Of Olympic Standards
Concrete

Of Olympic Standards

With preparations in full swing for the Olympic Games 2012 in London, the Olympic Stadium holds special importance in its construction and features. CW sees how....

ODA Chairman, John Armitt, placed the last piece of turf on the Olympic Stadium's field of play in March-end this year, marking the completion of the construction of the flagship venue of the Olympic Games 2012. The highlight: This massive project covering around 40 acre of land was completed in less than three years, within budget and with the highest safety standards.

Going back

Construction started on the Olympic Stadium just under three years ago in May 2008 and was expected to be completed by July 2011, a year before the Olympic Games 2012. Over 240 UK businesses won contracts for the said construction and 5,250 people worked to deliver the project on time and within the given budget.

Host of the opening and closing ceremonies as well as the venue for the athletics track and field events, the Olympic Stadium has been the focus of the construction in the Olympic Park in London.

Of XL capacities

The stadium site is on former industrial land with three water bodies - parts of the Bow Back Rivers - on three sides. The 'island' site itself is located at the southern end of the Olympic Park. Spread over 40 acre, 33 buildings were demolished to make way for the construction of the venue and 800,000 tonne of soil was taken away before construction could begin. The design and construction team was led by Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd.

To create a strong foundation on the site, around 6,500 cu m of crushed concrete, recycled from other parts of the Olympic Park, was spread on top of the ground to create a solid platform for the stadium's construction. More than 5,000 concrete columns were inserted almost 20 m deep into the ground to strengthen the foundation. The stadium is shaped like an ellipse with a long axis of 315 m and a short axis of 256 m. It stands at 60 m in height above the field of play and the perimeter is 860 m. Five major new bridges will lead spectators to the site and will provide spectacular views across the Park and London.

The building blocks

Sitting a top the concrete-strong foundation is a building that boasts of containing a mere 10,000 tonne of steel and will be the lightest Olympic Stadium to date. One of the main features of the stadium, as seen from atop, is a sunken bowl that has been built into the ground for the field of play and lower permanent seating, designed to bring spectators close to the action. To accommodate around 80,000 spectators in game mode, the black and white spectator seats - 25,000 permanent and 55,000 demountable - are held in place by 112 steel rakers and 12,000 pre-cast concrete terracing units. These seats offer a spectacular view of the field of play, covered by a wide expanse of turf that has been grown from a blend of three varieties of grass - perennial rye, smooth stalk meadow and fescue grass seeds. A total of 360 rolls of this turf cover the entire 9,000 sq m infield area. In order to protect this turf from damage, the laying of the track has been delayed by a few months since the overlay work would require cranes that can damage the fresh turf.

Wrap and light

The roof compression truss is made out of 28 steel sections, each one 15 m high by 30 m long and weighing 85 tonne. These sections were lifted into place by a 1,350-tonne super lift crane. The cable net roof provides the right conditions for athletes on the field of play and covers two-thirds of the spectators seats. This roof is covered by 112 panels of white material, totalling 25,000 sq m; the fabric was fitted by a team of 23 expert abseilers.

Fourteen towers, each one 28 m high and 70 m above the field of play, house 532 individual floodlights to ensure that the sporting action is well illuminated and meets high definition television standards. Each of the 14 lighting towers weighs 34 tonne and was lifted into place by a 650 tonne crane over a period of 14 days.

Moving inside, the stadium will be home to around 700 rooms and spaces including changing rooms and toilets. The fit-out work required 15,000 sq m of plasterboard; 140,000 blocks to create walls; 11 km of pipes for drainage; 338 km of power cables; 33 km of other data systems cabling and 12 km of ventilation ducts.

Facilities for athletes within the stadium include changing rooms, medical support facilities and an 80 m warm-up track. Spectator services, refreshments and merchandise outlets will be located outside the venue into self-contained 'pod'-like structures adding to the spectator experience around the access level of the stadium.

On-time delivery

The earlier-than-scheduled completion of the construction of the Olympic Stadium is indeed a testimony to the quick, safe and skillful construction and design team, not to mention that the work was completed within budget.

However, much is left to be done: the stadium needs to be prepared for its various ceremonies and the track is yet to be laid. The stadium will require to be a working venue within a few months to host a test event before it becomes the centre piece of next summer's Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. After the Games, the stadium can be scaled back to 25,000 seats as required. It will be a venue for sport and athletics, as well as cultural and community events.

In the meanwhile, however, the Olympic Stadium - host of the opening and closing ceremonies will provide the first and last memories that many people will have of London's Games.

Team Stadium

Design and Construction: Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd, Eaton Court, Maylands Avenue, Hemel, Hempstead, Hertfordshire-HP2 7TR, United Kingdom; E-mail: information@sir-robert-mcalpine.com; Website: www.sir-robert-mcalpine.com
Architect: Populous Architects, 14 Blades Court, Deodar Rd, London-SW15 2NU, United Kingdom; E-mail: info@populous. com; Website: www.populous.com
Civil, Structural and Building Services Designer: Buro Happold Ltd, 17 Newman Street, London-W1T 1PD, England; Website: www. burohappold.com
Landscape Architects: Hyland Edgar Driver Landscape Architects, Waterloo Court, 10 Theed Street, London, England-SE1 8ST; E-mail: HED@heduk.com; Website: www.heduk.com
Planning Consultant: Savills Hepher Dixon; Website:www.savills.co.uk

