Exhibits Under Fiberglass

by Rita Robison, Assoc. Ed.; Civil Engineering—ASCE, New York, NY,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1987, Vol. 57, Issue 11, Pg. 44-46

Document Type: Feature article


The San Diego Convention Center, scheduled for completion in 1988, is located on 11 acres of downtown land only 150 ft from the bay. It will cost $130 million for total of 1.7 million sq ft, including an underground parking garage for 1,900 cars. At one end is an 100,000 sq ft open air exhibit pavilion topped by a fabric roof tent—the world's largest tension structure. Designed as a modular airfoil, the roof is held up (and down) by a network of cables. These weave over and under a horizontal steel box strut splayed to a Y at both ends and a series of tent poles whose bottoms are 28 ft in the air. Site engineering included a permanent dewatering system to keep the two below-ground parking levels dry. Totalling more than 500 wells, the system was designed with emergency relief risers to prevent localized uplift forces on the bottom of the concrete basement slab. This cost several million dollars less than the extra reinforced concrete that would have been required to resist uplift.

Subject Headings: Fiber reinforced polymer | Synthetic materials

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