Meet the Finalists

2022 | Public & Leisure

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Martin Keys MCIOB
McLaughlin & Harvey

Alexander Stadium Redevelopment, Birmingham: construction of athletics facility, completed in 97 weeks. 

Client: Birmingham City Council 

Contract: JCT 2016, design and build  

Value: £75m 

About the Project

Alexander Stadium Redevelopment, Birmingham

Martin Keys’ insights won this contract for a high-profile athletics track and 17,500-seat stadium. His suggestion of syphonic drainage for the main roof areas of the new four-storey stand went down particularly well. It made for a better-quality build, and meant fewer downpipes and less maintenance.  

Operationally, technically and logistically, Martin made some fine calls. On a 56-hectare site, his move to an earthworks cut and fill minimised the groundworks, reduced material transport costs and advanced the programme.  

He got around the difficulties in sourcing a manufacturer for the new stand’s concave-convex glazing by installing temporary aluminium panels instead. It made the structure watertight before winter, allowing works to progress while the glazing was being procured.  

He derisked the construction of the track and infield areas by switching from precast to in-situ concrete for the tiered seating. It gave early completion and saved the client over £250,000. 

When a 16-week delay in the delivery of materials pushed the track construction back to winter, he brought in tents with internal heaters to provide the installation temperature required. 

A variation – one of a hefty £15m slew – to build the external lighting columns 20 metres taller resulted in the attached cabling unable to support the suspended sky camera. Martin solved the problem by building the columns as structural frames instead. 

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