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CONSOL Energy Center

Consol Energy Center

The CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, PA.

Courtesy Populous

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Consol Energy Center
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Consol Energy Center

Thornton Tomasetti provided structural design services for the 720,000-
square-foot, state-of-the-art ice hockey arena for the city of Pittsburgh and
the 2009 Stanley Cup Champions, the NHL Pittsburgh Penguins. The $321
million facility utilized an accelerated fast-track project delivery approach and has received LEED Gold certification. With its capacity to host hockey,
basketball, concerts and an assortment of other events, the arena serves as
the anchor of the urban redevelopment district since its opening in August of

The 100-foot-tall atrium space, with a dramatic spine wall along the west
façade, provides a spectacular view into the concourse and suite levels of
the building. Not only is there an elevation change across the site, the
building is cut into and is founded upon bedrock at the north end of the site
and drilled piers extending through almost 30 feet of “unconsolidated fill” at
the south end. Rammed aggregate piers are required for slab support for
much of the building footprint including the ice sheet. In addition, controlled
low strength materials were utilized as backfill behind a 28-foot-tall by 500-
foot-long basement wall, reducing vertical and lateral earth pressures and
settlement, creating retail space along the entire south end of the arena.

The interior view of the roof is quite remarkable since all catwalk and rigging
girds have been placed at the top chord of the two tied arch trusses, leaving
the plunging tension tie prominently exposed. This element enhances the
interior view, while significantly simplifying the structural steel construction.

Thornton Tomasetti also provided specialty engineering services for the
contractor to ensure the construction schedule and budget were met, and to
prevent delay due to the complex foundation wall system. This service
included the design of detailed bracing plans, as well as direct work with the
contractor to revise backfill schedules to correlate with the state of
completion of the primary structure.

Project Stats

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Owner: Pittsburgh-Allegheny County Sports & Exhibition Authority

Architect: Populous (formerly HOK Sport Venue Event)

Area: 720,000 sf

Completion Date: 2011