Mississippi Coast Coliseum & Convention Center
Bill Holmes, the Executive Director of the MCCC
Case Study Details
Hurricane Katrina is the United State’s most costly hurricane of all time, responsible for over 100 billion dollars in damage throughout the gulf region. The Mississippi Coast Coliseum and Convention Center (MCCC) was among those affected, with extensive damage done throughout the building’s interior. As a critical component to the facility’s operations, its operable wall systems were also compromised.
Katrina’s storm surge forced about six feet of water throughout the lower level of the nearly half-million square foot facility. All 650 of the operable partition panels within this section of the building had to be discarded and replaced due to massive water infiltration. The panels were flooded up to the 6-foot level, yet the top portion of the panels was not affected by the storm—meaning two-thirds of the panels were simply tossed into landfills. In replacing the panels, Hufcor wanted to ensure the new operable wall systems would be reinforced and protected from future natural disasters.
Hufcor designed and installed unique replacement walls at the MCCC. Working closely with the project team, Hufcor’s engineers and designers shared their knowledge and expertise in panel construction to implement additional product precautionary measures that would fight against moisture should another Hurricane hit. Much of the reason standard operable partitions need to be replaced after a water-penetrating event, such as a flood, is due to the moisture that seeps into the gypsum and mineral wool acoustical barriers inside the panel. These substrates become a breeding ground for mold and mildew and must be replaced.
To safeguard the coliseum’s panels from future damage, Hufcor implemented a number of noteworthy features that are now setting standards in facilities constructed in regions affected by hurricanes.
- A thicker, pre-painted steel face skin maintains the acoustical properties of the wall system and eliminated the acoustical backers that absorb moisture and provide an extra layer of moisture and rust protection.
- Bottom seal mechanisms and carriers plated with specialized water-resistant zinc
- Woven fabric coverings that have infused antimicrobial elements to fight mold and bacteria
- Two-piece panel construction that allows only the lower portion of the panel to be removed and retrofitted following a flood damage
- Bagged insulation along the lower 8 feet of each seals the panel insulation from penetrating moisture.
Today, Hufcor’s replacement panels function as a benchmark to other facilities in the region. The reconstruction of the MCCC following Hurricane Katrina helped establish new innovations and solutions that provide preventative protection from devastating storms for operable walls.