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Stadia Design & Technology Expo 2012 Conference speaker in focus: Bart Dreiling, Structurflex USA

Tensile membrane structures are the hottest trend in stadium roofing solutions. Bart Dreiling, president and co-owner of Structurflex USA, explains why

 

“The stadium is a significant part of the sporting experience for fans and players alike,” asserts Bart Dreiling, president and co-owner of Structurflex USA. The Structurflex Group specialises in the design, engineering, manufacturing and construction of tensile membrane roofing structures, and although stadium work is only a part of the company’s core business, for Dreiling it is the most appealing. “As an avid sports fan, it is immensely gratifying to see thousands of fans pour into a stadium that we were a part of from the ground up,” he says.

Dreiling’s education and professional experience make him an authority in the industry and an invaluable part of the Stadia Design & Technology Expo 2012. He has a strong background in architecture, having studied architecture and industrial design at university, and then entering the workforce in the architectural field, before moving into the building component and systems area of the building industry. In 2005, he established a partnership with Structurflex of New Zealand to open and manage the operation in the USA, which brings him to where he is today – the man responsible for the day-to-day operations for Structurflex USA.

Since 2005, Dreiling has been involved with a number of stadium projects, but the canopy roof on Rio Tinto Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah, is his proudest achievement. “We were involved from very early on in the schematic design and planning stages,” he explains. “Unlike typical design-bid-build projects, we were a part of a collaborative team effort, which involved ownership, architect, engineering, construction management and several other key trades.”

Working closely with the assembled team over the course of two years, Structurflex assured that an affordable system would be delivered on time and within budget. From design-assist into design-build, the company’s turnkey approach was of utmost value to the building team and owner. “We saw this project truly evolve from cradle to grave,” Dreiling reflects.

The Structurflex man advocates that roofing systems are an effective way to improve existing stadia, both visually and structurally. “In terms of fan experience, the most obvious and effective means to improve is by covering the seating or even the entire venue,” he says. “A roof or canopy promotes a more intimate experience, protects visitors from the elements and can allow the spectator to view and enjoy world-class architecture.” 

Outside of this, he sees that architects are moving toward creating ancillary spaces and separate venues within a stadium. “If ownership is able to keep the fan in the stadium for other experiences, revenues will rise and the fan will return based on the favourable experience,” he explains.

On a more personal note, Dreiling has a keen interest in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and will most likely be found attending the ‘World Cup 2014, 2018, 2022 and UEFA 2016 updates’ free session at Stadia Design & Technology Expo.

 

Bart Dreiling will be one of the expert speakers involved in Session 3: Roofing innovations – lessons learned from signature projects – at Stadia Design & Technology Expo 2012 (14.00-15.15hrs, Tuesday 8 May 2012)

 

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