The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Proud winner of the Queen's Award for Enterprise 2015

The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

  • Client / London Legacy Development Corporation
  • Sector / Stadia & Leisure
  • Architect / Populous
  • Main Contractor / Balfour Beatty
  • Location / London
  • Products / Manufacturing, Roofing
  • Value / c.£7m
  • Completed / September 2015

Appointed to deliver the striking new roof structure for the Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the Lakesmere Group worked with main contractor Balfour Beatty to transform the stadium for its legacy as a world-class sporting and events arena.

Following the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the stadium’s temporary fabric roof was removed and Lakesmere were entrusted with the challenge of delivering a permanent new roof to meet the requirements of improved acoustics and increased seating capacity to cater for its role as the new home for West Ham United FC and the National Competition Centre for UK Athletics.

The solution provided by Lakesmere is a new acoustically insulated membrane and transparent polycarbonate profiled roof, which at 45,000 square metres is twice the size of the original roof covering. With a span of 84 metres at its deepest point, it is the largest gravity supported cantilevered roof in the world.

To achieve the high level of acoustic performance, the roof was specifically designed to reduce noise break out by effectively retaining crowd noise within the stadium, at the same time enhancing the clarity of the PA systems to maximise the spectator experience. Working with supply chain partner SIG Insulation, Lakesmere specified Rockwool’s Hardrock Multi-Fix flat roof board solution and Rockwool Acoustic Infills overlaid with Fatra single ply membrane.

One of the most striking features of the stadium roof is the transparent all-weather shelter over a new area of re-locatable seating for 21,000 additional spectators. Lakesmere worked with rooflight manufacturer Brett Martin to overcome the weight restrictions and logistical challenges of installing the concentric shape of the translucent sections. Lightweight Marlon CS Longlife polycarbonate sheets were individually taper cut to fit before being numbered to identify their unique position and delivered to site in sequence.

The team also faced an unmovable deadline to ensure the roof was ready for Rugby World Cup 2015 and so looked to improve the efficiency of installation wherever possible. As an alternative to traditional methods of fixing, Lakesmere collaborated with supply chain partner Hilti to identify a faster solution using the DX system which enables pins to be ‘shot-fired’ into the steel rather than drilled.

The project was also one of the first to benefit from Lakesmere’s new Innovation Technology Centre (ITC), a metal fabrication facility that has been established alongside Lakesmere’s Winchester head office, where all of the profiled decking sheets and flashings were produced.

The technical and logistical challenges presented by this high-profile and complex scheme benefitted from the synergy between Lakesmere’s design, production and installation teams and the close collaboration from leading specialist suppliers. Having already played host to some prestigious sporting and entertainment events, the finished stadium has been widely praised for its stunning acoustics and the incredible atmosphere created inside.

Images courtesy of Brett Martin

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