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Concrete & the 2012 London Olympics

Country: UK
Type: Sports facilites

Concrete was the material of choice for much of the infrastructure built for the 2012 London Olympics. For example, for the Olympic Stadium Precast beams supporting the lower tiers were cast on the stadium site, there is 9,250 m3 of precast concrete within the stadium bowl. This 'on-site prefabrication' method produced some very high quality finishes. The Olympic Stadium used pre-cast elements and recycled aggregates as cement replacement to achieve a sustainable and robust home for the Olympic Games.

The Athletes' Village was developed to the Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4, and so the project focused on the ecology and management categories of the Code. Concrete structures were used throughout with a cladding solution, and this provides thermal efficiency. The concrete used, reached a 'very good' standard, certified to the BRE responsible sourcing standard BES 6001.

For the Aquatics Centre, concrete was used in the sub-structure and super-structure, providing the foundations, pool-tanks, structure and diving-boards. Reinforced concrete was used for the pool-tank and foundations as it was economic, durable and low maintenance. The recycled content of the concrete varied and the use of recycled materials on this project saved 4000 tonnes of embodied CO₂.

In the case of the Velodrome, the in-situ concrete used for the vertical faces and soffits of the public concourse has a fair-faced finish to maximise the thermal mass of the concrete, provide economy of both materials and cost, and for its robustness and consequent low maintenance. Concrete was also used for the 'bowl' that the track sits in, and post-tensioned piers and the foundations of the structure.

The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy was where the 2012 Olympic sailing events was held, and was the first of the Olympic venues to be completed.

Sustainability was a critical project requirement, and has resulted in the award of a CEEQUAL rating of 'Excellent'. All the concrete was locally sourced from Weymouth, just 4 miles away. Site labourers and sub-contractors were also from the local area, helping minimise travel to and from the site and aiding local employment.

The Olympic Stadium

The Athletes' Village

The Aquatics Centre

The Velodrome

Sailing Academy


22 May 2014