With only a year and a half to get the stadium ready, the facilities group turned to Burns & McDonnell for a comprehensive condition assessment that would serve as the basis for specifications guiding the procurement of new equipment and systems. This effort included upgrading the telecommunications infrastructure, replacing the end-of-life HVAC and lighting control systems, and capturing the domain knowledge their operators used to manually operate the stadium.
Burns & McDonnell soon found that the initial condition assessment scope uncovered a need for modified sequences of operation to enhance occupant comfort and energy optimization. The direct digital control (DDC) systems component and enterprise environment were especially critical because they serve as the operator's command and control interface for nearly 650 pieces of HVAC equipment and nearly 800 lighting circuits for a 1.7 million square foot stadium. Under a unified design-build contract, the upgrade included installing an open-architecture controls platform to serve as the digital brains of the enhanced HVAC and lighting systems.
Another foundational element was installing a fiber cable backbone throughout the facility to future-proof the network infrastructure for implementing new technologies, such as a 5G wireless telecommunications upgrade.
No Outages or Shutdowns
Executing all elements of this complex project in a live stadium environment required a programmatic approach. The most urgently needed repairs and upgrades were sequenced according to priority and executed precisely and orderly within tight windows so that no previously scheduled events at the stadium would be disrupted.
The trickiest part of this upgrade was the migration of disparate technology systems. It meant that older and newer systems would have to work in tandem and be fully operational for live events. Because of tight planning and coordination, this project element achieved 100% success with no events deferred, canceled or disrupted over the 18-month project duration.
Monitoring-Based Commissioning Environment
A monitoring-based commissioning (MBCx) environment was included in this project to provide advanced fault detection and diagnosis (AFDD) and energy use analysis during the project's construction phase. The MBCx provided visibility into how systems were performing and was instrumental in achieving four primary goals — efficient equipment operation, optimal utility performance, continued occupant comfort, and streamlined operation and maintenance procedures. The MBCx continues to uncover equipment performance deficiencies and has enabled a more proactive method of identifying needed equipment repairs and insights into modifying the system sequence of operations to enhance operational efficiencies and energy savings.