Rainier Industries solves a leaky problem for Stanford University’s tennis program.
By Jill Lafferty
Before Stanford University tennis players could serve, volley, slice and smash under a leak-free fabric structure, fabric installers were required to engage in a little rappelling.
California’s Stanford University turned to Rainier Industries of Tukwila, Wash., to redesign and recover a 20-foot-high, 62-by-122-foot structure for the Taube Tennis Center. The original structure was poorly designed and had leaked since being installed in 1997, and the university wanted a new leak-free design and installation.
One of the biggest challenges of this project was the footprint of the structure. Tight tolerances against existing buildings and trees required ingenuity and unconventional installation methods. Climbers rappelled from the top of the stadium and guided the crane operator via radio communication to remove the existing structure and install the new one.
Scissor lifts were lowered into the building via cranes and removed before the final panel was installed. A custom rigging system of block and tackle with fabricated guides was needed for fabric and liner installation and tensioning. The Ferarri ATS pneumatic system was used for final tensioning of the exterior roof panel, providing a drum-tight fit.
Further complicating the site, several projects unrelated to the tennis structure were occurring in the same area. Dick Gould, the John L. Hinds Director of Tennis at Stanford, commended the Rainier crew for professionalism under difficult circumstances and dedication to completing the job in the mandated timeframe of three weeks.