Sports stadia contribute some of the most visually iconic buildings to skylines throughout the world. Often representing significant architectural statements, these technically demanding one-off projects can provide a unique set of challenges throughout the build process. Detailed planning is critical to ensure projects remain true to the original design intent, whilst delivered on budget and on time.
Here we take a look at some of the factors that should be considered when building for the stadia and leisure sector and why logistical planning is key to the success of these projects.
From a design perspective, there is a strong desire from end clients to push boundaries in terms of creativity and complexity. In addition, many projects involve upgrading, rebuilding or extending existing facilities, meaning a phased delivery programme and a tight schedule is crucial to limit disruption to the operation of the stadium.
Early involvement from contractors enables advanced planning and running building phases through BIM and or digital engineering software will help to identify any design issues, reduce the risk of disruption and provide a realistic timetable for delivery.
Furthermore, the roof structure will always pose one of the biggest challenges with stadium projects. Although stadiums are able to operate at a limited capacity during the early build stages, this is not possible during roof installation. With limited space onsite, the whole of the infield must be utilised during this phase and therefore must be completed while the stadium is not in use.
A good example of this is our work on Wimbledon’s Court No 1. Tasked with delivering a roof upgrade prior to the start of the Wimbledon Championships in July, we were able to deliver a scope of works that consisted of a standing seam metal roofing system and a waterproof hot melt package.
Working closely with our supply chain partners, we were able to ensure the scope of works were completed prior to the Championships – allowing time to demobilise from the site and ensuring minimal disruption for spectators.
In addition to our work at Wimbledon, we have been appointed to deliver a scope of works for Twickenham Stadium. Appointed by Mace and the RFU, Prater will deliver the entire envelope package for the extension of the East Stand.
From our perspective, we are very well placed to take advantage of the burgeoning stadium sector. Our expertise have been utilised on many projects including London’s Olympic Stadium and Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium.
As projects become increasingly complex, our in-house technical team has the ability to collaborate with architects and main contractors at an early stage. In addition, by utilising BIM and digital engineering software, as well as our offsite capabilities we can help to ensure successful project delivery.