Community Stand, Watford FC

Metsec Purlins on Song for New Stand at Watford FC Stadium

Community Stand, Watford FC

Photo Credit: GL events

Specialist structural steel manufacturer, Metsec has supplied its light gauge, galvanised steel zed purlins and side rails for the new 3,000 seat Watford FC Community Stand at Vicarage Road.

The Watford FC Community Stand sits on the east side of Vicarage Road, built in place of the 1920s Main Stand, which was closed in 2008 due to safety concerns. The new stand also houses changing rooms, television gantry and the new players’ tunnel. It partially opened in October 2014 at the start of the new football season and has now fully opened to coincide with the club’s promotion to the Premier League.

Installation of the purlins and side rails was carried out by Dudley-based contractor Structural Steelwork, working for main contractor GL events, which began construction in October 2013.

Stuart Micklewright, Director at Structural Steelwork Ltd said: “When constructing stadiums and sporting arenas, safety is always the first consideration. As such, wind loading is always critical in the design of stadium roofs, with high uplift values expected.

“We chose Metsec purlins because of the reliability of the product. We worked closely with Metsec and used their MetSPEC building shell design software to calculate loadings. Together, we identified that a mixture of heavy end bay purlins and a butt system was the safest, most structurally efficient and cost effective solution.”

As well as at Watford FC, Metsec’s range of Z-section purlins and its Z- and C-section side rails have also been used in the roofs of a number of high-profile sporting arenas in recent years, including Wimbledon’s Centre Court, the Glasgow Velodrome, the Oval Cricket Ground and the Ricoh Arena, Coventry.

Metsec’s purlins and side rails are made from cold rolled steel, are available in depths from 142mm to 342mm and can be supplied for most cladding types and designs. Both product ranges are manufactured from pre-hot dipped galvanised steel, with Z275 coating, and have minimum yield strength of 450N/mm².

Kevin Jones, Sales Director for Metsec’s Purlin Division, said: “We understand the importance of supplying safe and structurally sound purlin systems for stadium and sporting area builds. We have significant experience in this sector and it is testament to the quality of our products that they are chosen for high profile projects such as the Community Stand at Vicarage Road. It is this product quality mixed with the high customer service levels which we offer throughout the design and construction processes that make these projects such a success for Metsec and our customers.”