The reconstruction of the University of California Berkeley’s Memorial Stadium, home of the Golden Bears, is another example of concrete’s capabilities as a construction material. The stadium was originally constructed of concrete in the 1930s. It sits on an active fault line, running almost directly through the stadium from one end zone to the other.
The owner wanted the new stadium rebuilt in concrete, but the consulting engineers said it was impossible in the time frame the owner wanted and that it would need to be built with steel. Webcor Builders won the bid as the GC, then asked Webcor Concrete to work with the structural engineer to value engineer a design that utilized concrete construction in the necessary time frame. “Our group understands structural systems and the effect structure, design and building speed have on total cost,” Plue says. “Our managers work hand in hand with our foremen and crews to constantly improve safety, forming systems and the overall construction cycle.”
The new stadium retains the original 1930s concrete facade. Webcor Concrete cast more than 50,000 cubic yards over 7 months, which included a substantial amount of board-formed architectural concrete. The internal structure integrates modern seismic design utilizing cast-in-place concrete throughout the walls, columns and seating risers; large hydraulic viscous dampers allow the building to move during an earthquake; and a flexible seismic joint runs along the fault line allowing the earth to shift independently of the surrounding structure.
On both these projects, Webcor Concrete’s expertise and value engineering experience beat out structural steel bids because of the cost and time benefits the owners saw with concrete. The company’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of concrete’s contributions to the sustainable building community while offering solutions to build structures at the best value for their customers sets a standard for the industry.