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Learning legacy

Lessons learned from the London

2012 Games construction project

The Olympic Park Abstract thermal (MWth) biomass boiler

Climate change, fossil fuel resource (predicted to save around 1,000
Energy Strategy depletion and energy security are key tonnes CO2 each year) supplies low
environmental and economic concerns carbon energy to buildings on the
in the UK. Buildings account for nearly Olympic Park using a community
half of UK carbon (CO2) emissions by heating and cooling network – the
end use and it is therefore paramount largest to date in the UK.
that new developments minimise their
energy demand and carbon impact. The Energy Centre and energy
networks were privately financed
Given these issues, along with the through a 40 year concession
Olympic Delivery Authority’s (ODA’s) agreement and have been designed
strong sustainability objectives, a to accommodate growth in legacy.
challenging Park-wide ambition to Issues around the feasibility of the
reduce CO2 emissions in immediate planned 2MWe large-scale wind
Authors legacy (2013) by 50 per cent against turbine created challenges for the
Dan Epstein a 2006 baseline was established. This renewables and carbon target and
Former Head of Sustainability was achieved through a mean, lean, resulted in off-site carbon solutions
and Regeneration at ODA green approach – reducing CO2 being implemented.
through energy efficient venue design
Alasdair Young (mean), through an efficient energy This case study describes the energy
Energy Consultant, Buro Happold supply (lean) and through the use of strategy implemented on the Park
renewable (green) energy sources. and emphasises the importance of
Holly Knight developing a project-specific energy
Energy Manager, CLM An Energy Centre housing a 3.3 strategy that optimises energy
megawatt (MWe) natural gas fired demand and carbon reduction,
Jo Carris combined cooling, heating and power while being cognisant of the rapidly
Sustainability Research Coordinator, (CCHP) engine (predicted to reduce changing policies, technologies,
ODA annual CO2 by at least 2,200 tonnes economics and regulation in energy
each year), and a 3 megawatt supply and demand.

Introduction to reduce carbon emissions by
Averting climate change Content of this case study 80 per cent by 20502. Reducing our
This case study presents and analyses reliance on depleting fossil fuels and
by reducing CO2 the development and implementation maintaining the UK’s energy security
emissions is a priority of the energy strategy to reduce are issues of equal significance3.
carbon emissions from the Park,
policy goal for the UK. through both energy demand and Buildings are responsible for around
energy supply measures. It highlights 47 per cent of the UK’s CO2
the achievements from the Park, emissions by end use4, and are
lessons learned and recommendations therefore an important part of the
for future projects. The energy strategy UK’s carbon reduction strategy.
is for ‘in use’ carbon emission and
therefore does not cover embodied In 2005, when London won the
energy, which is addressed by other right to host the 2012 Olympic and
sustainability themesa. Paralympic Games, the bid team
pledged to host the greenest Games
A separate learning legacy case ever. The bid team committed to
study on embodied carbon has been significantly reduce carbon emissions
prepared on this topic. This case from the Park, to reduce the burden
study is relevant to construction of the development on the environment
clients, energy/carbon consultants, and show that the UK takes climate
designers and contractors for both change seriously.
large-scale regeneration projects
and individual construction projects. Building Regulations were updated
in April 2006 and introduced a
Policy context significant improvement in the energy
There is an overwhelming amount efficiency of new buildings compared
of scientific evidence showing that to pre-2002 standardsb. Designers
global climate change is real and and contractors were just coming to
needs to be urgently addressed. grips with how to meet these new
Anthropogenic CO2 emissions from regulations. However, it should be
fossil-fuel-based energy provision noted that by the time the Games
and its use have been recognised are held in 2012, expectations for
as being the major cause of climate low carbon buildings are likely to be
change1. Averting climate change by significantly higher than they were in
reducing CO2 emissions is a priority 2005 when the energy strategy for
policy goal for the UK; this has been the Park was developed.
covered by the legally binding target

a Embodied carbon was addressed by objectives for efficient design, use of Green Guide
A-rated materials, recycled content, recycled aggregate and sustainable transport.
b The improvement factor varied, depending upon the type of building, but for
air-conditioned buildings the improvement factor was 28 per cent relative to
a notional building.

