McLaren Construction at ExCeL London Expansion Project

The £220 million expansion of ExCeL London will extend the venue’s existing 100,000m2 exhibition and conference facilities by 25%.

The works will provide seamless connectivity with the existing venue, creating state-of-the art convention facilities, exhibition halls and conference rooms, additional catering and external terraces. An enhanced public realm includes public access along the dock edge. 

The 2.09km racetrack for the annual ABB FIA Formula World Championship weaves around and inside the exhibition centre. McLaren built the section of track that runs through the construction site – at an exciting point in the net zero race where the Formula E cars come off the fastest stretch of the course and into one of the tightest corners.

McLaren’s build programme each year includes a three-week period while the race organisers install a pedestrian bridge, viewing gallery, catering facilities, lighting, crash barriers, branding and ground covering.

The construction project accommodates a long list of sensitivities. Specific to this location are the flight path into London City Airport and proximity to a Docklands Light Railway viaduct on one side and the 13-metre depth of water in the Royal Docks. Noise and lighting must take account of guests in neighbouring hotels while footpaths linking to the exhibition centre are kept presentable and road deliveries are maintained.

Crucial for ExCeL as the client is that their non-stop programme of world-class events goes undisturbed.

The integrated ExCeL extension will be a net zero carbon ready building, using 50% recycled steel, targeting BREEAM Excellent rating, with sustainability solutions including solar panels, air source heat pumps, rainwater harvesting and hybrid ventilation, embedding key principles of climate change adaption into the design.

McLaren took over the project as the main contractor in November 2022 with a streamlined approach and committed to delivering in time for the venue’s October 2024 event programme. McLaren quickly integrated with the existing project delivery team of Gardiner & Theobald, Grimshaw Architects, Hoare Lea and Campbell Reith.

The major expansion will further enhance ExCeL’s position as a global leader in the exhibition and convention centre market ensuring the venue continues to attract global events and audiences to London. The venue welcomes more than four million people a year with 25% of London’s inbound business tourists driven by ExCeL and £4.5bn delivered to London’s economy.

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