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Recyclable venues help London win 2012 games

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PLANS TO use temporary venues and demountable grandstands played a vital role in helping London win the right to host the 2012 Olympics, officials said last week.

London's bid is thought to have won through because of its emphasis on athlete input into the plans and on legacy use, using the Games to encourage children to take up sport.

But London bid officials said they believed the idea of re-using facilities particularly impressed International Olympic Committee (IOC) members. Ideas developed by London could help poorer developing countries assemble a successful Olympic bid in future.

It is known that the IOC would like an African country to host the games for the first time in the near future. No South American country has ever hosted the Games either.

'One of the drivers for the bid was how sustainable this was going to be, ' said one consultant involved with the bid. 'This was not just for London but for the Olympic organisation'.

For poorer countries, using demountable, re-usable venues would help minimise capital expenditure, as temporary facilities could be bought or leased.

'Coming forward with temporary, relocatable facilities has made holding an Olympics more cost effective and attuned to the needs of the communities in developing countries, ' said London 2012 infrastructure director James Bulley.

'For relocatable venues there is more than a 30% saving for designing and procuring construction of a new arena. They are also re-usable so the only real costs are the relocation costs and the erection costs.' In the past the IOC has come under fi re for promoting the creation of expensive, permanent facilities which are only used to full capacity during an Olympic Games. Many have become derelict, including some used in Athens last summer.

London's bid includes several venues which are temporary or include temporary elements.

The centrepiece 80,000 seat Olympic stadium will be designed so that it can be scaled back to a 20,000 to 25,000 venue after the 2012 Games.

The aquatic centre includes a demountable water polo pool and re-usable seating.

Outline plans for the stadium were drawn up by a team comprising contractor Laing O'Rourke, archictects HOK Sport + Venue + Event and Buro Happold.

The same team has designed relocatable venues for handball and basketball. After the Games these steel clad lightweight structures will be dismantled for re-use elsewhere in the UK.

Outside the Olympic Park there will also be a 50,000m 2 temporary venue near the Dome, capable of holding 6,000 spectators.

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