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QUESTION: Dear Richard

Why the stadium architecture is not a closed structure for outdoor games like football or cricket?

Advantage could have been protecting the ground from rain?


ANSWER: Prashant,

Two reasons that come to my mind:

1) Building such a large roof is possible but also cost-prohibitive.

2) Building codes are relaxed for open-air structures compared to those where the smoke and other products of combustion are contained under a roof.

Building a roof over a large football stadium is always regarded as something heroic because of the structural engineering required to span such a great distance.

I hope that helps.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Richard


Do you recommend retractable - open and closed roofs for outdoor games like Cricket, Football and Hockey?



Perhaps this stadium is being built in the United Arab Emirates or some other country where they have more money than they can spend.

Yes, I recommend a retractable roof system.  Based on the cost analysis of the MetLife Stadium built in 2010 for the New York Giants and New York Jets, the $421 Million cost to provide a roof would have then added another 26% to the overall budget.  That would pay for a roof without climate control.  For there to be a roof and climate control, then the cost would require another 52% to be added to the budget.  The building owners who were already spending $1.6 Billion reasoned that the cost-benefit and economic gain was not worth it.  Their football players are tough enough to play in the snow.  There opponents who come from Seattle and Denver are not used to playing in bad weather and more likely to lose because they are not used to it.  

But I say that you could have concerts and other venues during the winter months.  So long as you are not asking me for donations, go ahead and design for a retractable roof system - complete with heating and air conditioning.

Richard Burton, AIA
Registered Architect
ICC Certified Plan Reviewer
NFPA Certified Fire Plan Examiner


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Richard Burton AIA


A combined total of 25 years experience with construction, architecture, and building code enforcement. Ask me about residential and commercial design. Ask me about design aesthetics, structural methods, and building something that will withstand severe weather conditions. Ask me my opinion about YOUR design ideas and I will tell you the merits of good design and challenge your thinking about practical issues. Ask me how to best find and work with your local architect and approach general contractors to get the most value for the least amount of headaches. You can ask me about improving your energy efficiency and things that are both green and practical. But don't ask me about solar panels and wind turbines unless you are currently paying your utility company 35 cents per Kilowatt. Otherwise the math does not justify the initial cost and return on investment. Ask me any building code question and how to get a building permit from the most difficult enforcement agencies.


Here in the midwest, we design and build "green" in ways that make sense. My construction methods prioritize weather resistance, ease of maintenance and durability. While a graduate student in San Diego, I taught drafting and history of architecture. After working ten years for other architecture firms, I have started my firm Arrow Architecture in 2008. More than half of my work involves commercial office buildings. But my portfolio of work also includes custom homes, residential additions, home remodels, and second story additions.

President-Elect of American Institute of Architects - Lincoln, NE

B.S. Architecture - (Interior Design) University of Nebraska Lincoln 1997 Master of Architecture - (Urban Design and Professional Practice) NewSchool of Architecture - San Diego 2004 Graduated Summa Cum Laude ICC Certified Building Plans Examiner

Awards and Honors
AIA Henry Adams Medal and Certificate

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