The marathon that is venue design and construction for the London 2012 Olympics is nearing the finish line. Not only is Expedition Engineering‘s and Hopkins Architects‘ collaboration on the Velodrome on track for a christmas completion, it is streaking ahead of the pack in the race for green.
Way back in 2005 London won the bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games on the basis of the Olympic committee promising to make it the most sustainable games in the history of the event. The reality of delivering on that promise has seen different extents of success but one venue that really is being inundated with accolades for setting new standards in sustainable design is the Velodrome.
From the outset the design team worked closely together, taking a holistic approach to create a stadium whose elegance is born from form following function. This means that all the man hours spent playing with the structural geometry to find the most efficient shape for the Velodrome really helped in the quest to cut the carbon. Having spent the last few months assessing the amount of embodied carbon associated with the velodromes construction, I am delighted to report that the London Velodrome contains ten times less embodied carbon than Beijing’s 2008 Velodrome and an estimated eight times less embodied carbon than the Zaha Hadid and Arup designed Aquatics centre. The Velodrome is talking in terms of hundreds of tonnes of embodied carbon rather than thousands! Furthermore, the design team are being proactive about publishing the results as part of a report detailing how the entire industry can learn from their experiences.
The Velodrome really is one of London 2012’s success stories and widespread adoption of the design philosophies it employs will be instrumental in helping the UK construction industry, which is responsible for almost 10% of the UK’s carbon emissions, meet the ambitious government targets for reducing carbon use by a massive 80% (compared to 2008 figures) by 2050. Maybe the race isn’t quite finished but I know lots of people who believe, where the Velodrome is concerned, that green medal is fully deserved!
Expedition are giving a talk about designing the Velodrome on the evening of Thursday 28th October. Please see the attached flyer for details: