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Versa-Dek® composite deck helps architect achieve unifying vision, open spaces and control acoustics at nation’s largest BMX park

Rockstar Energy Drink Bike Park built with Versa-Dek® composite deck

The $25 million Rockstar Energy Drink Bike Park in Houston includes three buildings that feature New Millennium Building Systems floor deck and roof deck, which is left exposed inside and outside, to maximize ceiling height and create a unified architectural look.

Rockstar Energy Drink Bike Park is more than just an exciting opportunity for BMX racing in this Houston community. The largest BMX park in the country, it is an investment in the economically suppressed Greater Greenspoint neighborhood. It represents a promise for more economic development for the underserved population. It is a sign of better things to come for the region and its residents.

For his part, architect Brett Zamore and his team at Brett Zamore Design sought to deliver beautiful and functional design when he was brought on to create three buildings on the 23-acre site. He relied on Versa-Dek® long-span composite floor and acoustical roof deck systems to help realize his vision.

Brett Zamore Design was responsible for the $25 million park’s 2,500-square-foot Welcome Center; a BMX Center that features a classroom, office space, concessions area and restrooms; and the BMX Events Center with a second-floor observation deck. Versa-Dek® S Acoustical roof deck was used on all three buildings. Versa-Dek® S long-span composite was used to separate floors in the two-story events center.

Rockstar Energy Drink Bike Park Outside Stadium

Project profile

Rockstar Energy Drink Bike Park
Houston, Texas

Objectives

Mitigating noise in three hard-surface facilities; efficiently incorporating utilities into ceiling design; ensuring common architectural theme; creating open spaces that let natural light into facilities.

Solution

Low-profile, dovetail acoustical roof deck with hanger system for utilities used in all three facilities.

Systems used

  • Versa-Dek® S Composite
  • Versa-Dek® S Acoustical
  • Versa Wedge™ hanger system
RockStar Bike Park Building Exterior
RockStar Bike Park Building Exterior Stadium

In the BMX Welcome Center and the BMX Events Center, Versa-Dek® S Acoustical roof deck sits on wood beams, with both extending from inside to outside the facilities.

Finding ‘a perfect fit’

Brett Zamore Design was challenged with creating a common aesthetic in three buildings that serve very disparate purposes. Zamore found the solution in the New Millennium Building Systems Versa-Dek® family of products.

“The New Millennium product really caught our eye. It’s unique,” says Zamore, who started his architecture firm in 2007. “We wanted to bring in a character that the product offered, and it tied well to the architecture. It was something we utilized through all buildings; there's a consistency. It helps create a backbone, in a sense, from one building to the next and continues a strong architectural language throughout."

“We felt that this added value to the project, not just short-term, but long-term.”

The Versa-Dek® S Acoustical roof deck sits on wood or wide-flange beams arranged to create a 10-foot-by-10-foot grid system. The Versa-Dek® dovetail design gives the roof deck a lineal, plank-like appearance to match the beams. Zamore liked how the exposed Versa-Dek® roof deck was “beautiful” yet felt at home in an extreme sports facility.

“At the BMX racing facility, we wanted to express the rawness of the material, which connects to the BMX culture,” he says. “The New Millennium product was a perfect fit for us.”

Versa-Dek® does more than unify the ceiling appearance of the three buildings. It also matches the buildings’ corrugated exterior cladding.

“One of the things that was important in the architecture was carrying the same systems from one building to the other,” Zamore says. “All three buildings integrate everything from the Versa-Dek® to utilizing the same exterior and finishes and details and incorporating a similar structural language.”

Versa-Wedge™ Hanger System Rockstar Bike Park Interior Ceiling

The Versa-Wedge™ hanger system suspends mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) systems from the dovetail profile of Versa-Dek® roof deck, maximizing the ceiling height and opening interior spaces.

 

Raising the ceiling

Rockstar Energy Drink Bike Park is in a floodplain, adjacent to the North Fork of the Greens Bayou. OJB Landscape Architecture planted 400 trees on the property during nearly four years of construction and preserved another 400. Eventually, the foliage will shade park users from the Texas heat. Nearby trails link the bike park to the 150-mile Bayou Greenway trail system.

Brett Zamore Design’s three buildings feature open interior spaces with unobstructed views of the natural landscape as well as track activities. Versa-Dek® S Acoustical allowed him to accomplish his goals in two ways. The Versa-Dek® 2-inch roof deck profile is the shallowest available, enabling Zamore to increase ceiling height, and the Versa-Wedge™ hanger system allowed utilities to be suspended from the ceiling, eliminating the need for larger mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) support systems.

“We needed to figure out how to increase the height of the ceiling in order to bring in more natural light within that space. By using Versa-Dek®, we were able to avoid using drop ceilings with closed plenum,” Zamore says. “We could have incorporated a standard drop ceiling, but exposing the buildings’ vital systems and increasing the volume of space created buildings with a life and beauty that express the buildings clearly.”

“Versa-Dek® resolves a myriad of issues,” says Alex Therien, Market Development Manager at New Millennium. “We prefer to approach the ceiling-roof as a single design element, not just another component in a roof assembly. With no secondary acoustical ceiling system, the design team eliminates non-essential materials. It spares the architect from having to design, and the construction trades from installing. Most importantly, having an exposed ceiling spares construction waste, expense servicing a suspended ceiling and what to do with the materials at the end-of-life.”

With consideration of hanging devices and coordinating with mechanical, electrical and fire suppression systems, the design team can create a clean aesthetic that is extremely durable.

