2024 European Championship – Safety at large events

Stadiums are multifunctional buildings: Fans, teams, support staff, and media – they all need their own spaces and access points. Large numbers of people and a large-scale technical infrastructure are needed in the background to ensure a game or concert runs smoothly. Stadiums, and other locations where large events are held, place high requirements on building automation systems.

Mr Benecke, the men's 2024 European Championship is coming up. Are you excited?

Absolutely! It is definitely going to be a fun game, and I'm crossing my fingers that the German team at least makes it to the semifinals. I hope everyone has a happy, smooth football tournament.

As an expert for building automation and safety at large events like the European Championship, can you just sit back and enjoy watching football, or are you thinking about the operations staff who organise the game?

Actually, I take a look privately at which providers have their equipment installed in terms of automatic doors, fire protection, accessibility, or general building automation for every public location. But this has nothing to do with me feeling unsafe. On the contrary: Especially because this is my job, I know how high the standards for accessibility, building safety and fire protection are in Germany, and how seriously they are taken. I'm simply curious whether GEZE's solutions are in use, and of course how our competitors are implementing requirements.

What safety issues (fire protection, escape routes, accessibility) play a major role at a stadium?

Notausgang Tissot Arena Biel mit RWA K 600

Building safety and access for all play a particularly important role in stadiums. © Lorenz Frey / GEZE GmbH

You have to differentiate between two related aspects of safety in this case: First off, there are safety concerns themselves, for instance in terms of building safety and personnel protection. Secondly, there are security issues. These include issues like crowd management, admission control, alarm systems, CCTV, and security personnel. This covers preventing everything from unauthorised entry to acts of violence.

At GEZE, we focus mainly on building safety: from automated door and window solutions we can set up even for highly customised requirements, to solutions ensuring accessibility and fire protection, to connectivity solutions that can be integrated into the building control unit. 

When a stadium or event hall is “empty”, then most building protection is technical in nature. The more people are in the building for an event, the higher the degree of organisational security that is needed – including marshals, security personnel, etc. In general, these people carefully check who has which authorities or access authorisations – for instance to be in a VIP or press area. Technology plays a role here as well, of course, although it is mainly to support the people working in security.

Connectivity Experte Markus Benecke

Our connectivity experts Christoph Keller and Markus Benecke present the building automation solution myGEZE Connectivity. © GEZE GmbH

An integrated building automation and control system can bring security and safety together. This is the case, for instance, if personnel in the stadium control room can display the statuses of doors or access points, to determine where they need to intervene or take action. GEZE connectivity solutions come into play here, especially myGEZE Control: The system makes it possible to network GEZE door, window and safety systems and integrate them into a central building management system. In addition, myGEZE Visu can be used as an extension of myGEZE Control to provide a visualisation & operating interface for all connected product systems.

How does GEZE support stadium or event hall operators in terms of their building automation?

GEZE can cover the entire range of building safety automation: from individual automated door or window solutions to a completely integrated automation concept for the entire building. This includes the concept for the escape and rescue route technology, as well as smoke and heat extraction systems and integration into the higher-level building control unit. We focus on more than just new buildings: We have extensive experience in renovating and retrofitting existing buildings, in particular buildings subject to historical preservation requirements.

Our services start with planning and project management: We offer an extremely deep background of experience right from the start, to ensure the building safety concept works in practice, and not just on paper. GEZE is also a technical specialist. This means we have experts for every phase of the building life cycle, and for the individual work areas and trades responsible for automation solutions. We can provide competent support to architects and engineering firms, as well as manufacturers, electricians, and system integrators anywhere in Europe.

Thank you very much for speaking with us. Heres to a successful and safe 2024 European Championship in Germany!