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Case Study | TOPGOLF | Atlanta, GA

Project Timeline - July 17, 2014 - July 10, 2015

Project Scope

  • Sitework and utilities for the building, parking lot, and outfield
  • Structural elements of the building including foundations, structural steel, and concrete slabs
  • Exterior work including glass and glazing, EIFS, TPO roofing, paint, hardscapes, and landscapes
  • All exterior lighting except for Topgolf specialty signage
  • Purchased and installed all mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection (The only electrical items not in ARCO’s scope were IT elements.)
  • All finishes including flooring, walls, ceilings, paint, and lighting
  • Collaborated with the owner on company-wide design changes throughout the project
  • Assisted with the estimating and buyout of other Topgolf locations around the country

Square Footage

The building footprint was 22,000 square feet with three levels totaling 66,000 square feet. The project also included a 632-spot parking lot and a 225-yard outfield.

Equipment Installed

ARCO subcontracted the installation of all storm drains, underground electrical, underground plumbing, site lighting, mechanical systems, RTU units, light fixtures, bathroom plumbing, kitchen plumbing, bar plumbing, and kitchen gas.

Compliance Requirements

The project meets all specified Federal code requirements, Georgia code requirements, and the City of Atlanta requirements.

Unique Challenges

The city of Atlanta adopted the strictest version of the NFPA fire code which caused a review note that stated the upper level of the building, which contains a full level of hitting bays and a rooftop bar with an occupancy of 413, could not be occupied unless every steel member was fireproofed. As the upper level is imperative to Topgolf’s business, this obviously needed to be resolved. The first solution would be to fireproof every member of steel. Now, where beams are covered up by drywall, cementitious materials were planned to be used. However, because the steel on the tee lines was exposed, it was determined intumescent paint would need to used to make sure the tee lines were aesthetically pleasing. Intumescent paint is very expensive and would have added hundreds of thousands of dollars to the building cost.


There is an exception to the fire code for stadium seating that is outdoor that allows for occupied elevated levels because of the outdoor nature of the seating. Essentially, the code allows for less fireproofing if there is proof that the smoke and heat of a potential fire has a place to escape that does not result in harming humans and gives people ample time to evacuate without heating steal to the point of failure. Topgolf created a smoke test model to show that their movable furniture on the outside of the building would allow for smoke and heat to escape long enough for a 2-hour fire rating to be approved for the exception, eliminating the need to spend the money on additional fireproofing.


The smoke test passed the building officials’ review, and the tee lines were allowed to have their full occupancy under the stadium exception. Although this smoke test was expensive, it saved Topgolf hundreds of thousands of dollars in construction costs. ARCO was there to help facilitate the communications with the city, code research, and submissions to the city for review.