The roof of the BMX Center, the largest of Brett Zamore Design’s three buildings, serves as the base of the main track’s starting ramps. The space inside opens all the way up, with the Versa-Dek® roof deck supporting the base of the 5-meter and 8-meter ramps. Nearby, the BMX Events Center is a two-story facility featuring Versa-Dek® S long-span composite floor deck with a concrete slab supporting the second-floor observation area. Again, the roof is made up of Versa-Dek® S Acoustical.

Rockstar Bike Park Interior Locker Room
Rockstar Bike Park Interior Ceiling Natural Light

One of architect Brett Zamore’s intentions at the BMX park is to allow natural light to flow into building interiors. The Versa-Wedge™ hanger system eliminated the need for bulky MEP support systems or drop ceilings, enabling Brett Zamore Design to accomplish his goal.

Lowering the volume

Although Brett Zamore Design’s three buildings at Rockstar Energy Drink Bike Park serve vastly different purposes, they all required noise reduction.

“Most of the spaces are open,” Zamore says. “There's a lot of sound vibration from concrete floors, sheetrock walls, and we needed a way to reduce acoustics. The perforated acoustical Versa-Dek® was a perfect solution to helping with our acoustical concerns.”

Versa-Dek® S Acoustical reaches noise reduction coefficients of .90 to 1.15. It features perforations that allow sound to pass into the deck’s flutes, which are filled with fiberglass acoustic insulation atop a plastic lath.

“This was a unique application,” Therien says. “Typically, acoustical deck is reserved for interior, conditioned environments. Due to exterior covered areas requiring noise control, it presented a situation where areas of Versa-Dek® Acoustical are exposed to the ambient air. New Millennium recommended encapsulating the acoustical elements in clear plastic, a means to address Houston’s extreme temperature fluctuations and stifling summer humidity. Far from experimental, this is the standard practice for indoor pool design.”

It proved particularly beneficial in the BMX building. It has classroom and office space that necessitated noise reduction. Local schools will use the educational space for STEM programs that teach children how to build BMX tracks.

Rockstar Bike Park Exterior Ceiling

The Versa-Dek® Acoustical roof deck used in exterior covered areas at the park has its acoustical elements wrapped in clear plastic to address Houston’s temperature fluctuations and high summer humidity.

Enhancing community

The bike park celebrated its grand opening in August. It already has played host to state and national championships events, and the final 2020 Olympics qualifying race takes place there in May 2020.

Rockstar Energy Drink Bike Park isn’t reserved for professionals, however. Besides the park’s BMX racing track, the biking facilities are free and open to the public. There’s also a community gathering area on the grounds and plans for educational programs such as bike maintenance classes to bring residents together.

“The project has the potential to score growth in this area and truly give back to the community,” Chip Trageser, managing principal and project design director at OJB, told The Architect’s Newspaper in a statement.

“We worked really hard to get to know the people who’d use this park and tried to translate their passion into a physical form that would be exciting for all.”

Rockstar Bike Park Racing Facility

The Rockstar Energy Drink Bike Park is more than just a racing facility. It is free and open to the public to use, and it has classroom and office space for educational programs and community gatherings.

Contact one of our deck specialists to discuss your next project.

Case studies

Judith A. Resnik Middle School featuring Versa-Dek® 3.5 Accoustical
  • Judith A. Resnik Middle School
  • Von Ormy, Texas
  • Architect: Pfluger Architects
  • Facility: 170,000 square feet
  • Systems used: Versa-Dek®  3.5
    Versa-Dek®  3.5 Acoustical
    Standard Roof Deck
    Composite Floor Deck

The school’s design is based on team-teaching and “school within a school” academic models. This strategy features autonomy, as well as interaction in spaces that are flexible for collaboration, with an open floor plan that accommodates multiple learning environments.

The cafeteria and gymnasium—loud spaces at any school—feature acoustical Versa-Dek®. This avoided the costs, additional labor and diminished aesthetic of a conventional acoustical drop ceiling. The libraries and hallways also benefit from the acoustical qualities.

Southwest Legacy High School Library featuring Versa-Dek® 3.5 Acoustical
  • Southwest Legacy High School
  • Von Ormy, Texas
  • Architect: Pfluger Architects
  • Facility: 370,000 square feet
  • Systems used: Versa-Dek® 3.5
    Versa-Dek® 3.5 Acoustical
    Standard Roof Deck
    Composite Floor Deck

Southwest Legacy High School’s design includes “a large central ‘mall’ with amphitheater-style seating for large group presentations and collaboration,” according to Pfluger Architects. Flexibility is a key component as well as the variation of collaborative and conference spaces to supplement classrooms.

Acoustical considerations and durability must be addressed in high-traffic applications like schools. And when the structure is exposed, time and money can be saved by eliminating secondary systems such as dropped ceilings, without sacrificing performance.

Northern Arizona University Aquatic and Tennis Complex featuring Versa-Dek® Ls Acoustical
  • Northern Arizona University Aquatic and Tennis Complex
  • Flagstaff, Arizona
  • Architect: Sink Combs Dethlefs
  • Facility: 120,000 square feet
  • Systems used: Versa-Dek® LS Acoustical

To address project design requirements, New Millennium recommended a long-span acoustical steel deck solution for the natatorium ceiling. Versa-Dek® acoustical steel decking provides a .95 noise reduction coefficient. The 3.5-in. deep system features a dovetail profile with factory-integrated and sealed acoustical batting.

New Millennium collaborated with the structural engineer to assure that the 12-foot architectural steel deck panels were properly fastened using shotpinned connections and screwed side laps. This prevented welding damage to the factory finish. The dovetail deck profile concealed the fasteners and the exposed, lineal plank deck ceiling presents a strikingly spacious interior.

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