The Winner Takes It All (Down)

November 2022

Our reputation for reliability, sustainability and agility has led to a growing portfolio of demountable structures. Demountable structures are often overlooked and underappreciated in the construction industry, despite providing a vital service. Their transient nature can often consign them to mundane form and aesthetics, but their versatility, adaptability and impermanence make them an all-in-one solution for a whole host of uses:

  • Festivals;
  • Race events;
  • Pop-up bars;
  • Exhibition space;
  • Art.

Perhaps most importantly, at a time where the climate emergency demands action from designers, demountable structures embody the very essence of sustainability: Reuse.

The structural elements in each project can be reused tens of times in a multitude of different configurations, ensuring that each piece of steel will have reduced its embodied carbon by over 90%, when compared to that of its recycled steel counterparts.

Demountable structures are designed, in every possible way, for reuse. From the simple connections to the lightweight optimised profiles, they make the job of erecting and dismounting as straightforward as possible. It is these very design considerations that should be informing the way we think about our permanent structures. How do we make it easy for someone to take them down at the end of its life? How do we ensure that each element can be used more than once? How do we keep track of which element was where?

We are proud to have experience on a range of challenging demountable projects; from Formula-E pit lane enclosures and zip wires for a Tomb Raider movie working closely with our good friends at The Halo Group, temporary ‘pools for schools’ and a series of pavilions for sports clubs across London.

At Symmetrys, we are keen on our cycling, so naturally designing the starting platform for the Tour de France in Copenhagen again with The Halo Group was a real buzz for us. Erected for a grand total of 3 days, the structure served as the starting platform of the 13km time trail through the streets of Copenhagen, a beautiful city and home to the busiest cycling lane in the world.

Reusing steel

Inspired by our work on demountable structures, we began to carry out research in late 2021 into the reuse of structural steel for permanent structures. We now visit Architects, Developers and events to give talks about the very real potential of reusing steel in our new builds and how much better that is for our planet. The industry is moving fast and we are thrilled to be at the forefront.

Ultimately, demountable structures may remain the quiet heroes of events sector, but it is worth reminding ourselves every once in a while that they could provide the inspiration and foundation for a more sustainable construction industry.

If you have an event that needs a demountable structure then you need to contact Symmetrys and Halo.

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