Feature – LATICRETE International, Inc. – TRENDS 2018

 

the fall of 2013, the Atlanta Braves officially announced that they were leaving Turner Field, their home of 20 years, and heading just north of the city to open a new baseball stadium – SunTrust Park. 

To kick off the $672 million construction project, the architectural firm, Populous, and general contractor American Builders – a joint venture between New South Construction, Brasfield & Gorrie, Mortenson Construction and Barton Malow Company – set out to design a Major League ballpark that captured baseball’s heritage and embraced the South’s traditional aesthetic. 

This would include nearly 150,000 sq. ft. (13,935 square meters) of tile, stone and glass installations throughout the ballpark in areas including the stadium kitchens, player locker rooms, the Delta Sky360° Club floor and the suite floors and backsplashes. 

“To be a part of a new era of professional sports venues is always exciting,” said Martin Howard, Executive Vice President of Operations for David Allen Company, the NTCA Five Star Contractor chosen for the project. “LATICRETE was our partner on this very challenging project from the start. Their products were instrumental in helping our team complete the project on time and within budget.” 

The Challenges: 

Tight timeframe: Due to the fact the ballpark had an extremely aggressive schedule, David Allen Company provided the resources necessary to complete all installations in a five-month window. In order to be successful, each area of the project had to be constantly stocked with the correct setting materials and tile to ensure the team stayed on track and reduced any chance of inefficiency. Once an installation crew completed an area of work, the next area had to be ready to start immediately so as to not interrupt the flow of manpower throughout the stadium.

Plethora of materials: 60 different types of tile, stone and glass from all around the world were utilized in SunTrust Park’s design. The full line of products LATICRETE offers was key to being able to handle the various substrates encountered with ease. 

A LATICRETE Solution: 

Before beginning any tile work, David Allen Company used NXT Level, a cement-based underlayment, to produce a flat, smooth and hard surface. Once cured, NXT Level is durable, fire- and heat-resistant, non-combustible and maintenance-free, making it the ideal product to be at the foundation of a busy ballpark. 

Because it was imperative that David Allen Company remain on a tight schedule to complete the entire stadium’s tile, stone and glass installations in five months, choosing LATICRETE products that saved time with rapid curing formulas and easy installation were of the utmost importance. 

For waterproofing bathrooms and showers throughout the player and staff locker rooms, David Allen Company trusted HYDRO BAN and HYDRO BARRIER™ waterproofing products. These products allowed for a faster time-to-tile and foot traffic in as little as four hours. 

For use under traditional thick-bed installations of tile, 209 Floor Mud, a factory-prepared blend of high- strength portland cement and carefully graded sand, was chosen due to its pre-mixed packaging. This saved the team valuable time not having to blend portland cement and sand on the jobsite. For interior and exterior floor and wall installations of ceramic tile, porcelain tile and stone applied on the stadium’s bar fronts and backsplashes, 253 Gold, a superior polymer-fortified bagged cementitious thin-set powder, was used. 

To install large-and-heavy porcelain tiles throughout the stadium, David Allen Company chose 4-XLT and 4-XLT Rapid for their incredible non-sag performance. The multi-use, polymer-fortified adhesive mortars not only exceed ANSI A118.4 and 118.11 Shear Bond Strength Requirements, but also meet the “Extra Heavy” rating per ASTM C627, making them the perfect large-and-heavy tile adhesive mortars to accommodate the project’s
specific needs. 

To grout, PERMACOLOR Select, 1500 Sanded Grout, 1600 Unsanded Grout and SPECTRALOCK 2000 IG were used in various installations depending on the substrate and floorcovering material desired. These offered benefits such as time savings, crack-and-stain resistance, chemical resistance and enhanced durability. 

Outcome

“Fortunately for David Allen Company, our LATICRETE representative in Atlanta was an outstanding source of information,” said Howard. “At any given time, we were able to have him meet us onsite and direct us on how to best handle the situation.” 

On April 14, 2017, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred welcomed a sold-out crowd to “baseball’s newest gem.” 

SunTrust Park creates a fan experience unlike any other, thanks to its perfect marriage of classic ballpark feel and modern amenities. The new stadium seats 41,149 fans and maximizes sight lines so that every seat feels like the best in the house.