London 2012: Olympic Engineering Feats
The London 2012 Olympics are upon us, and an estimated 500,000 specators are expected to visit the Olympic Park to watch 10,000 athletes from 204 nations go for gold.
As usual, the architects behind many of the Olympic venues are basking in glory or at least garnering massive amounts of attention, and while the refined designs of the Olympic Stadium itself,the undulating form of the Aquatics Centre and the recyclable basketball venue may not offer the ‘wow factor’ of similar buildings in Beijing, they are certainly worth a look.
In the background, but certainly no less worthy of notice, is the engineering behind the games.
“To produce such a detailed and visual map of the Olympic Park – Europe’s largest construction site – is a significant achievement in itself,” says Simon Wright, director of infrastructure, utilities and public realm at the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA). “It is also a testament to the engineering feats of those who have breathed life into the spectacular venues and infrastructure on the 500-acre site. But perhaps more importantly, it is set to become a vital tool which can be used to educate and inform the next generation of civil engineers by inspiring them to study courses in science, technology, engineering and maths.”
The engineering teams working for the ODA have played a critical role in delivering Olympic sites, from preparing the land for construction to demolishing redundant structures and cleaning the contaminated soil to improving the Park’s many waterways, burying the overhead power lines and ensuring that any wildlife and plant species are protected.
The design and construction of stadiums, roads, bridges, waterways and electricity systems would also have been impossible without engineers collaboratively working with their more glamorous architect counterparts as part of multidisciplinary teams.The 80,000 capacity Olympic Stadium has the flexibility to....