Arup has concluded its role in the development and implementation of a comprehensive design solution for Brentford Football Club’s state of the art new stadium at Lionel Road. The project’s completion comes ahead of Brentford FC’s first competitive home Championship game on 19th September against Huddersfield Town, which is to be held behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Over the past four years, Arup has played a central and wide-ranging role as a key member of the team assembled in 2016 by the club’s owner, Matthew Benham, and driven by the club’s development wing, Lionel Road Developments Ltd. The task set for LRD broadly was:
- to re-assess the functionality and commercial viability of the original stadium project design;
- to identify and develop updated, sustainable, cost-effective, integrated technical solutions that reduced the risk profile, improved the projects chances of success and helped to future-proof the new stadium;
- to facilitate the long-term funding of the stadium project by a developer;
- to secure any necessary resultant planning consents for the new stadium project;
- to ensure, through appropriate governance processes, the subsequent successful delivery of the specified stadium by the club’s chosen developer, Eco World, and by Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd, as the principal contractor.
Arup’s multi-disciplinary engineering and architectural teams worked with the client on every aspect of the project. The new design focused on the primary goal of delivering a top quality football stadium, whilst seeking to ensure operational effectiveness and generate significant gains in terms of added-value and reduced costs. The Arup participants worked together with LRD to reduce the area of the original building by circa 27%, improving the financial model and allowing the redesigned project to proceed whilst at the same time greatly improving the technical capabilities of this very modern building.
Environmental factors were a primary concern throughout the planning and construction process. The amount of reinforced concrete used in construction was halved when compared with the original scheme. Arup’s structural engineers also reduced the amount of primary steel by a third, further cutting embodied carbon and costs. Solar path optimisation enhanced the efficiency of the rooftop photovoltaic installation, generating more clean power and reducing operational emissions. Energy, noise and emissions levels are all well within the London planning framework requirements and the stadium has achieved a BREEAM Very Good sustainability rating.
The stadium is notable for its very particular focus on ensuring a flexible content and media-friendly configuration together with excellent facilities to accommodate the anticipated future needs of on-site television, broadcast, online and IP content production. The advanced outside broadcasting centre and media facilities and field of play lighting are designed to the Premier League broadcast standards.
The design of the entire stadium has been developed with the safety, security and wellbeing of spectators, players and officials in mind, resulting in extensive modelling and testing for security and pedestrian flows. The stadium is provided with ample back-up power, water storage and ICT resilience to help ensure games run smoothly and to minimise the risk of cancellations.
In a commitment to inclusion for all, the stadium has been built with a viewing space especially designed to accommodate fans with disabilities, in which additional comfort, room and accessibility are provided for. The new stadium will also host Premiership rugby team London Irish RFC, with whom the club has signed a Match Day Licence to Use Agreement realising the London Irish’s desire to return to its heartland.
William Whitby, Project Director, said: “As a third-generation fan of Brentford FC, working on the Stadium has been a real labour of love. Projects of this nature go right to the heart of what Arup does, raising community spirit while developing constructions that push innovative boundaries and design solutions that deliver value to our clients. The completion of this project in just over four years, from start to finish, would be a stellar achievement in calmer times, but it merits special credit in the context of the global Covid-19 crisis. We look forward to when the stadium can finally open its doors to all, and it will be a great pleasure to see the stadium fulfil its rightful purpose as a new home for passionate fans. ”
Conor Hayes, Chairman of Lionel Road Developments Ltd, added: “Arup were able to very successfully contribute, and quickly and efficiently bring to bear, a vast array of top class technical, engineering and architectural skills from across many different parts of its organisation to the stadium project. That ready and speedy ability to harness a huge and diverse range of internal resources and specialised skill sets, allied to the strong professional commitment and ethos demonstrated by all of the Arup staff involved to deliver the best possible result, was absolutely critical to the project’s success and is very much admired and appreciated”