Lord’s goes 100% renewable
Lord’s – the home of England cricket – has become the first cricket ground in Great Britain to run on 100% renewable energy, as new figures reveal the increasing disruption to cricket caused by extreme weather patterns linked to climate change.
New England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) statistics illustrate that extreme weather in December 2015, which has been linked to climate change, caused more than GB£3.5m-worth of damage across 57 cricket clubs. Increased rainfall is also causing significant loss of fixtures in recreational cricket and impacting on the professional game. The ECB distributed more than GB£1m in emergency funding to flood-affected clubs in 2016, with a further GB£1.6m earmarked for 2017.
The new Warner Stand, which will be opened in April 2017, is symbolic of the Marylebone Cricket Club’s (MCC) – the world’s most active cricket club, the owner of Lord’s and the guardian of the Laws of the Game – sustainability drive. The innovative structure, designed by world-renowned architecture practice Populous, includes photovoltaic roof panels for electricity generation and a state-of-the-art water collection and recycling system.
The MCC has developed a broad sustainability programme, meeting its 2020 emissions targets last year and reducing its electricity use by 7% since 2010.
Derek Brewer, MCC Chief Executive & Secretary, said:
It is important that all organisations embrace sustainability and I’m very pleased that Lord’s has become the first cricket ground in the country to run on 100% renewable energy.
The statistics released today illustrate the effect that changing weather patterns can have on cricket, and the ECB deserve a lot of praise for the support they give clubs across the country that are so badly affected by extreme weather.
The announcement launches the annual ‘Show The Love’ campaign from The Climate Coalition, whose members include WWF-UK, the RSPB, the National Trust, the Women’s Institute (WI) and Christian Aid. It also accompanies the publication of a ‘Weather Warning’ report highlighting how extreme weather conditions are affecting some of Britain’s favourite places – from gardens to local pubs, rivers to our parish churches, iconic cliffs to woodlands.
The MCC is determined to ensure that Lord’s remains world-class, as well as world-famous. Accordingly, it has invested more than GB£50m over the last twenty-five years, in various ground modernisation projects. This investment programme has resulted in the construction of four new stands (including the award-winning Mound Stand), MCC’s Cricket Academy and the futuristic J.P. Morgan Media Centre.
Far from resting on its laurels, the MCC has been investing even more money to ensure that Lord’s has both a unique historic appeal and truly state-of-the-art sporting facilities.
The South-Western Project (SWP) at Lord’s
The SWP is the single largest phase of the Masterplan for the redevelopment of Lord’s. Designed by Populous, the architects of the new Warner Stand, as well as iconic venues such as the London Olympic Stadium, the SWP entails: a replacement for the Tavern and Allen Stands; a new Thomas Lord Building; a new Lord’s Tavern pub; and internal reorganisation of the Pavilion and Memorial Building to provide more room for cricket teams and staff.
It also will aim to open up the area around the Grace Gates on St John’s Wood Road to establish a more welcoming public realm.
The key components of the scheme are:
- A new Tavern & Allen Stand – a single structure to replace the existing two. The design incorporates 5,200 seats, an increase of 1,082 seats compared to the existing stand.
- A new Thomas Lord Building with a street-facing reception, a banqueting suite, and offices for MCC staff.
- A new Tavern pub, opening into the Harris Garden as well as onto the street.
- Enhancement of the area around the Grace Gates to establish a more welcoming, pedestrian-friendly public realm.
- A new Harris Garden Building with a bar facing out onto the Garden and additional dressing rooms both for squash and tennis players, and to better accommodate double header matches.
- Reorganisation of the Pavilion to enlarge the dressing rooms, and convert a current office, physio room and women’s toilets on the corridor between the two dressing rooms into space for team management and a players’ gym.
- An enlarged and deepened basement which will enable vehicles to make deliveries directly to catering facilities etc. underground, removing the need to use the Grace Gate entrance.
There are several key reasons why the Club is choosing to develop this area of the Ground:
- The Tavern and Allen stands are no longer fit for purpose. They have poor accessibility with no passenger lifts, no facilities for people with disabilities, and limited catering and WC facilities.
