was designed to accommodate two very different tenants - the NFL’s Houston Texans and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (which conducts the world’s largest stock show and rodeo each year). Reliant Stadium’s groundbreaking design was a response to the Texan’s founder, Robert McNair’s, desire to have the football team play on grass under the open sky and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s requirement of a closed roof for full show rigging and protection from the elements. The distinctive arched, fabric roof design that resulted became an instant architectural landmark and set new world standards for operable roof design, including unique two - wheel transporters, a first-of-its kind computerized system of electric motors, a new stress relief feature (the four bar linkage, an innovative inflatable rubber bladder system to seal key joints in the roof to keep rain out of the stadium), and computerized clamping system to keep the lightweight structure secure under high winds.

 

The construction of this ground-breaking design required the development of new methods such as the use of structural steel templates and stabilizing assemblies atop 150 ft. columns, and a “plug n’ play” method of assembly, never before used for a retractable roof -  which allowed the tri-chord trusses to be erected and assembled using a simple plug-in connection. Another unique feature of this stadium is its removable grass field, which is constructed of 3,000 lb. sod pieces in steel trays which can be removed so that a hard surface floor can be set up for certain events; the field can then be moved back into place for games.  At its opening, Reliant Stadium was the NFL’s largest stadium, covering more than 12 acres. It was also the largest air-conditioned space in Texas, and, outside of multi-terminal airports, the largest space for public assembly in the lone star state.


Owners: 
Harris County
 Harris County Sports & Convention Corporation
Engineers:
 Kellogg, Brown, and Root Inc (civil)
  Walter P. Moore and Associates Inc. (structural)
Architects:
Hermes Architects
 Lockwood, Andrews, Newman Inc.
 HOK Sport (now Populous)
Contractor: 
JV of Manhattan/Beers
Photo:
 Lonestar Mike, Wikipedia

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