Raising a king-sized roof in Queens

As Serena Williams‘ bid for her historic Grand Slam continues at 7 p.m. tonight at the U.S. Open, the super structure of Arthur Ashe Stadium’s new retractable dome will hang overhead. The lightweight-fabric roof won’t be complete until next year, but we wanted to take a moment to share the backstory of the innovative thinking behind this unique construction project.

The largest tennis stadium in the world is sinking into a mound of coal ash decomposing at a rate of about a half an inch per year. So putting a retractable roof on the 23,771-seat structure that can’t support more weight was a particularly gnawing conundrum that kept countless architects up at night.

In fact, the Detroit-based international architecture firm, ROSSETTI, felt compelled to continue working on the riddle of covering Arthur Ashe Stadium even after initially losing the bid for the $150 million dome in 2009. ROSSETTI couldn’t resist the challenge of solving what other firms and four architectural studies couldn’t — even at the risk of taking a loss on a design that wouldn’t see the light of day.

“This is probably the first and only time we have done something like this,” Jon Disbrow, ROSSETTI’s lead architect for the project told us. Continue Reading ›

Harnessing solar energy with windows

In the United States alone, there are 437 billion square feet of windows installed every year. Imagine if all of those windows and the already existing windows on earth could produce solar energy to power the very buildings they adorn.

The idea of a transparent “solar-panel window” that could turn a high-rise glass tower such as One World Trade Center in New York, into one enormous solar panel is not some far-fetched idea of the future. Several companies, including SolarWindow Technologies and Onyx Solar, boast products that could not only reduce a skyscraper’s reliance on the grid, but possibly power entire city blocks one day. These solar panels embedded into windows have a minimal effect on the window’s aesthetic and maintenance.

Continue Reading ›

Construction by the Numbers

Welcome to the second episode of “Construction by the Numbers” hosted by Suffolk’s Vice President of Strategy Nicole Mills. In these reports, Nicole provides updates on what’s happening with the economy and insights into how those updates are affecting the construction industry. Click below to learn more!

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