I received a call from a fellow who would like to find a use
for the roof-washing equipment that currently is on top of the Kingdome, here
in Seattle. Why he bought the rights to it, I cannot say. However,
it does present a fun, out-of-the-ordinary question for the collective
A basic description of the Kingdome roof is
that it is a hyperbolic paraboloid shell structure with four dozen or so
half-ribs spanning between the tension ring and the compression ring. It
was designed by Jack Christiansen in the late 1960's / early 1970's and is
slated for demolition early next year. The "saddles" between the ribs
are concave relative to the exterior of the building.
The subject equipment has two components. The
first part runs on a circular track at the top of the dome (compression ring)
and it lowers the second part which runs down the ribs to allow access to all
parts of the roof. The second element can reach about 300-ft, from the
top of the dome, along the ribs. There is a trolley that drops from the
second part to allow contact with the roof surface.
Does anybody have any ideas or projects that
might benefit from such a system? Personally, I have no business
obligation or interest in this. I thought it would be fun to see if
somebody on this listserve might be aware of a possible use.
Please email me privately if you have a real
Please send wise comments, related
experiences, or general questions to the list server.
Please send comments that this is not really a
structural engineering issue to Relax@get-a-life.com .
Greg Varney, P.E.