The Roberto Durán Arena is one of the most iconic multipurpose sports coliseums in the Republic of Panama. Inaugurated in 1970, the arena was named in honor of one of Panama’s best-known athletes, boxer Roberto “Mano de Piedra” Durán, world champion in four weight classes in the 1980s. One of his most acclaimed achievements was winning the 1980 world welterweight title against one of the most important boxers of the era, Sugar Ray Leonard.
The Roberto Durán Arena hosts a wide range of sporting and entertainment events. The 86,000-square-foot building was remodeled in 2009, which is when the original roof was replaced by an insulated roofing panel and modified bitumen membrane system. This system proved to be no match for the high heat, humidity and heavy rainfall in Panama summers. In 2018, Pandeportes, which governs all sports stadiums in Panama, hired SINCO Panama, a certified Firestone Building Products contractor in the country, to fortify the roof and work on the Level 100, 400 and dome slabs to ensure the arena was able to withstand local weather.
To fix the multiple leaks, the asphalt membrane in levels 100 and 400, was completely removed, and the slopes were repaired with lightweight concrete, which was covered with a protection geotextile. On top of all of that, crews mechanically attached a 45-mil Firestone UltraPly TPO membrane to provide a durable waterproofing system that met all building requirements. A similar process was completed on the dome, including perimeter metal drains.
The unique shape of the dome and the dilapidated state of the existing drainage system made this project a unique technical installation challenge for both Firestone Building Products and SINCO Panama. The team managed the changes needed by replacing the metal gutters and drains and covering them with the same TPO membrane throughout the interior to ensure a completely waterproof system.
The 86,000-square-foot re-roof was completed in two and a half months, with four weeks of work completed exclusively on the dome. The distinct curvature of the dome required the team to tailor-cut the TPO membrane to match the domed roof, leaving no wrinkles or loose membrane.
To ensure the most efficient and effective job possible, the technical department at Firestone Building Products and SINCO Panama first developed a 3D model to ensure the orientation of the membranes were as effective as possible, reducing waste and minimizing the number of joints in the membrane.
Beyond working with a uniquely shaped building requiring complex updates, the team also faced challenging weather conditions, including almost constant rain. Panama City, located North of the Equator, features a tropical climate including hot, muggy days with temperatures around 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The work coincided with the rainy season, which yields up to 60 inches of rainfall.
To ensure the work was completed on time, the teams worked extended hours and on weekends to take advantage of the few dry days available. The height of the dome also posed a challenge, as the team faced difficulties during installation due to high winds, but the roofing system attachment was designed to withstand winds of up to 87 miles per hour and an uplift pressure of approximately 110 psf, which made the installation possible.
The work of Firestone Building Products and SINCO Panama resulted in a new look for the coliseum and ensured the improved performance of the roof for years to come. Despite the challenges faced during the project, the teams completed the project without sacrificing quality, durability and resistance, all of which were key factors required by Pandeportes, the building owner.
Roofing Contractor:SINCO Panama
Roof Membrane:UltraPly TPO, Firestone Building Products (FSBP), www.firestonebpco.com
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Source: roofingmagazine.com =>Roberto Durán Arena in Panama Poses Re-Roofing Challenges