The University of Houston unveiled its transformed basketball arena on December 1st, 2018, when the men’s basketball team played its first home game in its upgraded facility against the University of Oregon. The “old” arena was gutted in Spring of 2017, and this cutting-edge $60 million renovation project was completed in November. The newly constructed sports center, which was built by Turner Construction, was named after local billionaire Tilman Fertitta, who was fittingly inducted into the UH Athletics Hall of Honor just a few days before the first game took place.
Due to Mr. Fertitta’s generosity, the original 50-year-old University of Houston arena, formerly known as Hofheinz Pavilion, was renovated into a sports venue slated for future UH teams, characterized by a futuristic exterior. Whereas the entire exterior structure and roof were unchanged, just about everything else throughout this building project, inside and outside, was completely updated.
The low interior ceiling was eliminated, replaced by open ceiling space for both the bowl and concourse levels. Other major improvements included reconfiguring the arena’s seating to offer even more premium opportunities, two large VIP club areas, highly upgraded facilities in the Guy V. Lewis Basketball Center via a new tunnel connection, a beautiful new court, and much, much more.
Architectural plans called for the specification of Crossville’s Laminam® large-format gauged porcelain panels for the walls of five concession stands strategically positioned throughout the interior concourse of the arena. “I met with the installer, Allstate Commercial, along with our Houston distributor, BPI,” said Santiago Hernandez, Bostik’s Texas Territory Sales Manager. “Together we helped train the installation team. But first, I had to convince both groups about the winning characteristics of Bosti-Set®, our state-of-the-art adhesive, formulated specifically for the installation of today’s gauged porcelain tile panels.”
Hernandez not only persuaded both firms, but together with Ruben Rivera of BPI, subsequently staged winning educational sessions to ensure that installers from the Allstate Commercial team not only knew all the many attributes of Bosti-Set, but became psyched to work with this space-age material. Bosti-Set is a premium adhesive and sound reduction membrane, created specifically for gauged thin porcelain tile panel installations. It immediately grabs porcelain tile panels in a single coat, does not allow for any sag and makes it possible for panels to be repositionable for at least 30 minutes. Projects calling for gauged thin porcelain tile panels now can be installed in roughly half the time with a smaller crew. Why? A single layer of adhesive is troweled only onto the back of the panel or wall, cutting in half the square footage necessary to trowel. Additionally, with Bosti-Set, installation crew members dedicated to basics such as mixing, running mortar back and forth and similar functions, can be redirected to work on more skilled installation procedures.
Bosti-Set is lighter in weight with much greater coverage than typical mortars. It contains zero VOCs as well as 2% recycled material. Bostik’s patent-pending Thickness ControlTM Spacer Technology built into Bosti-Set, ensures proper membrane thickness is always maintained between tile panels and the substrate. And recycled rubber crumb particles mixed into the adhesive offer optimal membrane sound reduction performance.
“We first found out about Bosti-Set from our BPI representative, Ruben Rivera,” stated Rusty Dennison, Vice President of Operations at Allstate Commercial Flooring of Spring, Texas. “Typically, we’d use a thinset for wall applications, such as the one slated for the concession areas in the new Fertitta Center. So, during Surfaces/TISE West 2018 in Las Vegas, we met together with BPI and Bostik to get a really good picture of the benefits offered by this new material. We were impressed by many of its characteristics, and I must state, also by the highly professional way in which the product was presented to us. And of course, as businesspeople, we were obviously excited learning that with Bosti-Set, it took fewer workers less time for installations to be completed.”
Fast forwarding, once all parties were 100% on the same page, the installation process for these interior concourse areas of Fertitta Center began.
“In many ways, this was a championship, total-team effort installation!” beamed Hernandez. “It was the first time Allstate Commercial had ever worked with Bosti-Set, but we know it won’t be the last. The firm’s installers all had an A-game attitude throughout the entire process. Ruben and I were on-site for a great deal of time. It was awesome to witness a state-of-the-art, architectural conception being transformed into structural reality step by step. And even more so, watching our product being used so effectively by those that we had a hand in training, was truly a gratifying experience.”
Rusty Dennison added, “Not only was this a winning installation. But at the University of Houston Cougars’ first home game in the brand-new arena, we beat Oregon 65-61!”