San Francisco — Levi’s Stadium, home to the San Francisco 49ers National Football League (NFL) team, has been named as Project of the Year by Region 9 of the American Society of Civil Engineers.  engineering, environmental and construction services company, GHD, provided civil engineering services as part of a project team that also included HNTB, Turner/Devcon and the Santa Clara Stadium Authority. Magnusson Klemencic Associates (MKA) was structural engineer for the project.

Mike Kincaid, GHD’s Senior Project Director, says, “We are proud to have helped deliver this project which sets new benchmarks for stadiums. Thanks to a hybrid, collective delivery model called ‘integrated bridging design-build’ this 68,500-seat stadium has been completed in just 27 months.”

Levi’s Stadium is the first in a new generation of environmentally friendly stadiums. The design includes a variety of sustainable elements, such as a 27,000 square-foot living roof, which is planted with native California plant life, nearly 20,000 square-feet of solar panels, a natural grass field, convenient bicycle parking, walking path access from the nearby San Tomas Creek Trail, water-conserving plumbing fixtures and state-of-the-art building control systems.

The project involved an extensive array of civil engineering improvements. These include 13,250 linear feet of new water mains, 6,000 linear feet of recycled water mains, 6,000 linear feet of sanitary sewer, 9,100 linear feet of storm drainage, significant grading, retaining walls, 4 MGD wastewater pump station, access roadways, parking lots, exterior lighting, security facilities, 10,000 linear feet of trenches for communication and power, and three 160-foot pedestrian bridges. Three quarters of these utilities had to be relocated and operational before the Stadium Foundation work could begin.

In the 2010/ 2011 planning for the stadium construction schedule, GHD worked with the 49ers and the construction team to phase the civil improvements to eliminate one year from the construction schedule. When the funding became available in late 2011, the modified schedule allowed the completion date to be moved up to July of 2014. The civil work was phased, with the initial phase being completed in 3.5 months to enable the earliest start of stadium foundation work.

The stadium takes into account San Francisco Bay Area’s seismic conditions, with more than 4500 auger displacement piles drilled to a depth of 60 to 70 feet to mitigate ground liquefaction. Buckling restrained braces – typically used in office buildings, medical facilities and other structures with much shorter floor-to-floor heights – are used in the framing to protect against earthquake-related stresses. This also results in the stadium having some of the longest such braces ever developed. The MKA-engineered buckling-restrained braces are the first-of-their-kind in a stadium environment.

As a winner of the American Society of Civil Engineers Region 9 award, the project is now in the running for the ASCE National Opal Awards in 2016.