Tottenham Hotspur Stadium pipework installation and innovation


Constructing the modern multi-use stadium is never short of challenges; especially when you’re aiming to top the league of the UK’s most complex and innovative developments. Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London was one such example, demanding a flexible infrastructure and a first-of-its-kind design, all to a world-class standard. Bound to tight deadlines and heavy costs, contractors dealt with perpetual pressure to deliver quickly and efficiently without compromising on quality.

Unique in many ways, it is the UK’s first cashless stadium and contains the nation’s largest single-tier stand, holding 17,500 people. It has the two largest LED-screens in Western Europe and Europe’s longest bar at 65 meters. It also contains a retractable pitch which can switch from grass to an artificial surface, that can be used for NFL events and concerts, in just 25 minutes.

Among this array of accolades, Victaulic, the global manufacturing leader of mechanical pipe joining systems, was part of the project, where it oversaw the installation of the district heating, all chilled mechanical pipe works and the boosted cold-water service, which included over 20 pump sets overall. Led by project manager Harry Brown, and having been commissioned in October and started in December 2016, the installation involved in excess of 170 team members.

Victaulic’s grooved mechanical pipe joining technology provided the fittings, 627 check and butterfly valves, and in excess of 10,000 couplings that were installed during the construction and helped to ensure the reliable and convenient installation and management of the cold, heated and chilled water systems that travel around the stadium’s circumference over six floors.

Considering the scale of the team and the tight project deadlines there was little room for delay. Victaulic’s grooved solutions were vital in ensuring efficiency. As a flame-free method, grooved mechanical pipe-joining removes the many health and safety concerns associated with welding. It eliminates the risk of fire and the need for special fire safety precautions during installation and maintenance. Overall, it helped to increase the installation speed and reduce the need for hot works, thus delivering greater onsite safety and reducing cost.

It is vital to consider any engineering challenges and how they might be overcome at the project planning stage, and one stand-out challenge was the extremely tight space constraint. Price Building helped mitigate this issue by prefabricating and collaborating very early with the Tottenham team, into whom Price worked directly, to improve on-site efficiency.

This was typified by Victaulic’s pump skid installation. The team installed 26 grooved skids, avoiding traditional welding techniques, and the only equipment necessary to keep it compact was a suction diffuser, which was needed to remove the long pipe spool that prevents water hammering in the pump. The Victaulic Style 731-D Suction Diffuser enables pipework to be connected closer to the pump at a 90-degree angle. Installing three grooved flexible couplings on each side of a pump also enabled noise and vibration attenuation and removed the need for costly, bulky flanged units and the use of rubber bellows. By eliminating long pipe runs, rubber bellows and flanged units, the Victaulic suction diffuser makes for a smaller mechanical room footprint and improves overall pump performance. Allowing workers to cut and groove at the stadium also facilitated easy installation and provided flexibility so Price Building could adapt to last minute planning changes.

Victaulic’s StrengThin 100 System was widely installed on the stadium’s boosted cold water services due to its low weight and easy installation. The product is the industry’s first grooved mechanical piping system that is specifically designed to perform up to 16 bar on thin wall 304/316 stainless steel pipe. It improved the efficiency of onsite material handling by taking away the challenges of welding thin wall stainless steel pipe, and thus reduced overall installation costs.

While the stadium is now complete, the future will bring inevitable reimagining and development. But rather than limiting the legacy of Victaulic’s products, the use of grooved solutions means the entire installed piping system can be dismantled, remodeled or interchanged. And the design also ensures easy access for quick and cost-effective maintenance. As such, essential construction to update the stadium is more straightforward, due to the speed of modification – a fact which was also highly evident throughout the construction process where Victaulic’s innovations facilitated flexibility and cost-efficiency – particularly in the context of redesigns – during a fast-paced, cost-sensitive and time-sensitive project.

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James has been Editor of Stadia since 2018 having worked at print and digital magazines and websites around the world covering everything from lifestyle to sport, technology, motoring, and more. He also edits Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International.

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