Welcome to the Future
The National Exhibition Centre (NEC Group) is centrally based in Birmingham and business visitors from across the world – by air, train, or car – will recognise the vast halls, the spider-like crouch of the red building frame, and the famous, ageless clock tower.
True to its name, it’s the national focal point for key industry events such as the Motor Show and public shows from the biggest names in popular and classical music.
It’s a national success story. And it has a vision – to be recognised the world over as the place people visit to discover the future.
Consequently, the NEC group embarked on a multimillion pound investment in the redevelopment of the NEC Arena as a world class venue, embracing the fundamental remodelling and expansion of both the LG Forum and Link building with the Arena.
The LG Forum offers visitors a real welcome to the future as a pre-event complex with ready access to a host of bars, restaurants, fast food outlets and a VIP lounge. WT Parker helped the NEC to see the future, and it works.
A Challenge Arrives from the Client
The challenge was to make realisation even greater than anticipation for the visitor experience.
So, the NEC Group invested in a retrofit building programme, including thermal modelling for comfort, a new glazed entrance area, an iconic tower for access to the upper hospitality venues and improved access routes that lead up to impressive new external landscaping and designs.
Lighting was central to the impression created, with the flexibility to adapt to a target audience from rock’n’roll fans to aficionados of classical pieces. And WT Parker played a key part in the design and installation of a new bespoke energy centre above the Link building which would house the arena’s major mechanical and electrical plant.
An Illuminating Experience for Customers
The WT Parker project team developed a services design strategy working with the architect, structural engineer, M&E consultants, and, of course, the NEC Group as the client.
The bottom line for the flagship lighting scheme?
To devise a strategy for the site that would ensure reliability, comfort and compliance with Health and Safety legislation, while having a cost-efficient, low energy scheme.
Plant room works, as a total system controlled by a Sigma BMS, involved the installation of a 3.6 MW packaged boiler house and 5.2 MW chilled water system to deliver heating and cooling through four pipe fan coils and a ductwork system utilising motorised swirl diffusers for displacement.
In financial terms, for instance, energy savings are achieved through the use of various pumps that are inverter controlled and modulated by DPV valves pressure differential switches.
In aesthetic terms, the Forum’s innovative and versatile lighting systems create the ambience and atmosphere for a truly inspiring entrance. The solution accentuates the external landscaping with feature lighting for the trees and a colour changing glass wall at reception. Step through the door and the LED builds a sense of theatre. The sponsor, electronics giant LG, can be recognised for their ‘Life’s Good’ motto throughout. Striking pink themed visuals and effects provide another show…from arrival to departure.
This sort of five star welcome even makes the visitor feel like a star. Make the right connections with WT Parker, and see how it improves the bottom line.