Built for the London 2012 Olympic Games, hailed as one of the most sustainable Olympic Games ever, the Olympic Stadium is the pinnacle of sustainable construction. The construction process utilised many new construction techniques and procurement strategies, allowing the designers and contractors to use less construction material and save money. In order to measure the sustainability of the stadium the Olympic delivery authority (ODA) created a tailored version of BREEAM(Olympic Delivery Authority 2011). But how much more sustainable is the Olympic Stadium than other recently built stadiums?
The Olympic stadium was designed by Buro Happold and constructed by Sir Robert McAlpine (Mark Hansford 2011). Construction began in May 2008 and was completed just under 3 years later in April 2011. The Olympic Stadium lies to the south of Olympic park, the massive regenerated area upon which most 2012 Olympic venues have been built. During the Olympic Games the stadium will have a capacity of 80,000, but in post-games life this will be reduced to 25,000 with the removal of the temporary upper tier (Olympic Delivery Authority n.d.).
Before construction of the stadium began the ODA were already actively encouraging the project to be as sustainable as possible. This began with a new version of BREEAM being established, and “was the first time assessments were created for major sports stadia”(Olympic Delivery Authority 2011). The BREEAM of assessing environmental impact was chosen primarily as it is independently managed, and can therefore be externally audited, giving the final rating greater weight. The BREAAM is also a “tried and tested” approach, it is in use across the world with over 200,000 buildings certified and over 1 million registered(Olympic Delivery Authority 2011). The ODA was required to use “reasonable endeavours” in order to achieve a rating of ‘Excellent’, which at the time the tailored version of BREEAM was developed was the highest rating attainable, now however an ‘outstanding’ rating can be attained. This ‘excellent’ rating only has to be attained for the permanent structures in their legacy state.
Another pre-build sustainable approach taken by the ODA was with the enabling works, which were delivered by Atkins. The Olympic park is built upon 246 hectares of brownfield site, upon which 200 years of industrial activity has taken place (Mark Hansford 2010). In order to fulfil the sustainability requirements strict targets where set for remediation, which Atkins had to meet. These targets included reclaiming at least 90% of demolished materials, and the more challenging goal of remediating at least 80% of the soil on site(Mark Hansford 2010). To meet these targets Atkins made 3,000 on-site borehole investigations, and upon completion of the enabling works a massive 98% of demolished materials had been reclaimed and over 80% of soil had been remediated(Atkins 2011).
During construction many initiatives were implemented to ensure that the...