Sacramento Convention Center Expansion

Sacramento, CA

As part of a growing city, the Sacramento Convention Center needed large spaces that allowed for a plethora of events and functions. This concept led to the design of steel bowstring trusses with 160 foot spans and post-tensioned concrete beams and girders spanning 220 feet. Engineering New Record described it as being “Like a Whale on Rollerskates” (July 4, 1994) due to the roof structure being able to slide while the concrete was allowed to cure and creep during construction. The final product is a two-level expansion that resulted in a significant architectural statement for the city while meeting the needs of the community for a space capable of hosting almost any event. 

Quick Facts

  • Size: 250,000 SF
  • Architect: LMN / Vitiello and Associates
  • 21,000 yards of concrete and 1,800 tons of structural steel were used on the project
  • The largest interior concrete columns were 54” diameter with 8000 psi concrete and carried over 7000 kips of gravity load each
  • Construction Cost: $46,000,000
  • Contractor: McCarthy Building Companies
  • In the expansion an 18 foot deep wall girder spans 220 feet and has 4.5 million pounds of pre-stress force


  • 1997 ACI - Concrete Construction Award
  • 1997 SEAOCC Excellence in Structural Engineering - Award of Excellence
  • 1996 PCI Excellence in Architectural and Engineering Design - Best Public/ Municipal Building

Photo credit: Ed Asmus Photography and Chip Allen Architectural Photography