Written by Jayne Law, Sales and Marketing Manager UK/Ireland, Dow Building Solutions
With 26 different Olympic sports at the London 2012 Olympic Games this summer, an estimated 10 million Olympic enthusiasts will marvel at what takes place on the field of play. As athletes prep for play and fans settle into their seats, a handful of Dow scientists will take pride in knowing they contributed to the durability and comfort of some of the London 2012 most highly trafficked venues.
Dow has helped to provide solutions that will ensure a positive, sustainable post-Games legacy in London and in future Olympic Games. As the “Official Chemistry Company” of the Olympic Games, Dow is directly contributing to London 2012sustainability infrastructure goals by helping the Olympic and Paralympic Village to become energy-efficient homes on London’s east side after the Games; providing technology that helps Europe’s largest shopping center and its parking decks to remain durable for many years to come; and insulating two of London’s most highly trafficked Olympic venues for today and the future.
Minimizing (Heating and Cooling) Losses at the Olympic Games
More than 17,000 athletes and officials will take residence in London’s Olympic and Paralympic Village later this summer. Olympic development officials – planning to transform athlete’s quarters into east London housing after the Games – needed a solution that would last. Dow’s ROOFMATE SL-A STYROFOAM insulation was installed on the apartment roofs in the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Village to help meet energy efficiency demands while offering long-term durability and protection for water proofing layers.
The Westfield Stratford City Shopping Centre also features the ROOFMATE MinK system (a combination of ROOFMATE SL-A insulation and a breathable membrane, ROOFMATE MK), which helps insulate the structure and minimize heat-loss. These same solutions can be found in London’s iconic Olympic Stadium, the International Broadcast Centre and the Main Press Centre – equipping the roofs of these venues for resistance to moisture and ability to cope with temperature fluctuations for the expected lifetime of the structures.
Supporting Tough Design Demands
With a vibrant, multi-colored interior and an exterior clad with recycled copper, the London 2012 Copper Box, formerly known as the Handball Arena, has a distinct appearance which has been likened to a jewelry box. Designed as a permanent structure, Olympic officials have planned that The Copper Box will be adapted to become a multi-use sports center for community use, athlete training and events after the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The architect wanted to protect the integrity of the box-shaped design, so it was important that rooftop building services equipment such as air conditioning units were shielded from view. The solution was to place all rooftop services equipment above the seating areas around the edge of the building and create a high parapet wall, constructing an uninterrupted view of the building structure from the ground. This meant noise and vibration from such equipment will be limited to the perimeter area rather than over the central playing courts. However, compressing equipment into a smaller space meant specifying insulation with extra strength in order to help meet structural as well as thermal efficiency demands.
Using FLOORMATETM 500-A in specific, highly loaded locations on The Copper Box meant that heavy building services equipment could be limited to the perimeter and visually ‘sunk-in’ to the building by hiding it with high parapets. FLOORMATE 500-A is not only able to support heavy machinery such as air conditioning units but also offers low water absorption and resistance to freeze/thaw cycles, making it suitable for rooftop conditions.
The London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) ambitious legacy and sustainability goals remain a topic of interest for Londoners and consumers around the world eager to ensure the 2012 Olympic Games create positive, lasting change for the environment and communities.