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Exposed metal supports industrial aesthetics

HDR Inc. created large spaces with industrial aesthetics at University of Nebraska Omaha's (UNO) Baxter Arena in Omaha, Neb., with steel joists, decking and columns.HDR Inc. created large spaces with industrial aesthetics at University of Nebraska Omaha's (UNO) Baxter Arena in Omaha, Neb., with steel joists, decking and columns. Davis Erection Co. Inc. erected Vulcraft/Verco Group's LH Series and DLH Series steel joists, 1.5B 20G60-steel roof deck and 3NA 18G60-steel roof deck for the project. A 3 1/2-inch deep acoustical roof deck with a 14-foot allowable span and wide joist spacing was used for the main roof to add to a sense of openness. Only two in-fill roof joists were used between each main truss. Davis Erection also installed Vulcraft/Verco Group's 1.5VL 20G60-steel floor deck and 3VLI 18G60-steel floor deck for the project.

Most of the ceilings in the arena are painted black to mask HVAC, electrical conduit and sound baffles. In those spaces, the roof structure is exposed and painted white to serve as a design element.

The 220,000-square-foot arena houses two ice sheets: competition ice and community ice. The community ice has a large curtainwall at the front of the building, supplied by Kawneer Co. Inc. and installed by Keystone Glass Co., to make it a focal point. Davis Erection erected Vulcraft/Verco Group's HSS 12x6 columns at 10 feet on center behind the curtainwall. Each column supports a long-span roof joist above and serves as the vertical mullion for the curtainwall.

Baxter Arena, located on the south side of campus, has seating for 7,800 people and hosts hockey, basketball, volleyball, concerts and graduations. The project began in January 2013 and was completed in September 2015.

John Christensen is chancellor at UNO. "This is exactly what we hoped it would be," Christensen says. "If you're only seeing it as an athletic facility, you missed the boat. This is about student life in every way."

Architect/engineer of record: HDR Inc., Omaha, www.hdrinc.com
General contractor: Kiewit Corp., Omaha, www.kiewit.com
Erector: Davis Erection Co. Inc., Gretna, Neb., daviserection.com
Curtainwall installer: Keystone Glass Co., Omaha, www.keystoneglassomaha.com
Curtainwall: Kawneer Co. Inc., Norcross, Ga., www.kawneer.com
Fabricator: Drake Williams Steel Inc., Omaha, www.dwsteel.com
Joists/roof deck: Vulcraft/Verco Group, a division of Nucor, Charlotte, N.C., www.vulcraft.com