Acousti Engineering Company of Florida has had the pleasure of working on some incredible projects over our 69 years in business. In this article, we’re going to spotlight a particularly rewarding project: the Nashville Music City Center.
Nashville Music City Center
The Nashville Music City Center is a landmark one-of-a-kind convention center built to serve the greater Nashville community and to provide a prominent hub for visitors touring “Music City, USA.” The building sits on a sixteen acre site and features a 350,000 SF exhibit hall, a 57,000 SF grand ballroom, 90,000 SF of meeting room space, 32 loading docks, and parking for 1,800 vehicles.
One of the building’s unique features is the exterior; it features an undulating soffit assembly or “eyebrow” around the building perimeter that varies in width up to 60 ft. and is 150 ft. above exterior grade. Exterior ceilings on the eyebrow were installed off of 150 ft. booms with leveling mats; over an exterior ‘belly wall’ ceiling that had to be installed off a suspended quick deck cantilever system. This feature was one of the biggest trials for the ceiling the installation team.
The metal panels forming the soffit had to create a curved surface in two directions requiring strict tolerances for hangers and panels to avoid excessive twisting and oil-canning of the panels. The curvilinear ceilings inside the entrance were designed to follow the same lines as the exterior eyebrow, another beautiful but challenging installation.
The Grand Ballroom
The architect designed a one-of-a-kind aluminum panel ceiling system, with real wood veneered onto it, which curves downward as it approaches the walls and continues vertically downward to match up with wood wall panels being installed by the millwork subcontractor. Installation of the 40 ft. high ceiling was complicated and required construction of a 90 ft. x 90 ft. rolling scaffold tower in order to erect it.
Organizing structure, infrastructure, and finishes for this project was a colossal task. Hundreds of hours were spent creating BIM models of the finishes and interfaces of ceilings and walls. Many on-site coordination meetings were held to review build conditions and make modifications to improve appearance and/or ease of installation.
Acousti exceeded demanding engineering requirements behind complex geometries and towering heights to make Music City Center’s guitar shaped appearance distinguish itself from all other convention centers in the country. We installed approximately 150,000 square feet of exterior metal panels with woodgrain laminate on curved soffits mimicking the rolling Tennessee hills one hundred and fifty feet above grade. Behind every metal panel and acoustical ceiling tile, there was an engineered calculation accounting for wind uplift to maintain structural integrity and provide a safe ceiling system, none of which could have been done without Acousti’s longstanding expertise.
Having worked on many large-scale projects in the past, we had the management team and skilled mechanics to complete whatever work as required and had the necessary bonding capacity and financial strength to complete the job. Other hurdles faced on this project included: extended lead times for custom made materials, constant out-of-sequence work, factoring for temperature extremes, coordinating the multiple design colors, materials, geometries involving acoustical products, wood veneer on aluminum, Serante veneer on aluminum, and painted steel coil, all mimicking real wood.
The Nashville Music City Center is opened early 2013, and the convention center will stand as a point of pride for both the city it serves as well as Acousti Engineering Company of Florida.