Olympic Park context The ODA adopted an approach
London 2012 is a unique project in based on ability to deliver, flexibility,
scale, ambition and profile. From the demonstration of best practice and
outset it has set out to be a showcase involvement of the private sector. The
for sustainable urban regeneration. strategy for the Park focused on the
There was considerable interest from use of proven technologies rather
the Host Boroughs, the Mayor’s than untested systems due to delivery
Office and environmentally-focused risk and programme constraints.
non-governmental organisations The approach focused on improving
(NGOs) to introduce ambitious the capacity of supply chains,
carbon targets which exceeded demonstrating repeatable approaches
policy requirements. At the same and working at the infrastructure level
time there was a requirement from to take advantages of economies
the Olympic funders and Board to of scale.
deliver value for money, to maintain
control of budgets and to adopt
technologies that could be delivered
within the programme.

Development of the energy strategy

Work on the energy strategy for the Park commenced during 2006 by
the ODA and Buro Happold, the energy consultant. The key project-
specific considerations for energy provision and carbon mitigation to be
taken into account were:
–– Opportunities presented by a ‘blank canvas’; the site was to be
demolished, electricity pylons were to be removed, and a completely
new infrastructure was to be designed and laid.
–– Opportunities identified by the London Development Agency (LDA) and
Greater London Authority (GLA) for energy provision in the Lower Lea
Valley5 and in the 2004 Olympic Park planning permission; namely
combined heat and power (CHP) and an energy network.
–– Diversity of the building stock on the Park; including the Aquatics Centre
with a high and constant heat demand from its three swimming pools,
and the International Broadcast Centre/Media Press Centre (IBC/MPC)
with a high electricity and cooling demand. The neighbouring Athletes’
Village and Stratford City Shopping Centre further diversified demand.
–– Deliverability over a large-scale site (2.5 square kilometres (km2)) to
a tight programme with an immovable deadline.
–– The desire of the planning authority to have an overarching carbon
reduction target before many of the buildings were designed.
–– The ability to project manage and monitor delivery across the Park.
–– Absolute energy demands were unknown and had to be based on
approximate gross floor areas for the venues.
–– Value for money and attracting private investment.
–– Manageable technology risk-solutions could not rely on prototype
technologies, future changes to regulations or legislation or other
–– Systems were to be designed to meet the needs of immediate legacy

Systems were required to be
development (2013/14).
–– Future flexibility (future proofing) was required to incorporate new
technology or existing technology which becomes viable.
designed to meet the needs of –– Modular expansion in line with phased longer term legacy development
immediate legacy development. build out over an extended period.

An Energy Statement6 was what constituted on-site emissions,
The Energy Statement subsequently produced in line with and how the 20 per cent contribution
The London Plan Supplementary from renewable energy sources
reviewed the potential to Planning Guidance7, that took these would be measured.
save carbon on both the drivers, challenges and opportunities
into account. The Energy Statement The ODA chose to focus the energy
supply and demand side accompanied the ODA’s Planning strategy on the long-term energy
across the Park Application in 2007. The statement performance of facilities on the Park,
developed the commitments set out rather than peak Games demands,
simultaneously. in the bid book and the prevailing because:
energy planning policy in London8, –– the bid was partly won on the
which emphasised: basis of its legacy credentials;
–– the adoption of an ‘energy –– this period accounted for the vast
hierarchy’ with specific majority of the emissions;
technologies favoured over others, –– it allowed the ODA to design a
in particular, community heating carbon strategy based on the
networks and CHP; and operation of the buildings;
–– a requirement to provide 10 per –– it allowed for an incremental
cent on-site renewable energy. approach to installed capacity
to meet demand;
The Draft Further Alterations to the –– it avoided investment in
London Plan9 were published in technologies exclusively designed
2006, which increased the target to meet the exceptional operational
for large-scale developments to conditions during the Games; and
achieve 20 per cent carbon –– London Organising Committee of
reduction from on-site renewables. the Olympic Games and
The ODA subsequently endeavoured Paralympic Games Limited were
to achieve this. No other major responsible for reducing carbon
development in London at this time emissions during the Games.
had committed to achieving a 20 per
cent reduction in carbon emissions The Energy Statement reviewed the
from on-site renewable energy. The potential to save carbon on both the
Olympic Park Energy Strategy supply and demand side across the
therefore had to set a definition of Park simultaneously.

