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Olympics to be green icon

The Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 this week praised the Olympic Delivery Authority’s (ODA) efforts to limit the environmental impact of construction.

It said progress towards the construction programme’s energy and carbon targets was on track. Sustainable construction has been a major challenge, said Commission chair Shaun McCarthy. “We now have a pretty comprehensive measure of the carbon footprint for the whole Olympics. At least 60% of that footprint is in construction.”

McCarthy cited work to reduce embodied carbon in construction as being particularly significant.

“We now have a pretty comprehensive measure of the carbon footprint for the whole Olympics. At least 60% of that is in construction.”

Shaun McCarthy, Commission for a Sustainable London 2012

A new type of low carbon concrete − informally called the “2012 mix” − has been developed for the project, and the Velodrome is a “fantastic example” of a sustainable building with its energy efficiency and minimal use of material, he said.

McCarthy said London 2012’s environmental credentials will be groundbreaking for an event of this size. He said that while Beijing was iconic in scale and spectacle, London will be iconic in sustainability. “In many areas new standards of sustainability are being set by the ODA,” he said.

Disappointments have included the initial planned use of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants in the Aquatics Centre and the lack of local facilities to produce biogas – but McCarthy has pushed for solutions to these problems. “It has been challenging at times but on the whole it has worked very well,” he said. “I’m confident the ODA will achieve what it set out to do.”

London 2012 timeline

  • July 2005 International Olympic Committee chooses London to host the 2012 Olympics
  • July 2007 Demolition and site clearance on Olympic site begins
  • May 2008 Olympic stadium construction begins
  • July 2008 Work on aquatics centre starts
  • March 2009 Work on velodrome starts
  • August 2009 Work underway across Olympic Village
  • Early 2010 Cable net roofs for stadium lifted in
  • Summer 2011 Olympic stadium complete
  • August 2012 Olympic Games start

Readers' comments (1)

  • Green & beautiful! Finally an Olympic that will be financially successful.

    Ken Blankstein-Ure
    WINNIPEG, Canada.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

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