Performing Arts Dome Failure Analysis
In the summer of 2009, approximately a year into the Carmel Performing Arts Center construction, a laborer working in an upper level of the building discovered a major fracture in a steel column supporting the 120 foot diameter dome roof over the main concert hall. After the construction team and owner recognized the gravity of the dangerous situation of the partially ruptured dome tension ring, all construction activity at the site was suspended. Walter P Moore was called in to see if the building could be saved. We performed a substantial detailed evaluation that included safely assessing the unstable 60-ft high dome tension ring, as well as determining whether a practical repair could be developed and installed without collapse. We designed a one-of-a-kind curved plate retrofit to stabilize the dome tension ring, and oversaw the complex repair effort. Given the unique safety challenge, the repair teams were suspended in construction crane baskets to minimize the danger of working next to the unstable structure. In spite of all the challenges, the critical structural repairs were completed without mishap and general construction resumed in time to reach substantial completion within the original project schedule.