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Author Topic: Advice Building Outdoor Stage  (Read 13964 times)

Jeremy Oswin

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Advice Building Outdoor Stage
« on: May 30, 2012, 04:40:47 am »

A local church is building an outdoor stage amphitheater on private property outside local town.  (Town population 5000, county 43,000.)  Labor is more plentiful than $$.  Stage dimensions are 50' W x 40' D, with additional 10' x 14' wings for speakers (total 70' W at front, exact stage height to be decided).  Current construction is clay dirt filled tires for front & side wings perimeter with clay dirt backfill.  6" concrete slab with rebar will be poured on top with cement board forms along outside of tire perimeter.  No permanent roof - plan is to raise portable roof with box truss frame (incl. lights & flown speakers) if & when the need arises.  200 Amp service currently installed.  Crowd area 125' D flat ground, then slopes upward 75' or so (to ≈ 30' H).   Concert attendance 125-1200, wishfully up to 10,000 or more in time. 

Stage height?  Currently would be 36" at highest point (incl. 6" slab), could be 44" if another row of tires is added.  (I suspect 44" or 52" would be best, given 48" - 52" standard loading dock heights.)

Loading dock?  The back of the stage is currently sloped dirt (potentially grass).  Would it be advisable to place a "tire wall" somewhere along the back and build a proper loading dock?

Water drainage?  It's been considered to slope the stage for drainage, I'm inclined to suggest flat, any thoughts?

Handicap access?  Is it advisable to construct a ramp aside from the sloped bank at back of stage?

Concrete strip in front of stage?  Idea is that center ground stacked sub woofers would have foundation other than uneven grass.

I have lots of questions but want to cover the essentials at this stage of the growing process.  All insight is appreciated.  Thanks!
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Jeremy Oswin

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Re: Advice Building Outdoor Stage
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2012, 04:57:50 am »

FOH Position
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Jeremy Oswin

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Re: Advice Building Outdoor Stage
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2012, 05:07:56 am »

Stage Right wing
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Jeremy Oswin

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Re: Advice Building Outdoor Stage
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2012, 05:22:37 am »

Stage Right stage view
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Brad Weber

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Re: Advice Building Outdoor Stage
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2012, 09:02:09 am »

I have lots of questions but want to cover the essentials at this stage of the growing process.  All insight is appreciated.  Thanks!
Probably lots of question back and probably starting with what design and construction processes and services are being applied?  Then maybe how any zoning and permitting is being addressed?
 
I apologize in advance if I have misinterpreted the situation but from what I see of the current construction, the comment of 200A service for a venue with an audience of up to 10,000 people, no mention of restroom facilities and plumbing or of life safety, fire protection and medical provisions and so on, it at least appears that this is poorly conceived and way over the heads of the people involved.
 
A facility like that must be properly approved, designed, permitted, constructed, etc. and not having sufficient funding to do so means that it should not be attempted, not that it should be done improperly.
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Kyle Leonard

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Re: Advice Building Outdoor Stage
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2012, 11:45:05 am »

Because of the ability of clay to absorb water and tend to shift, you should be using more of a road mix consisting of 70% gravel 3" diameter and smaller. Compact it then add 4" of 3/4" crushed rock on top. If you don't have a good base, the concrete will crack and fall apart.

You definitely need an ADA ramp. Look up the regulations for specifics, but I think it's supposed to be 1" of rise for 18" of distance.

You should also consult with your county building department. They can help a lot, as well as give you guidance for regulations. If you keep a good relationship with them, it will pay back in dividends.
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Charlie Zureki

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Re: Advice Building Outdoor Stage
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2012, 12:22:52 pm »

Because of the ability of clay to absorb water and tend to shift, you should be using more of a road mix consisting of 70% gravel 3" diameter and smaller. Compact it then add 4" of 3/4" crushed rock on top. If you don't have a good base, the concrete will crack and fall apart.

You definitely need an ADA ramp. Look up the regulations for specifics, but I think it's supposed to be 1" of rise for 18" of distance.

You should also consult with your county building department. They can help a lot, as well as give you guidance for regulations. If you keep a good relationship with them, it will pay back in dividends.

