I attended the opening ceremony for the velodrome today. The velodrome is a venue we are particularly pleased with as a commission as it is a real sustainability success story.
One of my roles in the Commission is to track all the commitments that the delivery bodies have made to ensure they are progressing against them. This has meant I have been able to see how all the venues have developed throughout their design and build. The velodrome has consistently stood out as its innovative design has helped it meet or exceed all the targets set for it.
For example, the ODA required all the venues to be at least 15 percent more energy efficient than standard venues. The velodrome is over 30 percent more efficient, doubling the target set. Its rainwater harvesting system means it also nearly doubles the 40 per cent target for reduction in potable water use. I was also pleased to see the sustainably sourced timber track that Sir Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton and other members of Team GB were cycling round today.
The velodrome is also a great example of carbon efficient design. Using a lightweight structure with a timber clad cable net roof, the steel required for the roof is only 100 tonnes. This gives it a much lower carbon footprint than a traditional venue.
I believe the velodrome also shows that you can have a stunning design and a highly sustainable venue. Something another similar sized building to the south of it could learn from?
I hope that as we come to the Games and hopefully see many British gold medals won at the velodrome, we can also celebrate and replicate the great sustainability lessons from this amazing venue.
22 February 2011