Set in a disused quarry, Edinburgh International Climbing Arena (EICA) is Europe’s largest indoor climbing arena with more than 300 potential climbing routes and a world famous aerial assault course suspended 30 metres above the ground. The quarry is enclosed by a vast tensile fabric roof which had reached the end of its life span, so Base were called in to design, fabricate and install a replacement roof to ensure the climbing centre could continue to operate at the highest level, suitable for international climbing competitions.
Base specified an upgraded modern fabric, Mehler TF 400 Crystal, to replace the existing. With 40% translucency and a higher tensile strength for added durability the new fabric would ensure a brighter interior and longer life span for the climbing centre.
The project comprised removal of the existing roof and installation of seven valley roofs, eight ridge panels, seven wall panels and two gable walls covering a 6,150 square meter footprint. The scope also included structural steel remedials to increase strength and painting. During the course of the project, minimising disruption to the ongoing operation of the centre was key, with work scheduled accordingly and plenty of contingency planning to cope with the extreme weather conditions that affected the entire country at the start of the year.
“Zero incidents on a project this complex in very taxing weather would be a remarkable achievement for most companies, but it’s all in a day’s work for Base Structures. The prescient approach brought by the team – smoothing the way to keeping the building operational, despite developing design during the contract due to pre-construction access restrictions – made it a pleasure to work with them all. It’s rather sad we don’t expect to see them back for 25-30 years (on this job anyway!)”.
Mo Blane, CDM-C/Architect, EICA roof replacement