Stadium rocks

Shaun McCarthy

June 5, 2009   |   Posted by Shaun McCarthy

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I had the privilege of a VIP tour of the Olympic stadium construction site to mark the anniversary of the build phase. It is a very impressive building. The quality of everything from the concrete finish to the cable trays is superb. The design is very smart and minimalist. Only the bare essential materials are used above ground level to ensure the majority of the stadium can be dismantled after the Games. Below ground there are excellent facilities taking shape for athletes, officials and the media.

Designs for the finishing touches are underway including very innovative use of sustainable plastics for the outer wrap and temporary pods to provide catering and merchandising facilities, these are a significant improvement on the tented structures we saw in Beijing.

In common with the velodrome, there is much for the sustainability geek to admire, 15 percent better energy efficiency than building regulations, light, low embodied energy structure and I hope the decision will be made soon to eliminate HFC from the cooling system.

My host pointed out that the London 2012 stadium will do everything the Bird’s Nest did with a quarter of the materials. Unfortunately we were also in sight of the aquatic centre construction which will do everything the Water Cube did with 4 times the materials.

According to veteran stadium rocker Meatloaf, 2 out of 3 ain’t bad. In this context I am not sure I can agree.

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