University of Houston's TDECU Stadium Utilizes Multiple Ground Face CMU

Visitors to the University of Houston's TDECU Stadium are likely captivated by the action on the field and the stunning view of the city's skyline. But if you're one of the masons involved in the construction of the new landmark, your attention is likely focused on the sheer craftsmanship of the facility.

Camarata Masonry Systems, Ltd. installed three separate colors of ground face CMU across the stadium, including Limestone (20,200), Charcoal (20,800) and Pecan (24,000). Although the pattern appeared to be random, installers had exact drawings to follow.

"The three colors of CMU were spaced throughout the stadium," says Kevin M. Camarata, President and General Partner. "To ensure each color CMU was placed correctly the locations were clearly marked where a specific color would stop and different color would begin."

Several of the colored CMU required multiple finished faces (i.e., the front, end or back faces) and close attention to detail was a priority when ordering and installing the CMU to ensure there was sufficient material to complete the project.

Camarata notes that extra time was also needed to place CMU finished on the face and back face to ensure both exposed sides were built within tolerances.

The design plan also included three different colors of brick (33,000 total) and, like the CMU, each brick color required a separate mortar color. This complicated the installation at the peak of the project because seven different color mortar batches (three for the ground face CMU, three for the brick and standard gray for the regular CMU) were being made at the same time.

Camarata also installed a total of 210,000 regular light weight CMU, consisting of 8” CMU (158,000), 6” CMU (42,600) and 12” CMU (9,400).

The $128-million home of the Houston Cougars football team opened to the public in August 2014. Designed by the DLR Group, architects studied the historical architectural character of the UH Campus with specific focus on buildings adjacent to the athletics corridor.

All exterior facades, brick and metal, utilize material and color palettes consistent with those found in UH's design standards and many other buildings recently constructed on campus.

TDECU Stadium was built on the former site of Robertson Stadium, which was the intermittent home of the school's football program since 1946. Its official name is derived from Texas Dow Employees Credit Union (TDECU), the largest credit union in Houston, which purchased its naming rights in the largest-ever naming rights deal for a college football stadium.

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