With preparations in full swing for the Olympic Games 2012 in London, the Olympic Stadium holds special importance in its construction and features. CW sees how....ODA Chairman, John Armitt, placed the last piece of turf on the Olympic Stadium's field of play in March-end this year, marking the completion of the construction of the flagship venue of the Olympic Games 2012. The highlight: This massive project covering around 40 acre of land was completed in less than three years, within budget and with the highest safety standards.Going backConstruction started on the Olympic Stadium just under three years ago in May 2008 and was expected to be completed by July 2011, a year before the Olympic Games 2012. Over 240 UK businesses won contracts for the said construction and 5,250 people worked to deliver the project on time and within the given budget.Host of the opening and closing ceremonies as well as the venue for the athletics track and field events, the Olympic Stadium has been the focus of the construction in the Olympic Park in London.Of XL capacitiesThe stadium site is on former industrial land with three water bodies - parts of the Bow Back Rivers - on three sides. The 'island' site itself is located at the southern end of the Olympic Park. Spread over 40 acre, 33 buildings were demolished to make way for the construction of the venue and 800,000 tonne of soil was taken away before construction could begin. The design and construction team was led by Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd.To create a strong foundation on the site, around 6,500 cu m of crushed concrete, recycled from other parts of the Olympic Park, was spread on top of the ground to create a solid platform for the stadium's construction. More than 5,000 concrete columns were inserted almost 20 m deep into the ground to strengthen the foundation. The stadium is shaped like an ellipse with a long axis of 315 m and a short axis of 256 m. It stands at 60 m in height above the field of play and the perimeter is 860 m. Five major new bridges will lead spectators to the site and will provide spectacular views across the Park and London.The building blocksSitting a top the concrete-strong foundation is a building that boasts of containing a mere 10,000 tonne of steel and will be the lightest Olympic Stadium to date. One of the main features of the stadium, as seen from atop, is a sunken bowl that has been built into the ground for the field of play and lower permanent seating, designed to bring spectators close to the action. To accommodate around 80,000 spectators in game mode, the black and white spectator seats - 25,000 permanent and 55,000 demountable - are held in place by 112 steel rakers and 12,000 pre-cast concrete terracing units. These seats offer a spectacular view of the field of play, covered by a wide expanse of turf that has been grown from a blend of three varieties of grass - perennial rye, smooth stalk meadow and fescue grass seeds. A total of 360 rolls of this turf cover the entire 9,000 sq m infield area. In order to protect this turf from damage, the laying of the track has been delayed by a few months since the overlay work would require cranes that can damage the fresh turf.Wrap and lightThe roof compression truss is made out of 28 steel sections, each one 15 m high by 30 m long and weighing 85 tonne. These sections were lifted into place by a 1,350-tonne super lift crane. The cable net roof provides the right conditions for athletes on the field of play and covers two-thirds of the spectators seats. This roof is covered by 112 panels of white material, totalling 25,000 sq m; the fabric was fitted by a team of 23 expert abseilers.Fourteen towers, each one 28 m high and 70 m above the field of play, house 532 individual floodlights to ensure that the sporting action is well illuminated and meets high definition television standards. Each of the 14 lighting towers weighs 34 tonne and was lifted into place by a 650 tonne crane over a period of 14 days.Moving inside, the stadium will be home to around 700 rooms and spaces including changing rooms and toilets. The fit-out work required 15,000 sq m of plasterboard; 140,000 blocks to create walls; 11 km of pipes for drainage; 338 km of power cables; 33 km of other data systems cabling and 12 km of ventilation ducts.Facilities for athletes within the stadium include changing rooms, medical support facilities and an 80 m warm-up track. Spectator services, refreshments and merchandise outlets will be located outside the venue into self-contained 'pod'-like structures adding to the spectator experience around the access level of the stadium.On-time deliveryThe earlier-than-scheduled completion of the construction of the Olympic Stadium is indeed a testimony to the quick, safe and skillful construction and design team, not to mention that the work was completed within budget.However, much is left to be done: the stadium needs to be prepared for its various ceremonies and the track is yet to be laid. The stadium will require to be a working venue within a few months to host a test event before it becomes the centre piece of next summer's Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. After the Games, the stadium can be scaled back to 25,000 seats as required. It will be a venue for sport and athletics, as well as cultural and community events.In the meanwhile, however, the Olympic Stadium - host of the opening and closing ceremonies will provide the first and last memories that many people will have of London's Games.Team StadiumDesign and Construction: Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd, Eaton Court, Maylands Avenue, Hemel, Hempstead, Hertfordshire-HP2 7TR, United Kingdom; E-mail: information@sir-robert-mcalpine.com; Website: www.sir-robert-mcalpine.comArchitect: Populous Architects, 14 Blades Court, Deodar Rd, London-SW15 2NU, United Kingdom; E-mail: info@populous. com; Website: www.populous.comCivil, Structural and Building Services Designer: Buro Happold Ltd, 17 Newman Street, London-W1T 1PD, England; Website: www. burohappold.comLandscape Architects: Hyland Edgar Driver Landscape Architects, Waterloo Court, 10 Theed Street, London, England-SE1 8ST; E-mail: HED@heduk.com; Website: www.heduk.com Planning Consultant: Savills Hepher Dixon; Website:www.savills.co.uk

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