ADJ Sheet Metal Inc. met a fast-paced deadline and installed all the sheet metal work for the first stadium devoted to the renowned D.C. United soccer team.
In July, D.C. United, the most decorated franchise in U.S. soccer history, began playing at Audi Field. The brand-new soccer stadium is located just two blocks away from the Washington Nationals Baseball Park in the fast-developing Capitol Riverfront area of Washington, D.C.
The team had been waiting for a stadium of its own for years, and once construction got started, things moved along quickly. From ground-breaking in February 2017 to opening day on July 14, 2018, the project took less than 17 months to complete.
ADJ Sheet Metal Inc. of White Plains, Maryland, performed the sheet metal installation for the entire project. The work included installing black iron kitchen exhaust systems and makeup air systems in the concession stands, stainless steel welded dishwasher exhaust duct work, and aluminum duct in the shower and locker rooms.
ADJ also installed variable air volume (VAV) boxes, rooftop units, and sound attenuators, while also installing sheet metal work in meeting rooms and offices.
The project made use of building information modeling (BIM) coordination and it was a design/build project with Limbach Mechanical (also a SMACNA member) and Pro Air Mechanical.
Because ADJ was working for two separate contractors, they broke the work up into two sections. Mike Doerk, ADJ executive vice-president, was project manager for the south and western part of the structure, while his colleague, Ray Sprouse, project managed the north and east end. ADJ was awarded the job late in the project, Doerk noted, so the pace of the installation had to move quickly.
“We had to work quite a bit just to keep up with the pace of the project,” he said. “When we were awarded the project, the structure was already being built. At certain times, we probably had anywhere from 10 to 15 guys on the project while having to coordinate with all the other trades.”
The biggest challenge ADJ faced was the deadline itself. “The challenge was the combination of the pace of the project and trying to meet a completion date so the stadium itself was ready for opening day,” Doerk said. “Concession stands and ductwork had to be complete so they could actually cook in all the concession stands while work continued. The trades were definitely stacked in there quite a bit.”
Doerk said the project required “a complete team effort to get it done.” He and Sprouse relied on the expertise and support of their field foreman, vice president of estimating, BIM draftsman/coordinator, and company president.
This was the first stadium Doerk was involved in, and he’s always wanted to work on an arena, but he admits, “at the end of the day, it was a duct work install.” It wasn’t typical, though, especially the concession areas. Installation took place in some extremely tight spaces.
In addition to serving as the home of D.C. United, Audi Field will host sporting and cultural events, concerts, and community activities. The stadium boasts 31 luxury suites and 500,000 square feet of mixed-use retail and residential space.
For ADJ, the job may have been business as usual, but most of ADJ’s sheet metal work isn’t seen by 20,000 excited soccer fans all at once.
Regardless of visibility, Doerk is proud of his team’s work. “When we finished, we walked off the job and there was very little left to do—not much in the way of punch-list items,” he noted. “I know when I ride through Washington, D.C., with friends and family, I will surely point out that we did the sheet metal work in that stadium.”
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