Located within the Olympia Exhibition Centre in London, Public Realm is an elevated platform sitting between the National and Grand Halls which will be open to Public and consist of single storey food and drink units. The area is accessed by stairs and escalators rising up from Olympia Way. A new lift shaft is also being incorporated as access from the corner of Grand Hall building via a VIP lobby. The area also forms an access way to the Central Building. A glazed canopy covers the area supported on arches sitting directly on the new trusses. The platform is supported by 12m long columns which have been placed within the National and Grand Halls to be as unobstructive as possible and lessen the impact of the heritage structures. Grand Hall is Grade II* listed, built in 1888 and is constructed of cast iron columns supporting wrought iron trusses. National Hall is Grade II listed and was constructed in steel in 1924.

Robert Bird Group are delivering the structural, geotechnical & civil design and construction engineering services for the Olympia Public Realm structure. In addition to the design of the new build structures, intervention details to the existing structures have been developed to allow the new columns and lift shaft to pass through the spaces. Demolition works are being carried, RBG have designed new lintels to support the removal of walls and delivery of pre-cast DfMA floor slabs.

RBG Value Add

  • Redesign of steelwork to reduce the number of columns penetrating the existing building below reducing the number of trusses and the steel weight
  • Incorporation of pre-cast lattice plank DfMA in design & modelling to improve construction programme, site safety and reduce material wastage.


Prefabrication has been adopted to reduce construction emissions, material wastage and raise efficiencies on site. This includes the use of pre-cast lattice plank or metal deck, solid RC slabs to all floors. The 2nd floor slab has been reduced in depth from 200mm to 175mm.

This building also benefitted from our design leadership approach as we completely redesigned the structure. The number of columns penetrating the existing building was reduced and the number of trusses reduced. Less foundations were required, which as well as reducing materials, reduced the impact on the existing building as the new an old foundations are intertwined. The like for like tonnage was reduced by nearly half. Where possible standard UB sections have been used with very limited fabricated sections.

This all improved the buildability, lifting weights and the complexity of the construction plus incorporated a DfMA approach.

Project Metrics

Project Value:
£1.3bn (Olympia Re-development total)
Year Completed:
Due 2024
Building Metrics:
3 storeys above Ground Floor
Steel framed superstructure consisting of pre-cast lattice plank floors.
Trusses carry Level 2 deck over the top of the existing Grand and National Halls
Total 4600m2 GIA

Project Metrics

Olympia Property Holdings Limited
Primary Contractor:
Laing O’Rourke
Heatherwick Studio
Adamsons Associates

Project Metrics

Robert Bird Group Services:
Civil Engineering
Geotechnical Engineering
Structural Engineering
Heritage Consulting Services
CMT Services
Construction Engineering Services
Environmental Performance:
BREEAM 2018 ‘Excellent’ target