The London Olympics are going green. No, the medals will still be gold, silver, and bronze but this Olympics is being called the greenest Olympics yet. Environmental expert Dan Epstein, Head of Sustainability for the upcoming London Games, had the task of living up to the promise of “the most sustainable Olympics ever.”
The 80,000-seat stadium that will be used for many events including the opening and closing ceremonies is a combination of a permanent and temporary structure and can easily be taken apart after the games. Currently there are plans in place to dismantle around 70% of the Olympic stadium, pack it up and send it on. It is the lightest Olympic Stadium ever built, and the roof has been fabricated from a PVC fabric, helping with the weight issue while keeping costs low. The structure supporting the roof is 2,500 tons of steel tubing that came from old recycled lines.
“It’s designed in a very unique way to be the first stadium that can be de-mountable,” Epstein said. “So 55,000 seats plus the whole roof structure are literally designed to be taken down after the Games and to be reused elsewhere or to be recycled. So we’ve designed a stadium that will leave a 25,000 seat athletic structure – which is what we need, we don’t have one of those in the city – as a legacy. But we don’t want any white elephants.”
Basketball is not a huge sport in Britain and there is no natural demand for a permanent construction of a basketball arena. The 12,000-seat basketball arena is a completely temporary stadium that will be taken down after the Olympics and be used somewhere else; possibility for the next summer Olympic games in Brazil. The permanent construction cost of a basketball arena is about 3-4 times of this temporary one and the building time was much shorter.
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