Modular Building Institute

Fortress Obetz

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Main Category:
Modular Building Design
Falcon Structures
Falcon Structures
Obetz, OH
Building Use:
Public Gathering
Gross Size of Project:
27504 Square Feet
Days to complete:

Award Criteria

  1. Architectural Excellence
    Built from 122 shipping containers, the sprawling, 71,112 square-foot Fortress Obetz is the largest shipping container structure to date. The public event space’s smoke grey silhouette resembles a medieval fortress brought into the industrial era and exudes a sense of fortitude that rivets fans and daunts rivals. Inside the corrugated steel walls are ticket booths, administrative offices, and locker rooms. Fans may congregate in the interior courtyard under the watch of looming corner towers. In the second level, visitors enjoy bar service on the open patios and watch one of the two giant screens on the east and west interior walls. Two unattached adjacent wings contain bathrooms and concessions. Guests flow in and out of the upright containers interspersed between the bathroom and concession units. The Fortress’ towers, made from upright containers, are a game-changing container structure innovation that breaks up the rectangular profile in a manner reminiscent of medieval battlement.
  2. Technical Innovation & Sustainability
    To create Fortress Obetz, the largest shipping container structure in the United States to date, all ground level units were perfectly level to ensure all the second and third story units would be lined-up and balanced. Wherever four module corners met, a small section of the floor in the final container was prepared to be removed for welder access and then replaced. Securely erecting and anchoring the upright containers is a breakthrough in container structure design and execution. Fortress Obetz will serve as a road map and a testament to the potential for large shipping container structures. In addition, the towers adjacent to the bathrooms provided the vertical distance required to separate the air-intake and air-output vents. False walls inside the bathroom modules hid the ventilation ducts and fans to create a clean, seamless appearance. Falcon’s production team installed plumbing penetrations as specified for efficient installation.
  3. Cost Effectiveness
    Building a comparable non-modular structure would have taken two years—Fortress Obetz was completed in less one. Off-site construction dramatically shortened the timeline in part because container production and site prep progressed simultaneously. Even before the city poured the foundation, Falcon was constructing the modules. The time from drawings to installation was a short two and a half months. Once the containers arrived onsite, installation was simple and streamlined enough for Falcon and local contractors to assemble 122 containers in 10 days. Modular building also kept the construction zone tidy. When the public arrived for an event before the Fortress was technically finished, visitors didn’t seem to notice and gave positive feedback on the structure’s appearance. The reduced time-to-revenue made modular building a cost-effective approach for Fortress Obetz.
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