The new state-of-the-art home of the Atlanta Falcons is serving as host to Super Bowl LIII (53) between New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams. The $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz stadium is brimming with high-tech surprises and a whole lot of ductwork manufactured and installed by two members of the Georgia-SMACNA chapter. In addition, the highly unique retractable ceiling was produced by R.F. Knox and serves as a marquee feature of the stadium.
BHW Sheet Metal Company and R.F. Knox Co. Inc., worked side-by-side numerous times throughout the project to coordinate and connect their ductwork and equipment to ensure a flawless performance.
SMACNA member R.F. Knox Co., Smyrna, Ga., fabricated and installed one million pounds of spiral ductwork ranging from 66 to 96 inches in diameter, much of it was lined with Spiracoustic Plus insulation from Johns Manville, a SMACNA Premier Partner. When Knox arrived on the $11 million project it was already behind schedule meaning that workers had to put in some long days and nights.
“Being involved in building the host stadium was a challenging, yet amazing experience,” Jack Knox, president of R.F. Knox, explained. “To know that millions of fans from around the world will turn their attention to the Super Bowl and to know that we played a small part in the construction, is definitely rewarding.”
“One thing is for sure, when sitting in the stadium you can’t help but notice the overhead spiral duct,” Knox, SMACNA’s past president, said. “To the average person, they won’t think anything about it. But to the person who understands construction or the fact that 96” round spiral is hanging 200 feet over their heads, it will make them wonder how that got installed.”
SMACNA member, BHW Sheet Metal Company, Jonesboro, Ga., fabricated and installed more than 1.4 million pounds of duct in the Falcons’ home stadium, then installed 650+ pieces of equipment throughout the structure. They racked up more than 100,000 field/shop manhours on this once in a lifetime project.
BHW’s assignment began with fabricating concrete forms for the general contractor that continued from ground level up to sections of the support steel. However, the bulk of their work included HVAC ductwork throughout the building. Every office, restroom, corridor, common area, conference room, locker room, medical facility, training room, sauna, spa, and a portion of the concession areas—all have ductwork fabricated and installed by BHW. Even the fireplace of the Falcons team owner, Arthur Blank, in his personal suite, had a custom stainless-steel flue pipe installed by BHW.
Heading BHW's all-pro operations team was Keith Harris company president. He was backed by Lamar Jenkins, estimator; Jeff Stark, project manager (retired); Randall Miles, project manager; Greg Bailey, general foreman; Rich Baehre Jr., foreman; Paul Eubanks, field superintendent; Joel Portwood, safety director; Tammy Beaman, fabrication lead; and Jon Cone, drafter. Equally important team players were the 55 members of SMART Local 85.
According to Randall Miles, project manager for BHW, “The only thing that would have put the icing on the cake would be watching the Falcons play in the Super Bowl this year.” Knox admitted that he is still a little sore about the last time the Falcons were in the Super Bowl and lost to the Patriots in 2017, so his parting words are “GO RAMS!!”
Take flight and see the stadium’s exterior, roof, and interior with these fly-in videos.