Our projects

Team shines at Emirates Stadium

Arsenal's state-of-the art new ground rewrote the rulebook on football stadia

As main contractor for Arsenal FC, our goal was to create a stadium to ‘compete with Europe’s top football clubs’.

Timing was critical. Arsenal needed to take part in pre-qualification matches for European competitions. And a late handover would stall redevelopment of the club’s existing Highbury ground if the team played there for another season.

There were design challenges to overcome. Sourcing and assembling the gigantic steel trusses supporting the roof required first-rate planning and engineering. 

The stadium’s striking design incorporates energy-saving features, a waste-handling centre and spectator access via two new bridges.

Thanks to close collaboration, expert project management and world-class engineering the Emirates was handed over two weeks ahead of schedule.

Hosting its first match eight days after handover, Emirates Stadium has gone on to win industry awards, setting a benchmark for stadia the world over.

Summary

    • Client: Arsenal Football Club
    • Sector: Leisure
    • Value: £240 million
    • Location: London
    • Services: Construction Support, Pre-Construction, McAlpine Design Group, Customer Care
    • Completion date: 2007

Expertise

  1. roof trusses at Emirates Stadium

    Raising the roof

    Rising above the stadium is a vast 27,200m2 roof. Angled towards the pitch to maximise natural light, this is held in place by two tubular steel primary trusses – each spanning 204m – as well as two smaller 100m trusses.

    Creating and erecting this roof posed significant challenges. Sourcing components that met precise requirements, agreeing the most efficient construction method, and co-ordinating timing were all key.

  2. emirates-arsenal-stadium-planning

    Planning for success

    We managed the design team throughout the preconstruction phase, collaborating with our supply chain to work out how best to achieve design and cost requirements within the timeframe.

    This early involvement helped us identify and plan for construction issues arising from the stadium roof.

  3. construction of roof trusses at Emirates Stadium

    Bringing it together

    Originally, the two primary trusses were to be assembled on the pitch in one piece. But with this taking up most of the stadium footprint, it would have delayed construction of the terraces. So we revised the plans; assembling each of the 720 tonne structures side-by-side in two halves, allowing other works to continue.

    These sections were then hoisted onto four gigantic tripods – one in each corner of the stadium – and supported in the middle before being bolted together.

We’d like to thank Sir Robert McAlpine, and the whole project team, who have done a fantastic job and delivered probably the best club stadium in Europe.

Ken Friar , Director Arsenal FC


Sustainability was integral to the project.

  • The stadium’s energy-saving features included solar controlled glass, natural ventilation for the pitch and core staircases, and waterless urinals.
  • To reduce transport miles and impact on the community, we used a dedicated concrete batching plant on-site.
  • Construction waste was kept to a minimum with all demolition materials crushed and reused on-site.
cutting the pitch at Arsenal's Emirates Stadium
Arsenal's Emirate Stadium on match day

The stadium would play a leading role in the community.

It was important to source local talent and materials from the start. Working alongside the London Borough of Islington, we made sure that:

  • Local businesses were awarded more than £2 million of contracts.
  • Community skills were boosted through training and placement opportunities.
  • A significant proportion of supplies were bought locally by contractors and subcontractors.

Awards

  1. awards

    Building Awards

    Major Project of the Year (2007)

  2. awards icon - light green

    ICE Awards

    Brunel Medal Winner (2007)

  3. awards

    BCIA

    Major Project Award (2007)

  4. awards

    Construction News: Quality in Construction

    Major Project of the Year (2007)