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University of Minnesota Williams Arena Project Profile

When it came time to update the University of Minnesota Williams Arena/Sports Pavilion in Minneapolis, Minnesota, some alterations needed to be performed to satisfy modern day building codes. Included in the changes was the erection of a new, highly efficient fire-rated wall to separate men’s and women’s athletic floors. The wall that separated the two areas all the way to the roof did not meet the specs for a two-hour fire-rated wall. 

To meet the need for a continuous wall that could rise six stories, the architect chose the USG® Cavity Shaft Wall System. USG Sheetrock® Brand Gypsum Liner Panels, 1-inch-thick, were installed, interlocking panel edges with USG C-H steel studs.  The shaft wall system incorporated USG Sheetrock® Brand UltraCode® Core Gypsum Panels that were installed across the entire face of the system to provide a smooth, uniform surface. 

The extra fire resistance offered by this specially formulated 3/4-inch-thick panel made it possible to achieve the necessary two-hour fire rating with only one layer of panels on the finished side, reducing materials and labor time by 33 percent.

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People Involved

David Howd, Hammel, Green & Abrahamson Inc. Architectural Firm

Tom Panek, Minuti-Ogle Co.,Inc. Drywall Contractor

Project Scope

6 story, fire-rated wall

Special Factors

Older building needs an update for fire-ratings.