Prague 2016 | Non-residential

Michael Sobell Sports Centre and School

United KingdomUnited KingdomCompany Name: Laing O'Rourke Group

Project description

The Michael Sobell Sports Centre and School represents the design and construction of a world-class, acoustically excellent mixed use education and leisure development. It comprises a new secondary school, caretaker lodge, sport and leisure centre with an athletics track and stadium, multi-use games courts, skate park, public playground and landscaping works. Designers worked closely with the community through a wide-scale consultation process to ensure the proposals for the plan met the expectations of everyone involved. This £35 million development required a high level of technical input from British Gypsum to provide detailed solutions to meet specifications. British Gypsum provided on site support to Laing O’Rourke and Atkins Global, through bespoke detailing throughout the build using GypWall EXTREME. The detailing to the music and recording rooms was a particular challenge where GypWall QUIET IWL systems were used.


Laing O’Rourke Group

Laing O’Rourke is a globally diverse engineering and construction group with a commitment to delivering exceptional value, founded on 167 years of experience. Offering a true end-to-end service – we invest, define, design, manufacture, deliver and operate – across a broad spectrum of exciting projects for our customers– providing the right environments to accommodate, educate, employ, transport, care for and sustain communities. Our value proposition comprises the full range of engineering, manufacturing, construction and project management services.Through our fully integrated approach we deliver unparalleled certainty to meet the particular requirements of some of the world’s most prestigious public- and private-sector clients. Our collaborative approach combines discipline in delivery with the continuous pursuit of innovation: engaging with customers and partners from the earliest stages, advising on and providing the best ways to complete projects with total surety and achieve greatest value for all stakeholders – employees, customers, communities and shareholders. We are enabling the organisation to be leaner and more efficient, and deepening relationships through significant investment in our unique approach. Our long-term strategy aims to create sustainable growth by meeting the economic, social and environmental challenges of our rapidly changing world.

Key Achievements

  • Good relationship/cooperation within the team members from Laing O’Rourke, Atkins Global, British Gypsum and Optimum Drywall Systems Ltd.
  • The amount of re-work required to the surface of the Rigidur H board was minimal as was the amount of waste produced. This was attributed to quality of the drylining and ease of fix the Smartwall panels offered.
  • Achieved BREEAM Excellent rating with low air permeability.
  • Passed acoustic tests.
  • As a result of the off site manufacturing process a better finish was achieved for the finishing trades.

Key Challenges

Partnering with British Gypsum both at the off site manufacturing stage and on site during installation was always going to be a challenge. British Gypsum met the challenge admirably and provided 44 hours of time via a dedicated CAD drawing operator. In total 71 bespoke details were drawn over a period of thirteen months. Numerous design team meetings and workshops also took place to discuss the Smartwall system. Challenges were overcome by the British Gypsum Technical Advice Centre (TAC) particularly around detailing for the atrium and double height spaces. This was considerably beneficial to the client, knowing that British Gypsum would provide the solutions to difficult design issues around deflection heads and the atrium lining.


Building owner:
Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council
Atkins Global
Main contractor:
Laing O’Rourke
Steve Baker
Saint-Gobain Team:
Graham Lloyd – British Gypsum – Specification Manager