SAPCA member SELSports – a subsidiary of SEL Environmental – supplied a 150m-long rooftop running track on top of a 16-storey office tower on Old Street, in the heart of London.
At 230ft high, the track on the roof of the White Collar Factory development – designed by architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris – is the highest track in the capital.
The cushioned rubber-crumb track has been marked out with a start sign and two lanes. Runners will have to complete just over 10 laps of the track to complete a mile, while a full marathon – should anyone attempt it – would require 281 laps.
As a design feature, the running track was installed between the tracks of the building maintenance unit (BMU) – an innovative way of disguising the BMU tracks.
“As far as we’re aware this is the first of its kind in central London,” said Benjamin Lesser, development manager of Derwent London, the developer of the modernistic office building.
“The cladding on the outside of the building is extended up and that provides a screen, so runners are protected from winds and the edge. But it also has windows so you get incredible views in all directions. There are also showers and toilets on that floor and there is a café and terrace for the occupiers of the building.”
SELSports is a specialist designer and installer of rooftop sports facilities using innovative plastic sub-base systems. As well as running tracks, the company has a range of synthetic grass surfaces (for 5-a-side football), polymeric EPDM surfaces, resin-bound gravel surfaces (an alternative to macadam) and multi-use games areas. It can also supply playgrounds and social and recreational zones.
“The lightweight modular nature of the SELSports system makes it ideal for use in new build or as retro-fit solutions to existing buildings,” says Jack Shuttleworth, business development manager at SELSports
“The flexible nature of these facilities means that they can be designed to accommodate the structural limitations of these spaces.
“This simplifies the construction process and offers a cost-effective and practical solution to an otherwise logistically problematic project. The innovative system performs as an excellent rooftop drainage and water management system.”