2014 Golden Trowel Awards – Honor

Houston, TX (May, 2014) – The Associated Masonry Contractors of Houston presented Camarata Masonry Systems, Ltd. with the Golden Trowel Honor Award in Block category for BBVA Compass Center

BBVA Compass Stadium (Houston Dynamo Stadium) is a state-of-the-art open-air stadium designed to host MLS Dynamo matches as well as FIFA international soccer, college football, international rugby and concert events. The 22,000-seat stadium is the first soccer-specific stadium in Major League Soccer located in a city’s downtown area. The new stadium, in combination with the nearby Minute Maid Park (of the Houston Astros) and Toyota Center (of the Houston Rockets,) has helped rename this area of Houston the “Stadium District”.

Camarata Masonry Systems, LTD (CMS) installed over 202,000 6” and 8” heavyweight CMU. Over 60,000 of these CMU were required in several load bearing walls that support the precast seating around the entire stadium. These walls were required well in advance of the precast seating installation and had varying heights and embed locations. Proper planning was required to ensure the heights and embed locations were correct before the massive precast seating pieces were scheduled to be crane lifted into place. Due to the high unit assembly loads anticipated for the load bearing CMU walls, all of the units were high density. This made the units extremely heavy and difficult to install. However, they do provide a more smooth surface finish which complements the stack bond pattern used predominately throughout the stadium.

The project also contained an extremely tight schedule and only allocated five months to perform all of the CMU work. This resulted in working four separate crews, two crews worked on the load bearing walls on opposite sides of the stadium with the other two crews following behind them installing the non-load bearing walls. Efficient distribution of materials and supplies throughout the entire stadium in order to maintain the needs of the four crews became a challenge. Working around other subcontractors was difficult due to the project’s schedule and the number of employees the other subcontractors had onsite to meet it. Last minute design changes also created obstacles however CMS was able to make the adjustments and the work was completed within the original five month duration.

The Houston Dynamo Stadium is a perfect example of what can be achieved when using and designing with CMU. The CMU walls were built to carry specific design loads as well as provide decorative surfaces. The stadium will have a significant impact emerging USA Major League Soccer in Houston and throughout the nation.

Architect: Populos
General Contractor: Manhattan Construction

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