In October 2013, it was announced that a new, £333million state-of-the-art events venue would be built to ensure the city continued to attract large and popular events and to secure a bigger share of the conference, exhibition and concert market. Rockfon is excited and proud to have played its part in helping bring this iconic project to successful fruition.
The official opening of the landmark development was recently carried out by Council Co-Leaders Jenny Laing and Councillor Douglas Lumsden who commented, “The opening ceremony marks the conclusion of an ambitious project – but is just the start of the journey for a complex that is unrivalled in Britain and will be the envy of cities across Europe.”
The project, which was recently awarded Silver in the Suspended Ceiling Category at the prestigious FIS Scottish Awards, was presented to Linear Projects, is located on a 130-acre site adjacent to the city’s International Airport, The Event Complex Aberdeen (TECA) development has been delivered by Aberdeen City Council in partnership with Henry Boot Developments. With the P&J Live venue at its heart, TECA comprises 48,000m2 of world-class multi-purpose space including seven conference suites, three exhibition halls, nine meeting rooms, a superior 9,000m2 12,500 capacity arena, luxurious hospitality suites, a high-end 150-seater restaurant, subterranean parking for 2,500 vehicles, and two hotels.
International acts already confirmed to appear at P&J Live include Michael Buble, Alice Cooper, Lewis Capaldi and Rod Stewart as well as comedians Jack Whitehall and Russell Howard. Elton John will bring his worldwide farewell tour to the venue in November 2020.
Delivering major projects
Senior project leader and Executive Chairman of principal contractor the Robertson Group, Bill Robertson commented, “We have significant experience in delivering complex, high value, innovative, major projects across the country and are delighted to have been selected as the main contractor on what will be an iconic venue for millions of visitors from all over the world.”
Liaising with the Robertson Group, major stakeholders and Metsec, specialist interiors sub-contractor Linear Projects oversaw the design and were responsible for the installation of the specialist ceilings and walls. They worked in collaboration with Rockfon to ensure these systems met the rigorous acoustic and structural challenges.
Rockfon Technical Manager Tim Spencer recalls, “The initial need was for an elegant high-performance ceiling grid that could span 2500mm and support the originally specified ceiling infill. The answer here was a bespoke version of our Rockfon® System MaxiSpan™ grid. We were then briefed to find an acoustic ceiling and wall solution to the stringent acoustic challenges set in association with meeting very low frequency sound absorption requirements for the exhibition spaces and main arena in particular, which would host a variety of music concerts. We worked in partnership with our parent company ROCKWOOL and the solution was a specially made 100mm thick Rockfon Color-all® black ceiling tiles in combination with 100mm ROCKWOOL FLEXI® overlay for the ceilings and 40mm thick Color-all panels together with 100mm or 160mm FLEXI for the walls.”
Working with Rockfon
Linear Projects Director John McTernan, “Working with the Rockfon team was a positive experience. They have the expertise and specialist product offering to answer the very particular demands of this project. A major challenge was to deliver an acoustic solution to control the reverberation of sound in the wide range of frequencies associated with a large performance space where, in the main arena, the ceiling height is up to 27metres. The fact that the tile and grid systems were available in the desired black colour meant this part of the brief could be answered whilst saving time and achieving a high-quality finish. We worked together throughout the process, consulting to arrive at the best possible solution.”
Rockfon Specification Manager Jim Lundy relished the challenge TECA presented, “Rockfon was delighted to be involved with Linear Projects and Robertson Construction to provide a solution for this fantastic development and successfully meet the client’s requirements, demonstrating that Rockfon can provide acoustic solutions for the most challenging of projects.”
Easy to maintain Rockfon Color-all is available in 34 exclusive standard colours and can be custom matched to almost any colour. Made from a lightweight non-hygroscopic stone wool, it will not harbour microorganisms, provides excellent sound absorption, humidity resistance up to 100% RH, demonstrates superior thermal and fire safety characteristics and is fully recyclable.
Rockfon creates design freedom
Rockfon Specification Manager Jim Lundy, “In total 25,000m2 of Rockfon Color-all was specified for the project – 17000m2 1200x600x100mm for the reverberation controlling ceiling and 8000m2 2400x600x40mm for the acoustic wall panels. Color-all was specified in the standard Charcoal colour with Rockfon System MaxiSpan grid in matching matt black, which meant no post-installation colour application was required.”
The Rockfon MaxiSpan grid specified for TECA is perfect for large single spans – typically up to 3m – enabling greater flexibility and freedom to install and maintain the services. It is ideal for use with a variety of tiles including long planks to create a more seamless appearance than traditional grids by using fewer components which can be combined in many configurations to suit a wide range of tile dimensions. Rockfon System MaxiSpan enables optimum design freedom due to the variety of edges. It is available in lay-in, tegular and concealed configurations – with its main runners being 75mm deep, providing higher stability.
Entertainment on a grand scale
The stunning scheme is taking shape on a grand scale, generating 600 jobs during the construction period and 352 full-time-equivalent permanent positions once complete. TECA is a key element of Aberdeen City Council’s Strategic Infrastructure Plan to grow the Granite City’s economy.
A remarkable feature of TECA is its modular energy centre. Making use of advanced CCHP (combined cooling, heat and power) technology, the centre will serve the energy requirements of both the hotel and the main building. The centre is also home to a hydrogen fuel cells programme that will fuel the buses serving the site as part of an ambitious integrated hydrogen transport project.
Robertson Group Chief Executive Officer Derek Shewan said: “TECA is an inspired build that is breaking the mould when it comes to design, materials and aesthetics. …the complex is state-of-the-art and a flagship for cultural investment for Aberdeen, the North East and beyond.”