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Excellent networking at world-class stadium

IAKS UK event and Tottenham Hotspur Stadium tour on 22 Nov 2022

Tom Jones, IAKS Vice President and Senior Principal at Populous, welcomed the 80 delegates to the Tottenham Hotspur stadium for what he hoped would be an informative and interesting day of seminars and building tours. He was particularly grateful for the effort made by international IAKS members and delegates who had travelled from Argentina, Austria, Canada, Germany, Israel, Netherlands, and Spain to join the event. The perfect occasion to mix with experts from the UK and exchange thoughts on an interdisciplinary level.  

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Sander van Stiphout, Jon Babbs, Tom Jones (from left to right)

Jon Babbs, Stadium Director at Tottenham Hotspur, also extended a welcome to the group and gave a brief overview of his role at the stadium. The opening keynote presentation on building performance analysis was given by Malcolm Cook, Professor of Building Performance Analysis at Loughborough University, who presented some case studies of naturally ventilated public buildings and highlighted the importance of control systems and proper commissioning.  

The panel discussion focusing on innovation in stadium operations with Jon Babbs and Sander van Stiphout, Director International at Johan Cruijff ArenA, included observations around transitions in multi-purpose stadiums, the importance of creating meaningful memories at events and the implementation of new sustainability initiatives. Sander also discussed the path for Johan Cruijff ArenA to achieve a net positive status by 2030.  

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The next panel was moderated by Mike Hall, Partner at FaulknerBrowns, and looked at innovation in the design of sustainability facilities in more detail. Tom deBoeck, Assistant Director at Hoare Lea, presented some of the motivations behind delivering sustainable design, while Mark Palmer, Director at Max Fordham, looked at the opportunities to reduce both embodied energy and operational energy. Irina Korneychuk, Senior Associate at Faulkner- Browns, then shared some of the significant challenges in achieving the 50 % reduction in carbon by 2030 and the life cycle of building layers.   After lunch, delegates were taken on an extensive tour of the stadium, which included a chance to view the moving pitch in more detail, explore the range of general admission concourses and hospitality spaces around the stadium and take a look at the NFL home locker room.  

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on stage: Tom Pinnington, Ed Hunt, Tony Wallace, Peter Curtis (from left to right)

The final panel of the day focused on current challenges in the sports and leisure industry and was moderated by Peter Curtis, Director at Hadron Consulting. Tom Pinnington, Director at The Sports Consultancy, discussed some of the challenges faced by new developments, including the impact of rising energy costs. Ed Hunt, Facilities and Planning Manager at England Athletics, presented a new initiative in helping clubs to develop next-generation facilities, including the integration of athletics tracks with other sports facilities. Tony Wallace, Regional Director at GLL, completed the discussion with a summary of the vulnerabilities in the sector and ways in which facilities will have to adapt to continue providing an excellent service to users.   

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Tom Jones, Mike Hall

Mike Hall and Tom Jones brought the event to a close with an open offer to delegates to engage with future IAKS efforts in the UK, including plans for future building visits and seminars. With the IAKS UK spring event in 2019 (at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park), two webinars in 2021, and the IAKS UK spring event in May 2022 (in Birmingham), the Tottenham seminar & tour was the fifth event hosted by the IAKS UK team. More to come!


Presentations of the day are available for download. Get in touch with the IAKS headquarter and ask for your password.

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This is what people say

"It was great to hear about some of the challenges faced by the sector, and more importantly how we are rising to those challenges. It was good to see friends and colleagues, both old and new, in this inspiring setting."

Paul Reed
Associate Director GT3 Architects, UK


"With the conference solely focusing on sustainability within the industry we disscused innovative plans, ideas and information sharing to improve our industry not only in the UK but Internationally. With the energy crisis unfolding we need to change and have no choice but to change. Tottenham Stadium is also a great example of an adaptable facility using the latest technology to become more sustainable, a stadium tour is highly recommended!"

Stacey Smith
Key Account Manager, Life Fitness UK


"Thanks Tom Jones and Jon Babbs for hosting and all the panellists for the interesting points raised on #sustainability #comfort and #innovation. Amazing tour of the stadium, I’m still getting my head around the rolling pitch mechanism."

Edoardo Tibuzzi
Design Director at AKTII


"It was great to be there - a really informative conference with a great group of people. The Tottenham stadium tour was an incredible, an enormous building which still payed attention to the details."

Cameron Young
Architct, DB3 Architecture and Design


"I thought it was a very good event and also heard lots of positive feedback from delegates on the content, venue choice and the mix of delegates to network with."

Tom Pinnington
Director - Facilities and Venues, The Sports Consultancy