UK Green Building Council

Delivering a Sustainable Stadium

17 April 2012 - 8:00am - 10:00am
The Building Centre
26 Store Street, London, WC1E 7BT

Resources and Key Learnings from UK-GBC's London 2012 Sustainability Lessons Learned Series

This Breakfast Session provided a holistic perspective on creating a sustainable venue from the entire project team - from client to architect to engineer. The project team responsible for delivering the Olympic Stadium discussed the successes and challenges of delivering the venue for the London 2012 Olympic Park.

Speakers included:

  • Ian Crockford, Stadium Project Manager, ODA
  • Glyn Trippick, Project Director for London 2012 Stadium, Buro Happold
  • Philip Johnson, Principal Architect, Populous
  • Kirsten Henson, KLH Sustainability (former Material Manager for CLM and Sustainability Single Point of Contact for Olympic Stadium)

Highlights Video

UK-GBC Members can click here to view the full event video (1.5 hours)

Key Messages:

The Client
Ian Crockford set the scene of the Stadium’s evolution. First he described the organisational structure of the project team and talked about the challenges they faced in constructing a stadium for 80,000 people on a constrained site. He talked about the process of undertaking Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs) and relocating businesses, as well as working around powerlines, sewage pipes and the London Underground to transform a contaminated brownfield to an Olympic Venue within a 5-year timeframe.

Main lesson learned:  The need for strong leadership and a new, thoughtful and sustainable approach to design and construction.

The Architect and Engineer
Phillip Johnson and Glyn Trippick delivered a joint presentation, providing collaborative insight into the Stadium project site. They focused their discussion on the need to ensure that the Stadium was built sustainably keeping its long-term future use(s) in mind and its legacy at its heart. Designed to transform from an 80,000 capacity venue during the Games to a 25,000 seat stadium afterwards, both architect and engineer were keen for the construction to be as sustainable and accessible as possible, whist encouraging sporting excellence and enhancing the spectator experience. Using the ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ mantra, the result is a compact, lightweight stadium designed for dismantling and flexibility, using materials that were either recycled or recyclable. To put this into perspective, they highlighted that the Beijing Olympic Stadium used 45,000 tonnes of steel in its construction in comparison to London’s 4,500 tonnes.

The architects and engineers consulted very closely with athletes to ensure that the design would reflect their wants and needs. For example, athletes were very keen to have spectators as close to the action as possible and this was incorporated into the plans. ‘Reduce, reuse, recycle’ and longevity were considerations at every stage of the project to ensure sustainability was embedded in the Stadium’s design and engineering.

Main lesson learned: Don’t use a generic code to drive design.

Kirsten Henson outlined the importance of setting long-term, sustainable targets early on in the project. She noted the teams’ desire to achieve maximum sustainability and efficiency that went beyond legislative requirements at the time. She highlighted that sharing innovation between project partners was well received.

Main lesson learned: Strong and effective leadership, regular site inspections and reporting are key to the success of the project. Thinking outside of the box when it comes to sustainability is highly effective – it should not be just about ‘eco bling’.

Click here to see what Architect Journal's Sustainability Editor, Hattie Hartman, had to say about this event.

UK-GBC's London 2012 Sustainability Lessons Learned Series is in Partnership with Atkins and co-sponsored by Saint-Gobain. 

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