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2016 Award: Associated Masonry Contractors of Houston Golden Trowel Excellence Award

Project: University of Houston Football Stadium


The new University of Houston $120 million football stadium, now named TDECU Stadium, seats 40,000 guests, offers upgraded amenities, and a variety of seating options. It was built in alignment with adjacent campus buildings to provide stunning views of downtown Houston. There is a 360-degree concourse around the stadium that provides an uninterrupted view of the field along 67% of the concourse. The concourse also allows natural light and air flow to filter in but still protects the fans from the elements.

Camarata Masonry Systems, Ltd. (CMS) installed a total of 210,000 regular light weight CMU, consisting of 8” CMU (158,000), 6” CMU (42,600) and 12” CMU (9,400). In addition, three separate colors of burnished CMU, consisting of Limestone CMU (20,200), Charcoal CMU (20,800) and Pecan CMU (24,000) were installed. The three colors of CMU were spaced throughout the stadium and although the pattern appeared to be random, the walls were specifically identified on the drawings as to which color CMU was required. To ensure each color CMU was placed correctly the locations were clearly marked where a specific color would stop and different color would begin. Several of the colored burnished CMU required multiple finished faces (i.e., the front, end or back faces) and close attention to detail was a priority when ordering and installing the CMU to ensure there was sufficient material to complete the project. In addition, extra time was needed when installing the CMU that was finished on the face and back face to ensure both exposed sides were built within tolerances.

Each color of burnished CMU required a separate colored mortar. To avoid any stoppage in work, careful planning was required to make sufficient amounts of each color of mortar. Additionally, each color had to be mixed in separate equipment because residue from a previously mixed mortar could change the color of the new mortar being mixed. The design plan also included three different colors of brick (33,000 total) and, like the CMU, each brick color required a separate mortar color. This complicated the installation at the peak of the project because seven different color mortar batches (three for the burnished CMU, three for the brick and standard gray for the regular CMU) were being made at the same time

The University of Houston football stadium is a modern and carefully designed structure replacing Robertson Stadium which was built in 1942. The new state-of-the-art stadium, framing the downtown Houston skyline at the northwest side, enhances the game day experience while serving as a focal point to the ever growing university.


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