  +1 

   The building department will be your best friend in this.  I can foresee a lot of extra costs such as culverts or swails to prevent water retention around the stage area.  Filling tires may seem like a good idea, but as Kyle wrote, it's the wrong way to build a solid structure.  You'll need footings, compacted soil, or if that's not possible, 1/4 & down  crushed limestone or gravel.  You'll need rebar & ties, possibly steel.

   The Electrical panel will need to be in a nema enclosure if not housed and protected from the weather's elements.

    Ramps are a must, as are railings.  You'll need emergency lighting for the area.   

   You really need to contact a licensed builder and an Architect for drawn plans.

   Most Building departments won't approve anything without drawn plans.

   Good Luck, spend some money and save it on the back-side, or you may just incur the costs of removing everything.

   Hammer

  ps...I suppose I missed Brads post the first time around, but he's TOTALLY correct, do this, but, do it CORRECTLY!
   
« Last Edit: May 30, 2012, 12:25:46 pm by Charlie Zureki »
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Brad Weber

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Re: Advice Building Outdoor Stage
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2012, 04:17:42 pm »

This may help, http://www.co.stevens.wa.us/landservices/index.php.  I just hope somebody contacted them or the relevant parties and that all required zoning, approvals, permitting, etc. issues were identified and addressed before any construction started.  If not then you probably need to do so before doing anything else.
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Jeremy Oswin

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Re: Advice Building Outdoor Stage
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2012, 12:21:19 am »

Very good comments, I know this is an ambitious project and want to do it right.  While we want to lay the ground work for future expansion, the church's current priority is to have summer services for up to 125 people.  Occasional special events of 500 - 1200 are realistic max attendances, 10,000 is of no immediate concern, but it would be nice to be able to grow without re-doing everything.  The budget is small, so we want to direct it toward the essentials for somewhat low key events now, and add as we go.

Zoning and permits are taken care of.  The church has been working with the county building department and following their recommendations.  A structural engineer, a contractor, and concrete specialists are advising each step for local standards.  To the county, this project is classified as "landscaping," just a concrete slab on private property.  The church hopes to avoid permanent rails and ramps etc. until the budget can afford them.

I was wrong about the clay dirt foundation.  It's actually 30% clay, 70% gravel & top soil, compacted.  A layer of structural fill will be added on top of this, also compacted, then 6" slab with rebar and expansion joints.  This, along with the tire retaining wall, is what the building department suggested.  Water flow has been diverted around stage area.  If there is flooding, cracking, what-have-you, so be it.  The church is willing to assume the risk. 

3 plumbed bathrooms with handicap access, kitchen, and green room are built near the stage.  Porta-potties would be used when necessary.  There is a (200A I believe) service in this structure, so we could potentially use it in addition to the stage 200A service.  That should be sufficient for now, events requiring more power can rent generators.  There is 3 phase power several miles up the road if the demand justifies bringing it in.

The stage height will now be 44", seem ok?  How about a raked stage for rain drainage?  Concrete strip in front of stage (for sub woofers at larger events), or grass (softer landing strip for inevitable stage fallers)?  What else should we be considering? 

Thanks
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John Livings

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Re: Advice Building Outdoor Stage
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2012, 02:16:27 am »

Hi Jeremy,

Doing more than "Landscaping" may be an issue.

Someone might consider going up to your 44" inches, with the "Slab" or "Patch" of concrete  having a slope of 1/4 inch per foot, anything less than that may allow water to pool.

This will require the Pad to be higher (Than 44 inches) in the rear to allow for drainage.

First slope the dirt surrounding the Pad to about 1/2 inch per foot, then slope the pad, then pour the concrete.

Compact the loose dirt every 2 or so inches, with a large tractor 6" max.

Measure the volume of area you need to fill, then double that for the amount of loose fill you need. (If you need to fill and compact an area (Volume) of 100 cubic yards, you will need 200 cubic yards of fill)

Plant grass, Flowers...

The first thing I would consider is to NOT use the tires.

Get free fill, Compact it and pour the slab.

Good Luck, just my opinions.

Regards,  John
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