Pictures: London Leaps Hurdles in Green Olympic Games Bid

Velodrome: Curved and cedar-clad, the Velodrome could be the star sustainability attraction of the 2012 London Olympic Games. Not only was the lovely $147 million structure built on schedule and on budget, but it is the most energy-efficient venue in Olympic Park.


ArcelorMittal Orbit: Spiraling 114.5 meters (376 feet) into the air in London 2012’s Olympic Village, the red and silver tubular steel ArcelorMittal Orbit tower is both an abstract sculpture and a viewing platform that affords panoramic views of the host city.

Olympic Torch: Gold and crafted from aerospace-grade aluminum, the 800-millimeter (31-inch) Olympic torch for the 2012 London Games weighs a mere 800 grams (1.8 pounds), making it the lightest ever. The hope was that the British-designed and engineered torch also would break precedent as the first to be lit with carbon-neutral fuel.

Energy Centre: Brown and squat – it’s 18 meters (59 feet) high – the Olympic Park Energy Centre incorporates windows at ground level to allow passerby to see inside the power plant. The center uses combined cooling, heat and power (CCHP) technology fueled from both natural gas and biomass (wood chips) to cut back on carbon emissions. CCHP plants use the excess heat from generating heat and electricity to also run air conditioning systems. The waste heat is cooled in an absorption chiller to produce chilled water for cooling.

Olympic Park: A serene, green corner of a newly created 250-acre parkland affords a lovely view of the sloping, saddle-shaped Velodrome at the Olympic Park in Londons’s hardscrabble East End. It’s the largest urban park to be built in the U.K. in more than 100 years, and combines woodlands, wetlands, and meadows sown with perennials.


Full article from National Geographic