The Georgia World Congress Center from its inception has experienced unprecedented success, both in its reputation and in its financial stability. To sustain this reputation as one of the finest convention, sports and entertainment facilities in the world, the State of Georgia allocated funds for a 1.3 million SF expansion, the third expansion of the original facility, following a financial feasibility study confirming its viability. The 420,000 SF expansion doubled the size of one of the country’s largest convention centers.
Heery led the design team and provided structural engineering for the addition. One of the primary design criteria for the structure was controlling vibrations. This was especially challenging for the ballroom floor portion of the project. The ballroom is located above one of the exhibit halls, requiring its structural system to be designed with long spans to avoid columns that would have disrupted the exhibit floor space below. In addition, the registration concourse features a high glass enclosure, which required extensive structural analysis to address both wind and seismic forces. Additionally, Heery was tasked with achieving a balance between public pedestrian access to The Georgia Dome and controlled access to and between exhibit halls.
Heery’s project team was tasked to provide a design that complemented the existing facilities – avoiding the perception of “newness or oldness” between the older building and the new facility. The project included the addition of four new exhibit halls, 29 meeting rooms, a conference center, a new 27,000 SF ballroom, and a parking garage. Two concourses link the addition to the existing facility allowing easy access between the old and new facility.