Enclosing a Local Landmark: Construction of the Allianz Field Envelope

This presentation will earn participants 2 AIA LU/HSW

The construction of Allianz Field, the new home of Major League Soccer’s Minnesota United Soccer team, was a landmark project for many reasons, not the least of which is the building’s iconic design and use of leading-edge materials. This posed some challenges to the construction team, such as: maintaining the continuity of the air barrier while accommodating structural movement, achieving NFPA 285 compliance when walls transitioned between wall types and exterior finishes, and addressing thermal bridging where structural steel penetrated the building envelope. This presentation will focus on how the construction team responded to these challenges to ensure that the enclosure systems would not compromise the durability, maintainabilty, and performance of the building envelope system. All three presenters were on site and directly involved in the construction of Allianz Field, and will share photos and first-hand experiences from the construction phase of the project.

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Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to:

  1. Identify common elements of a robust project quality management plan, and how the process can be scaled to suit the size and complexity of the project
  2. Understand how the materials used for the building enclosure on this project were affected by NFPA 285 compliance, and ways to mitigate the effects of this requirement on future projects
  3. List multiple testing methods for verifying the integrity of the building envelope, the frequency they should be implemented, and describe how they were coordinated between trades and carried out on site with minimal disruption
  4. Describe how the use of innovative technologies and materials, lean construction processes, and the enclosure review process contributed to increased productivity and the quality of the building envelope system



Mark Needham, Mortenson Construction
Mark Needham is an assistant project manager at Mortenson Construction with 7 years industry experience across multiple project types including federal, healthcare, corporate, and sports facilities. Significant projects include the Sanford Fargo Medical Center and Allianz Field.

Mark was responsible for the enclosure scopes (exterior wall systems, roofing, and glazing systems) at Allianz Field from the buyout process through completion. This included the safety program, quality, scheduling, construction of mockups, and testing.

Kevin Larson, Olympic Companies
Kevin Larson is a Senior Project Manager for Olympic Companies in Minneapolis, MN. Specializing in large scale commercial work, Kevin has been responsible for many of Olympics’ largest and most high profile projects around the Midwest. Kevin has also managed several historical restoration projects. Kevin was presented the National Project of the Year Award by the American Public Works Association, APWA for the Paramount Theatre Restoration Project in Cedar Rapids, IA. In the construction industry for 38 years, Kevin has a reputation as a leader and has served on national technical committees for the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry (AWCI). He is also an active member of CSI, NFPA and ASTM. At Allianz Field, Olympic was responsible for interior and exterior framing adn sheathing, weather resistive barriers, and exterior insulation.

Chris Bubser, LHB (Formerly at Mortenson)
Chris Bubser has spent half his career in architecture and half in construction, but has always gravitated towards the technical side of the industry. Chris has had the good fortune to work on a wide variety of commercial and residential building types around the midwest. While a Quality Manager at Mortenson Construction, he was responsible for setting up and managing all aspects of the QA/QC process on project sites, but specialized in coordinating building enclosure systems. Chris is currently a Senior Technical Architect at LHB, where he oversees document quality and detailing for their K-12 Education studio. He is Past-Chair of the Building Enclosure Council of Minnesota.


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