Glasgow Velodrome

Metsec Purlins Outpace Competition at Glasgow Velodrome

Glasgow Velodrome

For the roof construction of a multi-sport facility in Glasgow’s East End, the technical expertise of light gauge structural steel specialist, Metsec, was sought after to enable optimum structural support for standing seam cladding, high density insulation and acoustic boards.

Inaugurated in 2012 to play host to track and field events, cycle races, badminton and basketball matches as well as gymnastics competitions, Glasgow’s indoor sports arena and adjacent velodrome is one of the most versatile sports facilities of its kind in Europe. While the eyes of the sporting world are usually firmly fixed on athletic performance here, the roof architecture of this custom-built multi-centre complex, too, deserves some attention.

This multi-purpose venue comprises 4 main buildings, the two main events halls housing the velodrome track and the athletics arena, and the supporting structures which include the 5 storey concrete framed hub building and three adjoining multi-use sports halls.

Glasgow based consultants Halcrow Yolles (now part of CH2M Hill) were responsible for the civil and structural design, for which they specified Metsec sleeved purlins as a major part of the solution. With the velodrome and arena main roof spans of 87 and 91m respectively Halcrow Yolles designed a series of self-stabilising tied arch trusses, supporting a grillage of secondary steel transverse trusses and in turn an extensive Metsec cladding support system.

“To provide a continuous standing seam cladding system on such a scale, the Metsec framing layer was designed to include a varying purlin stool arrangement, allowing the curvature of the roof profile to be achieved, whilst allowing us to avoid a costly curved hot rolled steel for the main frame”, says CH2M Hill’s Ken Fulford.

“Ultimately we specified Metsec’s roof purlin system because from previous experience we recognised them to be the industry leader; with their extensive technical experience and service quality they could be relied upon to provide a technical solution which fully satisfied our performance requirements.”

The structural engineers found that Metsec’s sleeved purlin system would provide the most efficient solution, helping to transfer into the primary frame the loads of an up to 98m long aluminium standing seam roof system with integrated perforated acoustic liner trays as well as the weight of the duct system.

Ken Fulford continues: “Besides the required strength of the secondary steelwork in the roof, it was crucial to design a structure whose members could be transported easily to site and erected quickly enough to meet the deadlines of the building programme, ensuring that the roof’s support structure was in place for the roofing contractor to seamlessly follow on.”

Peter Miller, Associate Director at Severfield UK Ltd, who installed the Metsec system, explains how fast installation and accuracy were safeguarded:

“The use of bolted cleats instead of cleats welded onto the rafters accounted for savings in time and transportation cost because the rafters stacked more compactly on the lorries, meaning that more could be delivered to site at any one time and therefore be erected more quickly. Moreover, it opened up the possibility to adjust the alignment of the purlins on site, easing the installation of the cladding.”

“The cleats carried individual mark numbers and so did the Metsec purlins, which were delivered promptly throughout the different roof building phases. This, for us, ruled out any confusion as to which location each member belonged and therefore prevented remedial works while timely progress was ensured for the contractor.”

Kevin Jones, Sales Director for Metsec’s Purlin Division, sees Halcrow Yolles’s specification as a testimony to Metsec’s technical excellence: “Of course our systems are designed to provide optimum levels of structural performance in roof constructions but many a time it is the added value the engineer receives from our expert staff that they appreciate the most. Having been specified on this landmark facility was really a compliment to the technical competence of our design staff and sales force, who are always available to give excellent technical advice and supplement the engineer’s design needs with load tables, literature and software to support the specification process.”