Style Spy: London Olympics, Heralded as “The Greatest Games in Modern Times”

by Rakks | March 7th, 2012

London Olympics - Stadium

London Olympics and Sustainability

For the upcoming 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, plans and preparation began years ago to create an impressive array of athletic venues and housing that not only fit the functional needs of the games but are also visually stunning and sustainably sound. Our own focus here at Rakks is on creating products that meet the design needs of clients but we also share in the goal of sustainability. Most Rakks products are manufactured from, and packaged in, materials containing significant percentages of recycled content. Read our complete LEED Statement here.

Focusing on five key themes, the London Olympics’ Sustainability Plan includes:
1. Climate change: minimizing greenhouse gas emissions and ensuring legacy facilities are able to cope with the impacts of climate change.
2. Waste: minimizing waste at every stage of the project, ensuring no waste is sent to landfill during Games-time, and encouraging the development of new waste processing infrastructure in East London.
3. Biodiversity: minimizing the impact of the Games on wildlife and their habitats in and around Games venues, leaving a legacy of enhanced habitats where we can, eg the Olympic Park.
4. Inclusion: Promoting access for all and celebrating the diversity of London and the UK, creating new employment, training and business opportunities.
5. Healthy living: Inspiring people across the country to take up sport and develop active, healthy and sustainable lifestyles.

London Olympics
Legacy commitments including the development of the Olympic Park are a vital part of the 2012 Games. “Legacy commitments that do not relate directly to the built environment are mostly aspirational or promise further planning, for example, by developing a biodiversity action plan, or catalysing waste infrastructure in East London. We believe that plans that are being developed now should push targets further and ensure that the development is still cutting edge when legacy use begins, more than four years from now” (London 2012). The Olympic Park will create a green backdrop for the London Olympic Games and a new green space after 2012 for people and wildlife living in and around the area to enjoy. What was once industrial land, extensive vegetation and cultivation have now turned 2.5sq km of land into a thriving park and haven for local wildlife.

Learn more about the green features of other Olympic venues:
Olympic Stadium
• 80,000 seats at Games-time, originally designed to be reduced in size to a 25,000 seat permanent stadium in legacy by removing the upper tiers
• Now proposed to be reconfigured to 60,000 seats in legacy
• Uses less than half the steel of comparable stadia, reducing its environmental impact and making it the lightest Olympic Stadium constructed to date
• The ring beam that supports the fabric roof is made of reclaimed gas pipes
• The stadium includes over 30 percent recycled content
• It is expected to need 60 percent less potable water than comparable stadium
• Use of a new cold foam process to lay its access roads, increasing the recycled content and reducing the energy needed to lay them
• Designed to achieve a BREEAM excellent rating in legacy, subject to the new transformation plans

Aquatics Centre
• 17,500 seats at Games-time, this will be reduced to 2,500 seats in legacy by removing two temporary wings
• A temporary 5,000-seat venue for Water Polo, with competition and warm-up pools, will be constructed and removed after the Games
• Being built to the BREEAM excellent standard (in the Centre’s legacy state)
• Use a new phthalate-free PVC membrane to enclose the temporary wings.
• Part of this will feature a green (sedum) roof
• To use ammonia-based chillers rather than HFC to reduce climate change impact
• Awarded an innovation credit under the BREEAM scheme for extensive use of recycled materials in the concrete
• The design of the Centre features a spectacular wave-like roof that is 160m long and up to 80m wide, which means that it uses considerably more steel than buildings of a similar size
• The centre has a higher amount of embodied carbon than a comparable sized venue, due largely to the amount of steel required

Eton Manor
• Temporary training pools for participants in Aquatics events during the Olympic Games
• Wheelchair Tennis and a training facility for Aquatics competitors during the Paralympic Games
• After the Games it is intended that Eton Manor will be transformed into a mix of sporting facilities, including a tennis centre with four indoor and six outdoor courts, a hockey centre with two competition pitches and five-a-side football pitches
• On track to achieve a BREEAM excellent rating
• Projected to reduce energy use by over 20% compared to 2006 building regulations
• Features a timber frame, using sustainably sourced timber

Copper Box
• 7,000 seats at Games-time for events such as Handball. In legacy there will be retractable seating, with a flexible capacity of up to 6,000 seats
• In legacy the venue will become a multi-purpose sports facility used for a wide range of activities from international competition to community sports
• More than 3,000 sq m of external copper cladding – containing 60% recycled copper
• On track to achieve a BREEAM excellent rating
• Uses lightpipes to maximize the use of natural light
• Over 20% less energy in use when compared to 2006 building regulations
• Water saving fittings and devices to help reduce potable water consumption by around 60%

Basketball Arena
• This is a temporary venue and one of the largest-ever temporary venues built for any Games
• 12,000 seats during the Olympic Games; 10,000 seats during the Paralympic Games
• After the Games it will be taken down and parts of it are expected to be reused or relocated elsewhere in theUKor internationally
• The contractors are required to take back and reuse elements of the venue
• Projecting 30% recycled content through measures such as seats having a high level of recycled content
• Back of house area will be shared with the VeloPark venues to make most efficient use of space and resources

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