Design & Development

Buro Happold rethinks FastTrac offer

Featured image credit: Buro Happold

Featured image credit: Buro Happold

Buro Happold is considering how best to deliver a new offer to the market which seeks to provide a unified playbook to clients looking to deliver a small to medium-sized stadium.

The UK consulting, engineering and advisory company’s FastTrac offer was envisaged as a structured, business-led service based on a world class, pre-engineered, configurable stadium. 

While not every client wants, or needs, to develop a 60,000-seat FIFA-compliant stadium, owners of smaller stadia need significant redevelopment.

Buro Happold believes by collaborating with other like-minded professionals, it can still shift the market to sit comfortably between the two extremes of a totally bespoke stadium, and a completely productised turnkey solution has merit, drawing on the benefits of both, for small to medium-sized new stadium developments.

At this scale of stadium – from 5,000 seats to 30,000 seats – the company feels the inner workings of the venue and its associated brief requirements can be more easily rationalised, lending itself to being both modularised and uniquely configurable.

This approach rationalises and pre-engineers many of the repeatable and functional stadium elements, with inherent options on capacity and overall form, yet allowing the building to have unique and site-specific design elements worked in further, allowing for identity, brand, site contextual design and integration into the urban grain.

Taking this route qualifies over 60% of the stadium construction from the inside out to enable the rapid design of the shell and core of a stadium, from the field of play out.

It creates a framework that allows clubs to look at viability, capacity and capital costs, and for the BH team to work with other professionals to deliver better outcomes. 

The approach intends to substantially speed up the process to tender and planning for a new stadium development. It uses pre-designed elements for the shell and core bowl design, incorporating all necessary engineering at the earliest stages.

It relies on a constrained set of design options, allowing for a broad range of variations and catering for all rectangular field sports. FastTrac can be iteratively tested and developed as the brief and business case evolves.

By being based on a modular configurable prototype, Buro Happold believes it is possible to achieve all the benefits of an off-the-shelf design, but without the downsides. Buro Happold can help integrate the input of expert engineers, architects, cost consultants, project managers, hospitality consultants, planning consultants and contractors to achieve this. 

FastTrac is enabled by the technological analysis and design engines developed in-house by Buro Happold. Underpinning the evidence-based design is the ability to benchmark the stadium against the company’s Venue Performance Rating database.

Buro Happold said: “Understandably, organisations like medium-sized football clubs are very cost-conscious. In the main, professional football clubs are not developers and have little experience in development.

“There are a lot of clubs out there who want to update and expand, but cost is a factor and can be prohibitive. We know that people are very receptive to the opportunity of doing things better and that is where a service that will deliver a better value and faster product is of interest.”