BBC Studios, Cardiff

BBC Studios, Cardiff, during construction

Project: BBC Roath Lock Studios, Cardiff
Category: Commercial
Products: Purlins
Scale: 15,800 sq. m. television production studios.
Client: BBC
Developer: Vinci

Metsec, the UK’s largest supplier of lightweight galvanised steel, has supplied purlins and siderails for the BBC’s state-of-the-art Drama Village at Cardiff Bay.

Costing in the region of £25m, the new Roath Lock studios create a centre of excellence for the production of drama as part of the BBC’s plans to double television network production from Wales by 2016. Programmes being made in Cardiff include Casualty, Doctor Who and the Welsh-language, S4C soap Pobol y Cwm.

100 tons of Metsec purlins and side rails have been used in the creation of a distinctive 300m long main building with Gothic-style façade, inspired by some of William Burges’s designs at Cardiff Castle and Castell Coch. The new 15,800 m2 Drama Village includes television studios, ancillary accommodation and offices for use by creative media firms.

Moving the BBC’s biggest productions to Cardiff Bay will kick-start the development of the last totally undeveloped area of the Bay. Plans for a Digital Media Centre developed by Cardiff Council and the BBC have also been submitted, around which it is hoped a cluster of creative industries will spring up.

Metsec’s Purlin Division is the UK’s largest designer and manufacturer of light gauge purlins, side rails and mezzanine floor sections for use in many industrial, commercial and public sector applications. With a choice of Heavy End Bay, Butt or Sleeve fixing systems and the ability to span up to 15 metres, depending on the load, Metsec’s purlins and side rails give the building designer an economical and strong solution.

Manufactured from 450N/mm2 material for high strength and low weight, Metsec Z and C sections are cold rolled from pre-dipped steel with a Z275 coating. They are available with profile heights from 142mm to 342mm, in thicknesses from 1.3mm to 3.0mm and with a full range of accessories to cater for most cladding types and designs.

Metsec’s customers are supported by the market-leading MetSPEC building shell design software, which links to the latest wind code and the BREVe database for topography – with further technical support available from the Metsec design office. The latest version, MetSPEC 12, includes design analysis to Structural Eurocode EC: Part 1.3. Users of MetCAM detailing software and some other 3D draughting systems can transfer data to Metsec electronically.