Located within the Olympia Exhibition Centre in London, the Central building is a 15-storey mixed-use commercial development which retains the three-storey Grade II Listed reconstituted stone facade originally constructed in the late 1920’s fronting Hammersmith Road and offers the largest office terraces in West London. The new mixed-use commercial development will provide over 60,000m2 of office space along with retail units, exhibition spaces, conference facilities, logistics centre services and bicycle parking with end of trip facilities. The building is integrated within the overall Olympia redevelopment to provide continuous exhibition space at level 01 between Central and the adjoining buildings on all sides.

Robert Bird Group are delivering the structural, geotechnical & civil design and construction engineering services for the Olympia Central structure.

In addition to design of the new build structures, other works include the permanent retention of the retained heritage listed façade, Category 3 review of the temporary façade retention scheme, identification & detailing of structural interventions to adjacent existing buildings (such as columns through the existing Grand Hall) and detailing and delivery of pre-cast DfMA floor slabs.

RBG Value Add

  • Top-down construction methodology introduced
    to reduce construction programme and mitigate
    the impact of building a new basement adjacent to
    important listed Heritage buildings.
  • Incorporation of pre-cast lattice plank DfMA in
    design & modelling to improve construction
    programme, site safety and reduce material
  • RBG were engaged to deliver the scheme after
    Stage 3 and made several significant changes to
    simplify the structure, improve buildability and
    reduce programme. The RBG design leadership
    approach led a change to the structural grid,
    alterations to the cores, removal of numerous
    complex transfer systems and a change to
    basement construction. The result of these
    improvements was a reduction of over 1000t of
    steel and lower risk to the construction programme.


Prefabrication has been adopted to reduce construction emissions and material wastage, raise efficiencies on site and improve site safety. This includes the use of pre-cast lattice plank, hollowcore
and solid RC slabs to all floors.

A targeted design methodology was discussed and implemented in the early stages of design with the steel fabricator, Contractor and Client regarding the use of fabricated and rolled steel sections to minimize material cost and tonnage.

This building also benefitted from our design leadership approach as we reframed the building to simplify gravity load paths and reduce demands on the core by reducing unbalanced gravity loads. This improved the buildability and lifting weights and the complexity of the construction plus incorporated a DfMA approach.  This saved in the region of 1100t of structural steel, giving a reduction of embedded carbon of approximately 1710t eCO2.

Project Metrics

Project Value:
£1.3bn (Olympia Re-development total)
£2.1m (Olympia Central)
Year Completed:
Due 2024
Building Metrics:
• Single level reinforced concrete basement
• 14 storeys above Ground Floor
• Steel framed superstructure consisting of pre-cast lattice plank floors & insitu RC core walls
• 60,840m2 Office area, 5,176m2 Exhibition space, 2,769m2 Conference space, 5,772m2 Site Logistics, 542m2 Retail, 16,351m2 Plant / Ancillary
• Total 91,450m2 GIA

Project Metrics

Olympia Property Holdings Limited
Primary Contractor:
Laing O’Rourke
SPPARC, Heatherwick Studio
Robert Bird Group Services:
Civil Engineering
Geotechnical Engineering
Structural Engineering
Heritage Consulting Services
CMT Services
Construction Engineering Services