CourseWork CourseWork 

Syllabus for the Design Track (return)

Ownership of Ice Arenas

This class informs participants on the national outlook of ice arenas, who owns ice arenas, where they are located and what their business and management structures look like. Everyone knows that the ice arena industry experiences growth periods every few years, similar to what occurred in the 1970’s and 80’s. Unfortunately, all new arenas are not successful and that creates problems for the planning and funding of many more that could, and should be built. Knowing who operates arenas and where they are located helps the participants understand the many nuances of the industry.

Feasibility Study-Business Plan

A most important point in the history of any ice arena is that particular time when the decision is made to build. Many elected officials, recreation professionals, private owners have long dreamed of the day when they could design and erect their own ice arena. Consequently, after years of dreaming and discussing, it is natural for them to think they know exactly what is needed. This class covers the steps and various parts of a feasibility study, what to look for in each phase, how long a study should take and what they should cost. When design and construction are preceded by a feasibility study and proper planning, it usually results in a well-located building, which meets the needs of the community, is financial successful, is attractive, functional, and easily maintained.

Selection, Duties and Role of the Architect

It takes a number of planning and construction professionals to build an ice arena. The usual process is to employ an architect to work with the planning committee during the feasibility study phase. He/she develop conceptual drawings for cost estimating and later draw the detail plans. Engineers (civil, mechanical, electrical and structural) do their work based on the architect’s drawings and specifications. It is normal for the committee to investigate the reputation of several architectural, engineering and construction firms before narrowing their choices to one firm in each discipline. The process and methods, types of contractual relationships and various project team models is the focal point of this class.

Understanding Design Drawings

Drawings present a graphic depiction of each phase of the project with sufficient detail for builders, contractors and manufacturers to produce the intended design result and for permitting and other regulatory approvals prior to construction. This class will describe each type of drawing and highlight their function as well as review the important interpretive tools necessary to understand them. Increasingly design drawings are used more in the digital format than printed. This is especially true during the design development process, but the use of digital drawing formats at the project site is also becoming more widespread.

Selection, Duties and Role of Engineers

Due to the large structural building, the amount of mechanical equipment and technologies of refrigeration, dehumidification and the large heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems in an ice arena, the structural, mechanical and electrical engineers selected must have demonstrated knowledge in the ice arena industry or similar projects. The qualifications of the principle engineers in each discipline assigned to the project need to be evaluated, their personalities assessed and references checked for similar projects. Engineers who have constructed an ice arena before will be much more informed with their role and the planning criteria than first time professionals.

Selecting the Ice Plant, Floor and Refrigeration Company

With the advent of mechanical refrigeration in the late 19th century, people for the first time skated on ice other than that of a frozen lake, pond, river or canal. From that point forward, mechanically frozen ice was referred to as “artificial ice. There are only a few companies who specialize in the ice arena industry and each has their favorite way of designing the floor, the methods used to select the size and horsepower of the ice plant and what primary refrigerant and brine are used for the ice plant, floor and subsoil heating systems. This class will acquaint the participants on the various systems, what to look for in selecting the ice plant and save money through the use of energy from the plant.

Funding Ice Arena Projects

Financing the building of an ice arena is complex and normally requires multiple financing sources, consensus building, and the support of the public and private constituencies. Traditionally, the public sector has been at the center of the funding process. Only recently has the private sector begun to build facilities and compete with public-owned entities. This class covers the various phases needing funded and identifies the many sources of funding for ice arena projects.

Specifications, Bid Documents & Contracts

The architect is responsible for preparing contract documents and specifications from which the contractors use to bid and build the facility. Specifications are written instructions concerning project requirements. Generally, specifications supplement the working drawings by stating quality, color, and other factors desired that cannot be stated conveniently on the working drawings. Specifications are divided into General Conditions which deal with the administrative and procedural aspects and define the duties and responsibilities of the Owner, the Architect and the Contractor. Technical Specifications discuss products and materials and define on-site facilities and general construction procedures and requirements.

Energy Efficiency in Facility Design

This course is an overview of information that will bring the critical issue of energy efficiency to the forefront of future arena design considerations. Energy costs are one of the most serious challenges the industry faces. As rates for electricity and natural gas continue to climb, the budgetary stress on ice arenas will be extensive. Decisions made during the design process will have energy consequences for the entire life of the facility. The class will present many energy saving options as minor decisions in design development may unintentionally raise the cost to operate by thousands of dollars over its design life.

Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning & Dehumidification

The main purpose of ice arena (HVAC) heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems is to provide the people playing, watching and working inside buildings with “conditioned” air so that they will have a comfortable and safe environment. This class covers basic arena heating and cooling systems, controls, maintenance, desiccant technology and heat recovery systems. Arena managers appreciate the economic, human comfort, control of office and lobby temperatures aspects that these systems produced. Only in recent years have the ice surface areas themselves been heated primarily because of the use of desiccant technology to remove the humidity from the arena air.

Special Design and Engineering

The purpose of this class is to identify critical aspects of facility design and engineering that will have a significant impact on ice arenas ability, in any part of the country, to produce high quality, safe, pollution free ice while controlling energy and water consumption and achieving minimal maintenance costs. The facility structure, envelope, roofing system, wall and roof insulation, lighting and mechanical systems have special feature that only apply to ice arenas. Most architects and engineers are unfamiliar with how an ice surface changes a lot of the dynamics of standard facilities. These differences will be covered in detail.

Bidding and Construction Management Phase

Construction is difficult and there are potential risks at every turn- Murphy’s Law can occur at any time. Generally, public projects will be competitively bid as required by public policy. Bidders may be pre-qualified by the owner and the surety companies who are required to bond the contractor’s performance. Construction contracts state what is required of the contractors, owner, and architect. This class covers construction contracts, bid and performance bonds; labor and materials payment bonds and construction management.

Furniture, Fixtures & Equipment

The furniture, fixtures and equipment aspect of building a new or renovating an old arena must be researched at trade shows and conferences months in advance of starting construction. Just like contractors need specifications and blueprints, the purchasers of the FF&E need to write specifications for bidding and maintaining quality. Binds and product cut sheets should be given to the architect and engineers so space and the proper hook ups are designed into the blueprints. This class discusses the steps and procedures to coordinate the delivery and installation of the many FF&E items with the contractors.

Inspections and Project Close Out

All public facilities are governed by federal, state and local regulatory agencies both during construction and after occupancy. Federal agencies such as OSHA or DOL enforce federal laws that apply to fire, life safety, and health and building codes; however, there may be significant differences between states and local communities have the right to make state laws more stringent. It is important that management understand the regulations that will be used to judge their facility during design, construction and after occupancy. This class covers the inspections process, the steps and procedure for closing out a project, the use of checklists, retaining payments, the subjects of change orders, unforeseen conditions, delays, inclement weather, claims, site conditions that prevent a project from being built on time and on budget.

Ice Paint and Water Quality

Technically advanced ice paint and water quality systems specifically designed for ice arena use is essential today in light of more demanding requirements of a modern ice facility. Most ice makers today realize the detrimental effect inexpensive, poorly formulated ice paint and water with high mineral content can have on ice quality and energy efficiency. This class addresses the importance of a properly painted sheet, its appearance and how it can reduce energy costs. It also shows the pride of the operator and management team.

Warranties, As-Built Drawings and Occupancy

The most misinterpreted and confused provision of construction contracts is the mythical “one year warranty.” The laws of most states afford owners warranty rights that go far beyond the first year of occupancy. However, in order to enforce warranty rights, the owner must prove the defect is the result of faulty workmanship or faulty materials and not the result of poor design or lack of maintenance. This class covers warranties, the importance of making the architect and contractors produce as-built drawing and the conditions required for temporary and permanent occupancy-all important factors to open a facility on time.

Dasher Boards, Glass and Netting

The purchase of dasher boards and glass for a new arena can be a time consuming task. The dasher board system can be constructed of lightweight aluminum or steel and should be easy to dismantle and store on stackable board and glass carts. The type and height of the glass depends upon the seating location and whether clear monofilament netting is used to protect the spectators. The class instructor uses a miniature board section, complete with glass and stanchions, to explain how the boards fastened to the refrigerated slab, anchors have flush tops and how portable player, scorer and goal judge stands that are easily removed for producing skating shows and exhibitions. The class also share tips on daily, weekly and season board and class maintenance.

Dedication, Management and Programming

Planning the dedication, hiring and training the management team and scheduling and booking the arena programs begins months prior to opening of a new arena. The three main reasons for conducting a dedication of a new facility are discussed in this class as are the objectives of having one ceremony or several different, smaller events. The class covers a phased approach to training the staff and when and how to prepare programs to fully utilize the ice surfaces. After the construction is completed, quality management and programming is what will make an arena successful.

Return to welcome page

Welcome to CourseWork! iAIM Distance Learning Program
Copyright © 2003 Ice Skating Institute
Click here for HELP