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  • PublisherCIBSE
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  • Publication DateFeb 2014
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CIBSE Case Study: Velodrome London 2012 Olympics - ChapmanBDSP

CIBSE Case Study: Velodrome London 2012 Olympics - ChapmanBDSP

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Judges' Special Engineering Award

Velodrome London 2012 Olympics - ChapmanBDSP

The judges thought this entry was a "one-of-a-kind" project that delivered excellent building performance which, in turn, contributed to outstanding and world-beating performance on the track.

Inspired by the creativity and engineering rigour that goes into the design and manufacture of a modern bicycle, the London 2012 Velodrome combines architectural ingenuity and engineering efficiency.

At its heart is the 250 metre-long cycling track, which drives not only the architectural form but also the environmental strategies for the building. The need for speed on the track means that cyclists like the air to be warm, so it's less dense, allowing them to go faster. However, spectators require a different thermal environment for their comfort.

Even after the 2012 Games, the Velodrome had to be able to cope with the strict ambient and lighting requirements of televised events (2,000 lux) as well as normal day-to-day amateur training sessions (300 lux). An inventive, yet simple, solution was devised to address these contrasting needs while ensuring the highest degree of energy efficiency and conservation, and supporting the fi rst-ever High Definition broadcast Olympics.

With a compact volume, high levels of thermal insulation, abundant daylight coupled with effi cient artificial lighting, integrated natural ventilation and efficient mechanical ventilation and heating, the Velodrome achieves more than a 30% reduction in carbon emissions - over and above Building Regulations requirements, even before any contribution from the Olympic Park district energy network is taken into account.

Water use is also minimised, with a predicted 75% reduction in potable water consumption. This is achieved by efficient fittings and a rainwater harvesting system that provides 44% of the predicted annual water demand. The Velodrome achieved BREEAM Excellent rating under the bespoke BREEAM assessment developed by BRE for the Olympic venues.

The Velodrome is a prime example of integrated design, where architecture and engineering come together to create a building that surpasses sustainability targets, producing stunning architecture ahead of programme and on budget, and delivering world-beating performance both in its construction and on the track.

Project Team

Building services engineer: ChapmanBDSP (formerly BDSP)
Building owner/occupier: Lee Valley
Regional Park Authority Project manager: CLM Delivery Partner
Architect: Hopkins Architects
Contractor: ISG

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