Our projects

A sporting landmark for Glasgow’s regeneration

Sports arena and velodrome under one roof: The Emirates Arena is one of the largest, most versatile facilities of its kind in Europe.

Glasgow was in need of a world-class venue for the 2014 Commonwealth Games that would also contribute to its East End regeneration.

So we set about transforming a brownfield site alongside the River Clyde.

Due to the complex conditions of the venue's riverside location, the first challenge for our team was to develop a ground engineering solution to support the buildings.

The venue’s large column-free spaces also presented construction challenges. The colossal 300 tonne roof trusses needed careful planning - to transport, assemble and install.

Thanks to our team’s foresight, in-depth understanding of the construction methodology required and meticulous coordination, the operation ran like clockwork, keeping everyone on site safe and the project on schedule.

As lead contractor, we managed the creation of the entire complex – from arena, velodrome and community sports facilities, to the surrounding landscaping, car parks and access roads.

In the process we made sure the local community benefitted through targeted spending and employment opportunities.

The resulting venue has not only contributed to the local economy, it has become an inspiring symbol of regeneration.

Summary

    • Client: Glasgow City Council
    • Sector: Leisure
    • Value: £95m
    • Size: 42,000m2
    • Location: Scotland
    • Services: Construction Support, Pre-Construction
    • Completion date: 2014

This will not only be a key venue for the Games in 2014 but will be a world-class training facility and competition venue, attracting some of the world’s greatest sporting performers.

Archie Graham, Executive Member at Glasgow City Council

Engineering expertise

After erecting the hub’s concrete frame, we had to construct a 120-tonne steel framework on its roof for the mechanical plant. Logistically, this was a challenge.

Careful crane coordination was needed to position the large scale equipment, much of which needed installing directly into position at roof level on delivery.

Using Building Information Modelling (BIM), we worked out how best to optimise prefabrication and minimise the number of lifts. The resulting efficiencies simplified construction and reduced overall programme.

Large column-free spaces were essential for both velodrome and arena, providing uninterrupted views for spectators. We achieved this through a pair of 93m x 10m roof trusses in each area which arrived on site in prefabricated sections.

To keep everyone safe we minimised work at height. The upper sections of each of the 300 tonne structures were assembled on the ground in two pieces before being lifted into the air to be connected together. These sections were then fixed onto a bottom chord before being lifted into position.

Emirates Arena truss lift
ventilation ducts

Interface management

With the venues requiring two kilometres of gantries, several kilometres of ventilation ductwork, as well as lighting, PA, fire systems and heating panels, installation of the extensive high level services required exceptional levels of coordination.

With up to seven trades operating at any one time, subcontractors’ work areas were carefully segregated as part of a comprehensive health and safety strategy.

In an operation scheduled down to the last bolt, weekly subcontractor meetings started six months before we started on-site. This enabled our teams to break down activity and develop highly detailed plans and meant services could be safely installed alongside large structural works.

Community

The project has had a lasting positive impact on Glasgow and the region’s economy.

  • We employed local social enterprises for services including site catering and transport.

  • A high proportion of contracts were awarded to subcontractors and suppliers in the area.

  • Working alongside subcontractors, we provided training and placements for local school leavers and unemployed people. 

Awards

  1. awards

    Action for Children

    Youthbuild Partnership Award

  2. awards icon - light green

    Considerate Constructors Scheme

    Performance Beyond Compliance Certificate