2013 Heavy Commercial 1st Runner-Up

The Megaplex 15 Theaters at Valley Fair Mall in West Valley City, Utah, is one of the most innovative cinemas in the nation. Equipped with digital projectors and a state-of-the-art sound system, it gives movie-goers an unparalleled experience. It’s one of the first in the world to be equipped with Dolby Atmos, a surround sound system that travels over, around and through the audience for a “pan-through” array of sounds.

But the innovation goes beyond the sound and projection equipment. It could be said the building is innovative to its foundations. Built with insulated concrete forms, the foam-and-concrete construction method is stronger, more efficient, and more sound absorbent than any other off-the-shelf building technology.

The project is huge, covering more than 125,000 sq. ft. In addition to the exterior walls, all the interior walls between theaters were also built with ICF. The tallest reach 57 feet from footing to top. The shortest reach 40’ 8” without intermediate floors. In total, the project used almost a quarter million square feet of Fox Block ICF. The ICF portion was wrapped up in just under four months, and the entire job completed in about seven months.

Walls were stacked by IMS Masonry, who used a combination of turnbuckle bracing and crank-up masonry scaffolding as the job progressed. This is one of the largest ICF projects ever completed in North America, and IMS made sure that despite the tight schedule, the job went smoothly. (They also did the ICF install on a 20-screen theater in 2007 that was the largest ever completed at that time.)

The only significant obstacle encountered was that because the project was an addition to an existing shopping mall, there was very little room. Additionally, to meet the aggressive schedule, a little over half of the theatre walls needed to be built at the same time. Getting scaffolding, bracing and materials in place was a challenge, but they persevered and kept the project schedule intact.

Due to the use of ICF and other green building criteria, such as the proximity to mass transit, the owners have elected to pursue LEED Silver certification, which would make this the first theatre in Utah receive the designation. The project has received other accolades as well, including the Associated General Contractors naming it the “Retail Project of the Year” for 2013 and the ENR Merit Award from Engineering News Record, which was presented in October.

Dick Cornell, Project Manager for the Megaplex Theatres said, “I found the team R&O put together for this project, professional and serious about meeting deadlines, with emphasis on safety and cleanliness. We had tight timelines on this project, and R&O did an outstanding job in getting us open for the public in time.”

Miller 15-Plex Theatre

Location: West Valley City, Utah
Type: 15-screen Movie Theater
Size: 125,600 sq. ft. (floor)
ICF Use: 240,000 sq. ft (142,000 sq. ft. exterior + 97,000 sq. ft interior)
Cost: $17 Million
Total Construction: 220 days
ICF Start-to-Finish Time: 110 days

Owner: Satterfield Helm
General Contractor: R&O Construction
ICF Installer/Distributor: IMS Masonry
Architect: FFKR
Engineer: BHB Consulting
ICF System: Fox Blocks

  • Massive project with extremely tight deadlines
  • Walls to 57 feet. Shortest wall is 40’8”
  • Addition to existing mall meant congested jobsite
  • Half the walls built simultaneously
  • Pursuing LEED-Silver certification
  • Awarded “Retail Project of the Year” by AGC
  • ENR Merit Award

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