The Dorset company shaping Britain’s skyline is working on one of the country’s most iconic structures – the O2 in London.
Poole-based metal decking and roofing specialist SMD Ltd – who completed the original conversion of the Millennium Dome to the O2 back in 2006 – is now midway through a second extensive project at the entertainment complex on the Greenwich peninsular.
SMD is part of a major construction programme to complete the ring of retail outlets and entertainment venues surrounding the well-known arena.
For Project Mint – so called because of the scheme’s likeness to a Polo Mint – SMD worked with client Bourne Steel of Poole throughout the contract installing 11,400 sq m of decking and 27,000 shear studs.
SMD operations manager Richard Brokenshire said: “For this demanding contract we had to overcome a number of challenging obstacles during design and site installation, which our site teams and management overcame.
“The quality of our work and adherence to strict safety protocols was such that Bourne Steel gave us a 98 per cent customer satisfaction score and presented us with an award for safety on site.”
SMD is currently working on a further linked phase of the development, Project Loop with McLaren Construction Group, supplying and installing 7,700 sq m of decking and 25,700 shear studs.
SMD construction Manager Phil Carr added: “It has been a logistically challenging project. We have had to keep noise levels down and factor in time away from site when concerts or sporting events are taking place.”
The multi-million-pound projects, due to be completed later this year, are set to transform the O2 Arena’s environs into a top-end retail village underneath the vast fabric-covered structure.
Originally opened on January 1 2000, the landmark Millennium Dome – 52m high, 365m in diameter and supported by 100m steel masts – housed a year-long exhibition showcasing Great Britain.
Considered a white elephant for a considerable time after the exhibition closed, the venue was then taken over by Anschutz Entertainment Group and reopened in 2007 as a 20,000 capacity venue with naming rights sold to O2 plc.
Since then it has blossomed into one of the capital’s leading leisure complexes, hosting acts such as Led Zeppelin, Prince and the Spice Girls, the ATP World Tour tennis finals, world championship boxing and events for the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.
SMD, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2017, is no stranger to iconic buildings having worked on The Shard and the Olympic Park in London, Wimbledon Centre Court, Manchester’s Etihad Stadium and Heathrow Airport.
The company, one of only a handful of British firms to design, manufacture and install its own steel decking systems, employs more than 100 staff across the UK, India and Dubai.