When the largest cable-supported domed football stadium in the world required a new color scheme for its exterior, the project called for a well-executed game plan by the project management company, the architect, general contractor and a team of coating professionals.
Coating the exterior of the Georgia Dome presented a challenge given the stadium’s close proximity to moving traffic, nearby parking and office buildings. In order to avoid damage from overspray, all coatings had to be applied by roller. The exterior skin of the dome consists of architectural concrete masonry units (CMUs) to a height of 12 feet, flat metal panels up to the low roof level at 97 feet and corrugated panels from the lower roof to the compression ring 55 feet above. The embossed metal had a textured galvanized surface originally finished with a Polyvinylidene Fluoride (PVDF) coil-coating. Working from 40-foot-wide stages, coating crews prepared both coated and uncoated substrates by washing them with a pre-paint cleaning chemical at a pressure of 3,000 psi and a temperature of 180 degrees F.
Metal panels were primed with Series 66 Hi-Build Epoxoline, a polyamide epoxy primer, followed by a topcoat of Series 1071 Fluoronar, a high-solids fluoropolymer polyurethane. A single coat of Fluoronar was specified, except on red panels where two coats were applied. Concrete surfaces received two coats of Series 156 Enviro-Crete, a breathable waterborne acrylate.
An ultra-durable finish, Fluoronar was chosen for its user-friendly application characteristics, outstanding color and gloss retention, and strong adhesion to aged coil-applied coatings. “We experienced no problems with this product even when a thunderstorm appeared and rained on a freshly coated surface. It was easy to apply, which saved us a lot of headaches,” recalled Charles Wagner, project estimator with Specialty Finishes, Inc., the project’s coating contractor.
Jeff Wierenga, AIA, project architect with the firm of Thompson, Ventulett, Stainback and Associates (TVS) acknowledged, “It was a very smooth-running operation from all sides and we were really pleased with how it turned out.”