Outdoor stadiums are used for a wide variety of events throughout the year and require versatile solutions that allow people to pass between the seating and the concourse area. At times, these openings may need to be closed to redirect foot traffic or to create a barrier to the cold and inclement weather. The entryway should be clear of any obstacles that an unsuspecting patron may encounter, especially when a large crowd moves at the same time like during the seventh inning stretch. The opposing requirements of providing a large, unencumbered openings and efficient thermal barriers present formidable design and engineering challenges. This situation is not only seen at stadiums, but at any site that wants to make full use of both indoor and outdoor areas, like hotels, restaurants, and private homes.
Solar Innovations, Inc. worked hand-in-hand with the architects, engineers, and contractors tasked with designing and building Coors Field in Denver, Colorado. The stadium needed to be easily converted between an open and accessible concourse to one that could be thermally closed from the outdoor environment. Solar Innovations designed nine stacking wall systems that provided the answer to this challenge. The operable wall systems were designed specifically for each opening and positioned the stacked panels to cause the least interruption in the opening. In addition, Solar Innovations® was able to install systems in the wide openings that did not require any vertical supports when they were in the open position. This prevents any potential problems involving large influxes of people and vertical columns that can be hard to see in crowds. Solar Innovation®’s folding, stacking, and sliding systems can be the perfect solution to many architectural challenges in which indoor and outdoor spaces need a thermally-proven barrier that can be opened to create a combined space.