According to Erleen Hatfield, partner-in-charge of the project for Buro Happold
, who provided structural engineering services for the arena, the architects (DLR Group
) designed the arena in such a way that the majority of its construction could take place simultaneously with the removal of the tracks. Unused tracks in the center of the site were the first to be removed, which meant that this portion of the land was free for construction well in advance of the outer area. “So the arena became a bit of a hybrid,” says Hatfield. “In the center, it is concrete. But its outer structure is made of steel, and steel was chosen because it is faster to erect.” Steel members will be prefabricated off-site and will arrive ready to assemble once the edges of the site are cleared. “The minute the tracks are gone, the pile machine will come in and start work,” says Hatfield. By allowing the site constraints to determine the building’s layout and material choices, the project should proceed on schedule for its anticipated 2013 completion.