Dallas Convention Center

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Dallas Convention Center Trusses

In 2002, the City of Dallas voted to compete for the 2012 Olympic games. As part of that effort, Datum was asked to change the design of the convention center expansion that was under design.

On the two previous expansions of the Convention Center, column spacing in the range of 120-feet to 150-feet was considered acceptable. We were proceeding with these same guidelines when the decision to compete for the Olympic games was made.

In order to create a venue that would be beneficial to the city’s efforts to compete for the games, we were requested to raise the roof from 30-feet to 40-feet high and to eliminate all columns in the space. This would create a 425-foot by 550-foot column free space with a clear height of 40-feet.

The space, of course, still needed to properly function as a convention center. Some of the Convention Center requirements on the roof design included maintaining a 15-foot by 15-foot grid and making the roof a horizontal plane for hanging banners and for running electrical and communications lines.

We interpreted this criteria to mean that we would need to place the long span structural elements on top of the roof and we would need to design the roof to hang from the bottom chord of the structure.