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Balfour Beatty transforms London’s Olympic Stadium

Contractor provides a masterclass in the sustainable recycling of a dedicated venue for general-purpose applications

Front, bottom: The retractable struts of the lower seating are visible extended out into their forward position.
Front, bottom: The retractable struts of the lower seating are visible extended out into their forward position.

Balfour Beatty has released a video highlighting the sustainable recycling of the original features and components of London's Olympic Stadium, which has been transformed into a multi-purpose venue for football matches, athletics events, and even rock concerts.

In line with sustainability goals, the work included the reuse of 19,000 tonnes of recycled demolition material, as well as 6,000m of cable, 3,800 lights, and 1,000 mechanical and electrical components.

The redevelopment also provided fresh jobs, at one point employing over 1700 people, and the project clocked up a total of 3.4 million man hours. Balfour Beatty created 50 local apprenticeships and more than 300 training opportunities as part of the initiative.

The contractor carried out the project to redevelop the stadium, originally built to host London’s 2012 games, alongside Populous, Buro Happold, and the London Legacy Development Corporation.

As part of the complex re-engineering of the building, the world’s largest gravity-supported cantilever roof was fitted, as well as a flexible seating system with retractable/extendable lower tier, allowing spectators to get closer to the on-the-field action.

Stephen Tarr, MD of Balfour Beatty’s ‘major projects’ business, commented: “From the beginning we were focused on continuing the legacy of this historic venue, transforming it from a single-purpose venue into a multi-functional world class venue providing numerous opportunities.

“We have utilised some of the most complex engineering techniques on this project, capitalising on our in-house capabilities and expertise to ensure the project was delivered safely while boosting the local economy through employment opportunities; it’s a project we are all immensely proud of.”

The project is a good example of a way in which dedicated venues, like those being built in Qatar for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, can be sustainably redeveloped for future use and posterity.

The following video shows how London's Olymipc Stadium was transformed... 

A Transformation Story... from Populous on Vimeo.

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Construction Week - Issue 730
Feb 21, 2019