From housing thousands of people for a rock concert to hosting major sporting events to housing people for worship services, public assembly spaces present unique challenges for ventilation and life safety requirements. Engineered Air Balance has performed testing in many of these facilities and has even performed testing that has redefined the way that the engineering community designs life safety smoke control systems for these unique buildings. Further, our personnel understand the challenges present with the dynamic nature of the facility and the highly variable occupancy requirements.
Alamodome, San Antonio
A multi-purpose entertainment venue with 65,000 seats and expandable to 72,000 seats, the Alamodome opened in 1993. Its distinctive design features a 9-acre roof hanging from four 100-foot masts. The arena can be set in 24 different set-up possibilities and has two Olympic-sized, permanent ice rinks that meet professional standards for hockey, figure skating and speed skating.
As part of our testing and balancing services, we had to verify the temperature control system with the facility set up for football, basketball, hockey and concerts.
To test the smoke control system, we built a fire equivalent to 10 cords of wood burning with an equal amount of smoke to demonstrate to the fire marshal that in the event of a fire, the occupants had sufficient time to exit before the smoke plume fell from the 170-foot-high ceiling to the seating area. We recorded temperature readings every 10 feet above the fire to the ceiling and at the ceiling every 10 feet from the center of the fire. Our findings were used by ASHRAE’s fire smoke committee to revise the mathematical models for all large-volume public assembly spaces.