Specialist contractor Prater played an integral role in delivering the UK’s Olympic Velodrome, helping to design and install its complex roofing system.

The roof design is unique: the first cable net structure employed to support a metal and glass enclosure, avoiding the need for intermediate support.

Critically, due to its double curvature, the standing seam roof had to be built to withstand a 500mm deflection when dead and live loads are at their theoretical maximum. This demanded the inclusion of movement joints at seven metre centres.

As part of the installation process, sections of standing seam sheeting up to 120 metres in length were roll-formed on site. Prater also installed eight rooflights stretching 100 metres along the complex curves, while 420 metres of bespoke aluminium profile were fabricated and fixed in place.

Recyclable aluminium, rainwater harvesting for use around the Velodrome, and extensive rooflights which reduce the need for artificial illumination contribute to the project’s sustainability credentials.

The Olympic Velodrome was not only completed on time, but came in below budget: a rare achievement for a project involving such innovative design, systems or materials.