2007 – Site being cleared and pylons removed

Supply Subsequently, the masterplan for
The ODA set out its The Energy Statement assessed a the Park went through major design
range of renewable energy sources changes, with some buildings being
aspiration to achieve a that were potentially suitable for the omitted, others becoming smaller,
50% reduction in CO2 Olympic Park site, including large- and others becoming fully or partially
scale wind, biomass heating, temporary. This had a major impact
emissions by 2013. biomass CHP, small scale wind, on the calculations of total energy
hydro power, tidal energy, ground consumption and the demand profile
energy, solar photovoltaic and solar of the Park in legacy.
thermal water heating. For each
potential source a £/kg CO2 The final energy strategy
reduction metric was developed The ODA set out its aspiration to
(capital and whole life cost), together achieve a 50 per cent reduction
with the total potential carbon in CO2 emissions by 2013 (against
reduction, based on spatial and a 2006 industry standard baselinec)
other constraints. The results in the Sustainable Development
concluded that the best value Strategy10. A hierarchy of measures
carbon savings were derived from was implemented to meet this on the
infrastructure scale technologies, for Park, which focused on the lowest
example, large scale wind, biomass cost measures first and the more
heating and biomass CHP. expensive measures, such as
renewable energy, only once
Demand efficiency measures had been
Demand side assessments were exhausted. The hierarchy of targets
based on a review of all potential is described in Table 1. The planning
energy efficiency measures and the consent for the Park contained a
use of community heating and cooling number of planning and legal
networks, supplied by an efficient obligations, requiring the ODA to
CCHP plant. The modelling was based deliver CO2 reductions and on-site
on estimated floor areas and class of renewable energy generation. These
use, and was constrained by the lack are also highlighted in Table 1.
of information about legacy use.

Step in energy Target Venue level or Park-wide? Planning condition?

1: Mean All buildings shall be designed to minimise Venue Sustainable
CO2 emissions and energy demand to Development Strategy
achieve a minimum 15% improvement over commitment
Part L 2006
2: Lean Efficiency conversion and distribution Park-wide Sustainable
of energy through a CCHP system – to Development Strategy
provide a minimum 20% CO2 reduction commitment
3: Green On-site renewable energy generation Park-wide Planning Requirement
capacity shall be installed to meet at least OD.0.21
20% of the annual CO2 emissions
Overall Use reasonable endeavours and, subject Park-wide Section 106
to obtaining requisite consents, to seek Agreement
achievement of a reduction in CO2
emissions (against 2006 Building
Regulation standards) for the built aspects
of the Development of 50% 2013
Table 1: Energy targets for the Olympic Park

c The percentage reductions were based on the CO2 emission factors derived from the
2006 Building Regulations; specifically Approved Document L2A Table 2. Available
from: www.planningportal.gov.uk/uploads/br/BR_PDF_ADL2A_2006.pdf

Analysis of the energy hierarchy and energy infrastructure across the
Following the energy On a multi-project programme like Park. This allowed the programme to
this with new buildings and utilities model energy supply and demand
hierarchy and estimating infrastructure, following the energy on a regular basis against the planning
clear targets allowed the hierarchy and establishing clear target. An updated Energy Statement
targets (that were embedded in the was issued to the Planning Decisions
ODA to manage CO2 project management process) allowed team on an annual basis to update
reduction. the ODA to manage CO2 reduction. them on progress. A Sankey diagram
(Figure 1) was used to communicate
The energy hierarchy is tiered the interrelated nature of the targets.
according to a reduction in demand The CO2 baseline and ‘actual’ CO2
for energy and cost; not necessarily reduction achievements were inserted
the measures that will deliver the into the Sankey diagram to demonstrate
highest CO2 savings. With the the status against the targets as the
adoption of the UK’s legally binding project progressed.
target to reduce CO2 emissions by
80 per cent by 2050, CO2 savings The energy model fluctuated
will become an increasingly significantly during the design phase
important consideration in design of the project. The most significant
and construction. To optimise CO2 change to the energy model was
savings and value for money, energy when the planning status of the
strategies need to take into account International Broadcast Centre (IBC),
specific project conditions and changed to a temporary buildingd
circumstances, and promote a in 2009. As a result the IBC was
holistic approach rather than a excluded from the CO2 model which
linear approach. only covered permanent facilities.
The IBC is a very energy intensive
Performance management building and its omission reduced the
A bespoke carbon management Park-wide CO2 baseline by 22 per
framework was developed, which cent (to 12,831 tonnes CO2/year).
set a common reporting baseline and Responsibility for meeting the long-
calculation methodologies based on term planning targets for the IBC was
industry standard tools for all venues passed to the legacy owner.

50% Residual: 50%

Baseline Green



Figure 1: Sankey diagram of targets 15% Overall savings: 50%

d Temporary buildings with a planned time of use of two years or less are exempt from
Building Regulations.

