Nationals Park

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					Focus on Accessibility

                                       Nationals Park, the baseball stadium
                                    for the Washington Nationals profes-
                                    sional team, includes a Garaventa Artira
                                    inclined wheelchair lift installed in the
                                    Red Porch outdoor picnic area in the
                                    centerfield bleachers to provide handi-
                                    capped access from the main concourse
                                    down to the seating area. The travel of
                                    the unit consisted of a straight, 24-riser
                                    stairway with seven total stops across
                                    five intermediate landings. The total
                                    length was 19.2 meters, including
                                    upper-landing platform storage. Due to
                                    the fact that the unit was installed out-
                                    doors, the tubes, towers and drive box
                                    were all constructed of stainless steel
                                    painted in a custom color.

                                by Christopher G. Cromwell

                                       The real challenge of this job was
                                    that the overall project was on a “fast
                                    track” to meet the opening-day dead-
                                    line. As such, the stairway for the lift
                                    was built in stages. Bedco Mobility, Inc.,
                                    contracted by KONE, went back to the
                                    stadium five separate times just to
                                    measure the stairs as the different parts
                                    were completed. Thanks to the engi-
                                    neering by Garaventa Lift and the in-
                                    stallation by the Bedco Mobility’s tech-
                                    nicians, the unit was a good fit and
                                    ready for operation in the first game of
                                    the 2008 baseball season. HOK Sport
                                    was the architect for the project, and
                                    Clark/Hunt/Smoot Joint Venture served
                                    as general contractor.

84                       | WWW.ELEVATOR-WORLD.COM | May 2010
The Stadium                              Water-conserving plumbing
by Lee Freeland                       fixtures throughout the park
    Nationals Park is located in      save an estimated 3.6 million
southeast Washington, D.C.,           gallons of water per year and
south of the Capitol. It is part of   reduce overall water consump-
the busy mixed-use Capitol            tion by 30%. Green light fix-
Riverfront project adjacent to        tures are also installed, saving
the Navy Yard and owned by            21% more energy than tradi-
the D.C. Sports and Entertain-        tional field lighting. The build-
ment Commission. Opened on            ing materials at the site all
March 30, 2008, the 41,546-seat       used at least 10% recycled ma-
facility offers panoramic views       terial, and 5,500 tons of con-
of the riverfront, Navy Yard,         struction waste were recycled.
Capitol, Washington Monument          There is no need for irrigation
and other parts of the city.          on the site, as the landscaped
    The stadium is one of the         plants require little water.
first of its kind in the U.S. to         In addition to a highly reflec-
achieve Leadership in Energy          tive roof that minimizes heat
and Environmental Design Sil-         gain, the US$611-million sta-
ver Status. Enrolled in the           dium features a water filtration
green Voluntary Clean Up Pro-         system that separates water
gram, Nationals Park is in-           used for cleaning the park from
tended to leave the approxi-          rainwater. It then treats all of
mately 25-acre site it sits on a      the water before its release. A
much better environment than          specialized screening process
it was before the stadium’s           removes organic debris such
erection. Environmental reme-         as peanut shells from the
diation efforts remain ongoing.       storm-water system.

                                                                           Photos this page:
                                                                           Top: (l-r) Will and Christopher Cromwell measuring for the Garaventa
                                                                           Artira inclined wheelchair lift

                                                                           Bottom: The lift was a necessary part of the busy section.

                                                                           Left: A cover is placed over the lift when it is not in use.

                                                                           Photos opposite page:
                                                                           Top: The rails are integrated into the rest of the stadium thanks to
                                                                           custom-colored stainless steel.

                                                                           Bottom: The lift with its platform open

                                                                                                 Christopher G. Cromwell joined his
                                                                                                 family’s business, Baltimore Elevator &
                                                                                                 Dumbwaiter Co., in 1976, when the
                                                                                                 company was shifting to concentrate on
                                                                                                 the accessibility market, which strictly
                                                                                                 included residential stair lifts at the
                                                                                                 time. The company slowly added seat
                                                                                                 lift chairs, scooters, wheelchair lifts,
                                                                                                 hand controls and vans. Its name was
                                                                           changed to Bedco Mobility in the mid 1980s to reflect the
                                                                           nature of its business and the fact that the third-generation
                                                                           company operates regionally.

                                                                                                 May 2010 | ELEVATOR WORLD |               85