Leading Midlands-based civil and structural engineers Rodgers Leask has secured one of its largest ever projects after being appointed for the exciting £20.6 million transformation of Birmingham’s National Indoor Arena (NIA).
Part of the NEC Group, the refurbishment of the NIA will provide first class facilities to enhance the pre and post show experience for customers, promoters and performers. Work on the major construction project is expected to start in early 2013 and will take 18 to 24 months to complete.
The plans will allow the venue to take advantage of its unique canal-side location and include a new showcase entrance from Brindleyplace into the arena, with full-height glazed views over the water and the city.
The development and refurbishment will be delivered over four floors – arena floor, concourse and mezzanines one and two. A superior hospitality offering, giving visitors more choice for food, drinks and merchandising will also be provided.
Paul Spencer is director of Rodgers Leask, which recently opened an office in Longbridge, Birmingham.
He said: “To be appointed civil and structural engineers for the refurbishment of the NIA is a major coup for us and we are excited at the prospect of being involved in such a high-profile project. The scale of the scheme puts it comfortably in the top 10 of those that we have been involved in.
“We have been working with the NEC Group on the scheme from the feasibility stages in 2010. Our role has included designing the foundations for the new structure, the steel frames, concrete floors and so on.”
He added: “We have also been liaising with agencies including British Waterways and Network Rail. Due to the NIA’s location near the canal network and above the railway it is quite an engineering challenge but the venue will be able to continue to operate throughout the duration of the project.”
The NIA is one of the busiest large-scale indoor sporting and entertainment venues in Europe. It is consistently in use between 210 and 240 days each year, attracting between 750,000 to one million visitors per year, generating £150 million in economic benefit while supporting 2,500 jobs.
Phil Mead, managing director of NEC Group Arenas, said: “We are extremely proud of our exciting plans to turn the NIA into the next generation of arena, as we position the venue as a real focal point for live entertainment.
“The investment in the NIA represents not only a significant modernization of the site to create an exciting and iconic contemporary venue, it also offers the chance to fulfill the ambitions of the city to be the place to visit for first-class facilities and the world’s best performers.
“The plans will further strengthen the NIA’s success in attracting the world’s leading indoor sports events, live shows and concerts.”
Rodgers Leask engineers has designed multi-storey steel and concrete framed structures for a variety of clients ranging from multi-million pound manufacturing facilities through to commercial offices, institutional and industrial buildings, residential properties, hotel and leisure centres of varying size and complexity.
Working on confined sites in a city centre environment provides a challenge to the designer and the contractor, but our works on projects in London and the rest of the country has enabled Rodgers Leask to recognize and account for the specific issues that such an environment generates with particular consideration being given to the efficiency of the structure whilst providing a design solution which through careful coordination of the mechanical and electrical services will ensure future flexibility of its use throughout its life.
Projects have included work associated with small refurbishments of commercial properties through to large scale refurbishments such as installing new basements with swimming pools within existing town houses, demolition of buildings whilst retaining the existing façade, overbuild works above London underground tunnels and Network Rail properties, complete design and detail of university campuses, remodeling of a four star London Hilton hotel, and design of large bay warehouse portal frame structures with associated offices. .