Sport: Lee Valley Athletics Centre, Edmonton, London

0610NSCOct06

Sports FACT FILE Steel on track Lee Valley Athletics Centre, Edmonton, London Main client: Lee Valley Regional The Lee Valley Athletics Centre is a state-of-the-art facility boasting both indoor and outdoor Park Authority Architect: tracks. Martin Cooper reports on steel’s integral role. David Morley Architects Structural engineer: Buro Happold Main contractor: East London will see a number of sports facilities we found ‘Blue Billy’ which is a toxic by-product of Shepherd Construction being constructed in the coming years as the count- gas production,” Mr Steele says. “And this had to Steelwork contractor: down to the Olympic Games gathers pace. But in moved off site.” SH Structures the meantime, just a few miles from the designated Once the earthmoving and piling work had been Project value: £16M Steel tonnage: 700t Olympic site, an impressive new sports centre boast- completed the Centre’s concrete slab was then cast ing both indoor and outdoor athletics tracks is near- in one continuous week-long pour. ing completion. Sitting on top of this concrete slab the steel- Located in Edmonton, the 9,700m2 Lee Valley framed Centre is 135m long x 85m wide and was Athletics Centre, while primarily for the training erected by steelwork contractor S.H Structures dur- and development of elite athletes on UK Athletics’ ing an eight week programme. World Class Programme, will also be home to the re- The single storey Centre consists of a banked nowned Enfield & Haringey Athletics Club and serve 200m eight-lane running track - which is sunk into the regional and local communities. the slab, netted areas for throwing events, areas for Although the project was designed before Lon- jumps and pole vaulting and a mezzanine level upon don was awarded the 2012 Games, due to its prox- which is a 130m-long straight sprint track. imity to the soon-to-be-built Olympic Village and Andrew Best, Project Leader for Buro Happold Stadium, it is also envisaged that the Centre will be says the design of the Centre had to allow for all of a key training facility and possibly an event venue the above events to be held within the Centre and a for London games. simple box with a sweeping curve over the sports Main contractor for the project Shepherd Con- hall was the starting point. struction started work on site in June 2005 and “We started off with a simple design and worked initially had to demolish an existing leisure centre from there,” Mr Best says. “The requirements in- which included an indoor swimming pool and cluded a clear open span sports area with enough squash courts, and outdoor five-a-side football pitch- clearance and height for events such as the pole es and a golf driving range. vault,” he adds. Preliminary works also included some extensive In order to achieve the best fit with the minimum piling, with more than 1,000 piles be- envelope the design incorporated a raised sprint “We found ‘Blue Billy’, a toxic ing installed to support the Centre’s track sitting on a pre-cast concrete floor above the by-product of gas production, concrete slab. toilets, gym and changing room block. This sector As Paul Steele, Shepherd’s is constructed with predominantly UC columns and and this had to be removed.” Divisional Construction Manager beams, with floor beams typically 152mm x 152mm explains, the area where the Centre UC’s and UB’s of 533mm x 210mm x 122mm. sits was originally occupied by football pitches and Meanwhile, columns are generally 203mm x a former gravel extraction pit, and consequently the 203mm x 60 UC’s, while in the main hall the columns ground wouldn’t have supported the new structure. are mostly 323.9mm x 10 CHS members which sup- However, prior to any piling work being carried port 14 trusses, which in turn support the roof. “By out the ground had to be decontaminated. “We dis- utilising raking columns they not only helped with covered the site had been a landfill about 40 years the structure’s stability but also meant the trusses ago and after doing environmental testing we knew only had to span 59.8m,” Mr Best explains. there was quite a lot of material that had to be re- The long span curved tubular trusses vary in moved,” Mr Steele explains. depth from 1m - at the east elevation - to 2.5m at Shepherd wanted to keep most of the overburden the west elevation which is adjacent to the steel box on site and consequently the spoil which wasn’t structure containing the raised sprint track. Each contaminated was simply built into bunded terrace truss is connected to the next truss via CHS top and areas which surround the outdoor track. bottom chords with CHS infills. This creates a ‘saw “The problem we encountered was that there tooth’ or ‘north light’ effect along the roof, and each was quite a bit of highly contaminated ground and truss is hidden beneath glazing. 28 NSC October 2006


0610NSCOct06
To see the actual publication please follow the link above