MSOE Soccer Facility


MSOE’s New “Green” Roof is an Athletic Field

Soccer, rugby and lacrosse players at the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) enjoy an exceptional field for their sport, thanks to a unique project that included the development of the athletic area on top of a structure that houses a 780-car parking complex, a .88 acre public park and 12,000 square feet of retail space.  Viets Field boasts the first all-LED lit competition field in the United States.


FJAC was selected for the 100,000 square foot project, based on its innovative approach to the complex demands of the athletic field.  Critical needs included a watertight seal to protect the parking structure and camber to allow the area to drain correctly.  Original specifications for the roof called for a traditional concrete deck that would be covered with tapered board roof insulation and then a synthetic turf system.  Tapering the flat surface of the insulation boards to achieve the proper camber would have been extremely difficult, so the FJAC team introduced an alternative above the flat concrete deck – lightweight insulating concrete(LWIC).  By custom-sloping the LWIC in a cambered shape, positive drainage was achieved.


The use of LWIC prompted a switch of membrane types from EPDM/rubber to an 80-mil PVC membrane.  The PVC membrane provides superior waterproofing and has a fleeced backing to provide cushioning for any slight bumps in the concrete deck.  The drainage mat laid over the layer was AirDrain, a drainage cell made entirely of recycled materials by Airfield Systems, the same system at the University of Phoenix Stadium – where the Arizona Cardinals play.  With the AirDrain system, water flows to trench drains underneath the concrete and around the complete perimeter of the field.  That lets MSOE help the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District’s effort to reduce stormwater runoff and limit pollution to Lake Michigan.


FJAC crews met a tight schedule, completing their portion of the project within 15 days that included a stormy period during June and into a Fourth of July holiday.  FJAC was praised by MSOE and Hunzinger Construction who served as the general contractor for the $30 million project.  The builder’ president, John Hunzinger, remarked: “it was a great job by a great company – just what we have come to expect from FJAC.”


Operating Unit: F.J.A. Christiansen Roofing, A Tecta America Company
Client: Milwaukee School of Engineering - Viets Field
Industry Type Education
Project Type: New Construction
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Square Footage: 100,000
Systems Installed: PVC Membrane, Air Drain, Lightweight Insulating Concrete