- There is scope to increase the capacity of this part of Lord’s, to better satisfy demand from Members;
- It presents the opportunity to restore the special ceremonial nature of the Grace Gates, by taking delivery traffic underground below the Thomas Lord Building and new stand, and making the entrance to Lord’s more pedestrian- and public-friendly;
- It can incorporate a large basement, which will enable waste management and back-of-house operations to be taken underground and improve circulation;
- The Thomas Lord Building will house new staff offices and a new reception, which will improve both MCC’s operational efficiency and security.
The MCC submitted the planning application to Westminster City Council in July 2015, with approval confirmed in November of that year.
Speaking after the announcement of the planning approval in November 2015, Derek Brewer, MCC Chief Executive & Secretary, said:
Following the consent given by the planning committee at Westminster City Council, MCC is delighted to have today received the Mayor’s endorsement for its South-Western Project (SWP) plans at Lord’s Cricket Ground.
The SWP is designed to ensure that Lord’s provides the very best facilities for players and spectators alike, and that the Ground remains truly world-class in everything it has to offer.
A five-year consent was submitted because the Club awaits the England and Wales Cricket Board’s decision – expected in 2017 – on the programme of international matches for 2019-2022.
Today’s announcement means the Club can conclude the legal procedures associated with the planning consent and look forward to making progress on these ambitious plans from Autumn 2019 onwards.
The new Warner Stand
In 2014, the MCC received planning permission from Westminster City Council to replace the Warner Stand and construction began on 2 September 2015.
The Warner Stand is the first to be developed for three principal reasons:
- The original stand contained around 600 restricted view seats. The new Warner Stand has been designed to reduce this number to little more than 100 seats. It is impossible to eliminate all restricted view seats in anything other than a circular “bowl” style stadium
- There was a drastic need to improve the match-control and officials’ facilities within the stand. These have been described by the ICC as the second worst in world cricket, and Lord’s is marked down on them when it bids for matches
- The old Warner Stand was in the most constrained corner of the Ground, and the Club needed to develop this area first, while it still has good access through to the stand for construction traffic from No. 6 Car Park
The original Warner Stand was completed in 1958 and was no longer fit for purpose. Aside from the poor sightlines from hundreds of seats in the stand, and the sub-standard match-control facility, the stand had no lifts and too few entrances and exits, meaning it could not cater for wheelchair users or those with mobility difficulties.
The new Warner Stand
When the new Warner Stand opens in April 2017, it will feature 2,656 seats, and combine outstanding facilities with innovative architecture. It will include the following features:
- Two tiers of seating on a steeper gradient than the current stand, thus greatly improving sightlines
- A new match-control and match officials’ facility which will exceed ICC and ECB standards and make Lord’s a world leader in this area
- More amenities within the stand for Members and their friends, including a restaurant, three bars and catering facilities
- The relocation and incorporation of the existing retractable floodlight, to integrate the floodlight mast with the architecture to reduce the visual impact of the shaft
- Improved access to the stand, with inclusive facilities for all spectators and greater provision of seats for those with disabilities and mobility needs. In total, wheelchair positions and amenity seating with greater width, leg room or both, account for 4% of the overall capacity, which significantly exceeds conventionally accepted best practice
- Ground-source heat pumps to provide heating for water, and photovoltaic roof panels for electricity generation
- An environmentally friendly system that collects and recycles water
- “Green” or living walls to the rear elevation of the stand to create a softer garden wall effect for neighbours to view
- An enlarged basement, with waste sorting and storage facilities, which will reduce the need to collect waste from the stand during the course of a match day
Providing cover to the new stand will be a semi-translucent fabric roof, supported by cantilevered oak beams. This style of roof is the first of its kind in the country, and is reflective both of advances in timber technology and a modern preference for the use of sustainable, replaceable materials in architecture. The fabric will ensure most spectators in the stand and all users of the restaurant benefit from both shade and a high degree of natural light.
The new stand can be seen as a microcosm of what MCC is trying to achieve with its Masterplan – an improved experience for all spectators, facilities that will put the Club in the best possible position to host major matches, improved circulation around the Ground, all within an iconic architectural environment.
The new Warner Stand will become the first new Members’ Friends’ Enclosure to be built at the Ground since the Tavern Stand in 1967.
To keep up to date with the progress of the new Warner Stand construction ‘like’ the Facebook page run by constructors BAM.
Images, courtesy: MCC / Populous
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