Situated on London's Greenwich Peninsula, The O2 is London's state-of-the-art music and entertainment destination. The venue can hold up to 23,000 people and is surrounded by an Entertainment Avenue which boasts a myriad of leisure attractions that include an 11-screen cinema, exhibition spaces, a additional music venue, restaurants, bars and cafes.
The O2 is the first destination of its kind in the UK and is equivalent in size to 12 football pitches. In a space so vast, with the potential to be densely occupied, first class security and fire protection is vital.
The O2’s Requirements
The security solutions needed to be discreet but effective, as those managing security at The O2 needed to have continuous surveillance of the arena and its visitors. It was important to ensure that those experiencing the venue could do so in a safe, secure and enjoyable manner.
The fire detection systems also needed to operate in a unique environment, particularly in the concert arena that houses a sound system that pumps out 650,000 watts. Additionally, the shows that take place at the arena often use increasingly advanced pyrotechnic, light and atmospheric displays.
Tyco Integrated Security delivered security solutions that have met all of The O2’s requirements. CCTV cameras have been installed in all areas of Peninsula Square that feed into The O2 Operations room, enabling operators to view all areas of the Entertainment Avenue from the entrance of Peninsula Square to the inside of the arena bowl. Discreetly placed, the cameras monitor the site for any unusual behavior and also provide valuable data for evacuations. The CCTV system is supported by access control doors where necessary.
Very Early Smoke Detection Apparatus (VESDA) was installed in the arena and concourses. In a concert environment, VESDA can distinguish between particles given off as part of a show (e.g. pyrotechnic displays and dry ice) and smoke as a result of a fire and alert The O2 Operations Room accordingly. This system is supported by call points and detection around The O2 as well as voice activated alerts. These alerts are connected to the extensive sound system that informs visitors what they need to do in the event of a fire. The system has also been designed so that the voice activated alerts can operate independently of each other, evacuating areas, if necessary, in an orderly and controlled way.
Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) and their main contractor, Sir Robert McAlpine, set an ambitious target of less than two years to complete what has been the UK’s largest development project in recent years.
Tyco Integrated Security’s biggest success with this project has been to deliver high quality technology within this tight timeframe. To achieve the completion date, Tyco Integrated Security managed deadlines scrupulously.
This involved the coordination of a team of 80 subcontractors (totaling more than 2,000 workers) along with 120 of Tyco Integrated Security’s own staff working to install more than 5,000 pieces of equipment. Since January 2006, Tyco Integrated Security has invested more that 44,000 days of manpower on the site.
Initially, Tyco Integrated Security had been commissioned to provide and manage installation of fire and electronic security systems solely for the arena. However, Tyco Integrated Security’s proven ability to work to a tight schedule and manage its contractor base effectively secured further projects in the Entertainment Avenue and Waterfront area, bringing the total contract value to more than £8 million.
Tyco Integrated Security provided a reliable and discreet solution to The O2 by installing innovative technology allowing visitors to have a safe and secure experience at the venue. David Campbell, President and CEO of AEG Europe, stated that “Tyco Integrated Security has played an important role in delivering a safety and security solution that plays a vital role in enhancing The O2 customer experience.”