Championship football club Brentford sought a Premier League ready home to help realise their ambitions. Less than a mile from their historic stadium, Griffin Park, a plot of land was bought, and plans for a new stadium began to develop. But the numbers weren’t stacking up financially and it looked like the club might instead need to reconsider its options. That’s when Arup was brought in.
Partnering as Brentford FC’s trusted advisor, we engineered solutions to create a Premier League ready stadium that will open new income streams for the club and offer a fantastic matchday experience for fans. The new venue will also be home to Premiership rugby team London Irish ending 20 years of playing home matches in Reading and returning to their heartland.
Opening for the 2020/21 season, the stadium seats in excess of 17,250 spectators, meets every Premier League football and Premiership rugby requirement and provides quality hospitality lounges, along with the latest broadcasting technology. This new community stadium is empowering Brentford FC and London Irish to pursue their ambitions and delight fans. It is at the heart of plans to regenerate the local area, and a 900+ unit residential development by EcoWorld.
>17,250 spectator seats
400m²solar roof panels
50%saving on reinforced concrete
Ensuring financial viability
Arup’s multidisciplinary engineering and architectural teams worked with the Client on every aspect of the project. The revised design focused on the primary goal of delivering a future-proofed and top quality Football Stadium whilst seeking to improve operational effectiveness and also generating significant gains in terms of added-value and reduced costs. Working with the client the number of hospitality seats was increased to 3,000, from the 1,874 originally planned, enabling both clubs to grow income and support.
With outside broadcasting a valuable revenue stream for top-flight clubs, we equipped the stadium with an advanced outside broadcasting centre and media facilities, cabling to both Championship and Premier League camera positions and field of play lighting that meets the highest Premier League broadcast standards. A top of the range sound system and giant high-resolution LED screens help create a great atmosphere and an immersive fan experience. We also introduced areas that can conveniently be transformed into safe standing for spectators to provide greater flexibility and equip the venue for future opportunities.
Working with a highly constrained site
Bounded on all sides by railway lines, major roads and homes, the West London site was heavily constrained. Our team comprised of engineers with a strong track record of successfully partnering with Network Rail on complex projects. By moving the stadium to the south, away from the railway, we were able to simplify the construction process and provide full access around the stadium for spectators and the emergency services.
Achieving the highest sports venue standards
To provide an exemplary matchday experience for fans, we engineered Brentford Community Stadium to comply with every Premier League and Premiership rule, as well as the rigorous requirements of the Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA) and Counter-Terrorism Security Advisers (CTSA).
The stadium is designed in its entirety for the safety and wellbeing of spectators, players and officials, with extensive modelling and testing for security. Along with excellent accessibility, there is ample back-up power, water storage and ICT resilience to help ensure games go smoothly and minimise the risk of cancellations.
Speeding up design and construction
Targeting a tight delivery timeline, we worked with the client and wider team to take the project from concept designs to grand opening in under three years enabling Brentford FC to begin their 2020/21 season in their new home.
From our first involvement in 2017, design work completed in only 13 months. Construction took 14 months to top out and a further eight months to completion, accelerated by our close collaboration with the contractor during pre-construction to tailor designs for speed. This included developing an efficient, lightweight steel frame and making extensive use of pre-formed materials.
Arup were able to very successfully contribute, 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 resources and skill sets, allied to the strong professional commitment from 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 ” Conor Hayes Chairman of Lionel Road Developments ltd
Contributing to our low carbon future
Reflecting low carbon aspirations, we halved the amount of reinforced concrete used in construction versus the original scheme. Our structural engineers also reduced the amount of primary steel by a third, further cutting embodied carbon and saving on 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 achieved a BREEAM Very Good sustainability rating.