Energy-saving and beautiful CarbonCast walls hit a home run
- Project Globe Life Field, Home of the Texas Rangers
- Location Arlington, Texas
- Type of Precast CarbonCast High Performance Insulated Wall Panels
- Project Size 1.7 million sf
- CarbonCast Surface Area 90,000 sf
- Architect HKS, Inc.
- Contractor Manhattan Construction
- Awards 2021 PCI Design Award "Best Stadium"
- Precaster Enterprise Precast Concrete
This 1.7 million-square-feet ballpark is located on 13 acres and holds 41,000 seats. It will be home to games ranging from high school and college sporting events to professional and even international baseball games.
Taking into consideration the hot climate of the state in which it is located a massive retractable roof (that would open and close depending on the weather) was incorporated. What is unique about this retractable roof endeavor is that in the closed structure introduces a fully climate-controlled atmosphere, a first of its kind in a major league baseball facility. The design aims to improve the comfort of watching games, with wider seats and varied front-row seating design. This is supported by a steel frame on precast arches.
Two concourse rings allow for easy circulation. Restrooms and concessions are receded from the seating bowl to avoid the obstruction of views. The plaza-facing north wall was designed with a mixture of 18 brick, local limestone, granite arches filled with curtain walls in between. People will be able to walk on the corridor underneath the arches, which is the main concourse, and look down onto the plaza on one side and the game on the other. The design of a large plaza and multi-level landscape outside the stadium was inspired by farmhouse porches. The project also borrowed elements from other ballparks, paying tribute to the neighboring stadiums by using arches. It also referenced other local arch-sporting landmarks.
Schedule was a major hurdle to overcome. To achieve the aesthetic look of hand laid brick along the north facade, it required a creative approach. The precaster worked with the brick company to secure a thin brick version of the same full brick that was being used throughout the ballpark (to cast them into the precast column wrap units which were eventually lifted into place and hung from the steel structure).
To accommodate schedule and the shared use of cranes onsite, precast was typically set during the 2nd shift, overnight to avoid conflicts with other trades.
While the COVID pandemic has delayed the timing of the public enjoying this new ballpark experience, with the opening of this new facility, the city and its Major League Baseball organization are now prepared to go forward from a position of strength when the time is right. The architect noted “Sitting in the empty stands, witnessing a training session was a strange experience. You hear so many more nuances of the game, like voices, and the clear crack of the bat. We’re all ready for baseball to be back.”
A new approach was taken to the precast. An irregular “distressed finish” on the precast provides random, organic veins / impressions, giving the appearance of natural stone, but at a fraction of the cost. The architect noted, “The level of exterior texture, gave the façade a travertine look, but in more monolithic, large random blocks. Instead of being consistent, it was consistently inconsistent and that worked for the betterment of the project”. The use of precast simulates randomly-sized monolithic stone blocks intended to break down the scale of 45’-60’ high facade walls while ‘disguising’ the inherent vertical joint between the conventional stacked 15’x30’ precast panels.
A rapid retractable roof combined with energy efficient sandwich walls (more than R-10 with two inches of XPS insulation) will allow patrons to enjoy outdoor ambiance in virtually air-conditioned comfort, a first for a ballpark-specific stadium that is open to the elements. When open, this roof rolls out onto a steel frame with decorative thin brick precast arches. The 90,000 square feet of CarbonCast High Performance Insulated Wall Panels and non-insulated architectural precast concrete walls will have a combination of thin brick, formliner, sandblast finish and the unique “distressed finish.”
The contractor emphasized early on to the design team that 100% hand laid brick work would not work with the construction schedule. The decision was made to split up the brick work (to be precast on the exterior and hand laid on the interior). Since the masonry in the north arcade were part of the same arch element, the precaster had to work closely with the masonry company and the contractor to ensure that similar masonry color and coursing complemented the hand laid brick on the interior side / face of the arches for a cohesive aesthetic. The arches now read as one singular element thanks to the collaborative efforts of the design and construction teams. The slightly varied appearance of the brick provided the aesthetics of an aged warehouse, which was highly appropriate for this district.