Construction on an Olympic Scale

Aug 7, 2012

The 2012 London Olympic Games have captured an audience of more than 4 billion viewers worldwide. Watching the best athletes in the world compete head to head is a very exciting event. Although the main focus is on the athletes, the venues that house the Olympic Games are world class—being designed using the best architects, engineers, and technological innovations available today.

A total of 34 venues are being used in the Olympic Games this year. However, there are five main venues for the Olympic events: Olympic Stadium, The Copper Box, Aquatics Center, Basketball Arena, and the Velodrome. Combined, it took over six years to construct the five main venues, using 30,000 construction workers.

Construction by the Numbers:

- The Olympic Stadium alone cost $758 million and took three years to build.

- 150 miles of power cable are used in the Olympic stadium alone.

- Fourteen 230 feet towers illuminate the Olympic Stadium, using a total of 532 floodlights.

- The Copper Box was built using 9,842 square feet of recycled copper.

- The roof of the Aquatics Center is lined with over 36,090 square feet of recycled aluminum.

- 120 electric vehicle charging stations were installed at the Olympic venues.

- 10,000 tons of steel used in construction.

- Over 200 buildings were demolished during construction.

- 75,000 firms were involved in construction of the Olympic venues.

- 2,818 new homes were erected in the Olympic Village.

Even though massive amounts of construction materials and energy will be consumed during the 2012 Olympic Games, the London Olympic Delivery Committee (ODA) is working to be as environmentally friendly as possible. As per the ODA vision statement, the design and technology used to construct the venues will allow a 34% reduction in carbon emissions, thus being considered energy efficient. This will be obtained by reduced energy consumption, efficient energy conversion, and renewable resources supplying energy.

By the close of the Olympics, do you think that the ODA will have met their goal of 34% carbon emission reductions? What are your thoughts about creating a more environmentally friendly Olympic campus? In your opinion, which Olympic venues are most impressive and why?

- Rob Boot