Balfour Beatty constructed the iconic Aquatics Centre for the London 2012 Olympic Games, creating the competition pool, diving pool and the training pool, as well as a range of visitor facilities.
During the games, the building accommodated 17,000 spectators. It was then transformed into legacy mode, reducing the number of seats to 2,500 and ensuring the facility is suitable for a variety of uses in the future. It is now open to the public as a world-class aquatics venue.
The eye-catching sweeping roof, which is 160m long and 95m wide at its widest point, is an innovative 2,800 tonne steel structure with a striking and robust aluminium covering resting on three supports that measure just 1m2. The building is supported by 1,500 CFA piles, installed by our in-house piling team Balfour Beatty Ground Engineering.
The Aquatics Centre achieved the highest BREEAM score in the Olympic Park (73.67% Excellent) and we were the only contractor to receive a BREEAM innovation credit.
We reused recycled aggregates in the permanent works, achieving 51% recycled content and saving approximately £1,000,000. The venue’s impact on the environment us further reduced by using renewable energy, sustainably sourced building materials and reusing pool water to flush the toilets. We delivered 56% of total materials by rail or water.
Wherever possible, reuses for materials were found including using the steel terrace to build a permanent grandstand at the Gulfstream Park racecourse in Miami, Florida and reusing two water tanks in the village of Cheptiret in Kenya to provide clean water for over 4,000 people.
The Olympic Delivery Authority’s approach to the London 2012 programme and their sustainability targets set new benchmarks for the construction industry. This helped all of us improve our systems and make our people and our suppliers believe that addressing sustainability through design, procurement and construction phases is a collective responsibility.
Project Director, Balfour Beatty