The ODA adopted a flexible approach CCHP or renewablese. This was a
Each venue was required to CO2 reduction. When deficiencies challenging target as a step change
against the targets were identified, in the minimum energy efficiency
to achieve a minimum work was commissioned to mitigate levels from the 2002 Building
15 per cent improvement the specific risk or to develop Regulations had just been introduced.
additional sources of CO2 mitigation.
against Building Viable technical options were Targets were written into the venue
Regulations. reviewed to test the commercial design briefs where possible or
and financial viability of the options incorporated retrospectively, which
explored. The ODA made a £5 million in some cases involved minor
budget available to fund new CO2 design changes to improve energy
measures that would enable it to meet efficiencyf. The key lesson for clients
its bid and planning commitments. is to establish and communicate the
energy strategy at the earliest
Energy efficient design opportunity to ensure it is integrated
Energy efficient design is widely into design briefs from the outset,
recognised as being the most and to include targets in contracts.
sustainable and cost effective
approach to reduce CO2 emissions. Secondly, a guidance note called
Each venue was required to achieve Implementation Guidance for Project
a minimum 15 per cent improvement Teams (Energy)12 was issued to teams
against Building Regulations (Part which set out how venues were
L2A 200611). The 15 per cent saving required to model and report on CO2
had to be achieved through energy reduction. This required project teams
efficiency alone and teams were not to provide a report showing the
permitted to take into account the calculations shown in Table 2.
benefit of connecting to the site-wide

Calculation Requirement Purpose

Compliance Building regulations Part L compliance calculations Used to demonstrate compliance
calculations utilising either iSBEM, approved SBEM interface, or with the ODA’s target for a 15%
approved dynamic thermal modelling software in improvement on building regulations.
accordance with the requirements of ADL2A for
new buildings other than dwellings.
Prediction The annual hourly energy demand prediction of the Used to calculate the overall energy
calculations buildings in legacy use utilising dynamic thermal demand of the Park and to provide
modelling software in accordance with Chartered the baseline for demonstrating CO2
Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) reductions.
AM11:1998, and CIBSE Guide F (2004) Energy
Efficiency in Buildings.
Validation Establish a calculation to validate the energy use To reduce the risk of discrepancy
calculations and CO2 emissions prediction based on empirical between predicted and operational
data and good practice benchmarks. energy consumption and to ensure
that all assumptions are rigorously
checked against an alternative
method before being submitted.
Table 2: Venue reporting requirements

e Bespoke criteria was developed by Building Research Establishment (BRE) and Buro
Happold to monitor the venue compliance with the BREEAM assessment standards,
which does take into account the benefit from CCHP and renewables.
f The early venues were only at initial design stage so this was not a significant burden.
g Building Regulations only take into account energy from heating, cooling, hot water,
ventilation and internal fixed lighting; they do not include energy from electrical
equipment, external lighting, kitchen appliances etc.
h CLM is a consortium of CH2MHill, Laing O’Rourke and Mace.

Venues submitted an Energy Report Table 3 shows how the permanent
Venues submitted an at Royal Institute of British Architects venues are predicted to perform
(RIBA) stages C, D, E and L. This was against the target (June 2011).
Energy Report at Royal assured by the ODA’s Delivery
Institute of British Partner (CLMh) and the energy Energy efficient design is expected
consultant. Each venue design team to save around 1,630 tonnes CO2
Architects (RIBA) stages was also responsible for their own yearly. To deliver this, some of the
C, D, E and L. Building Regulations calculations and best architects and environmental
submission of their designs to and structural engineers have used
Building Control to demonstrate Part advanced CO2 and energy modelling
L compliance and satisfy the Energy programmes and their knowledge
Performance Certificate regulations. of building physics to create highly
energy efficient buildings.
Several meetings and workshops
were held with design teams to They have utilised advances in
explain the calculation methodology building materials, lighting, heating
and seek opportunities to improve and cooling technologies together
the energy efficiency of the designs. with energy management systems to
A rigorous reporting and auditing find cost effective ways to meet the
process ensured targets were fully targets while also meeting the very
integrated into designs and not exacting requirements placed on
compromised or lost during value them by the Sporting Federations
engineering and design development and legacy owners. Some of the
exercises. approaches that have been taken
to deliver energy efficiency were:
The use of a standard approach to –– increased insulation of the
energy modelling was a key part of building fabric;
the management process, ensuring –– reduced infiltration rates through
consistent reporting against targets. airtight construction;
Pre-existing knowledge of the way in –– appropriate use of solar gains;
which the energy software worked –– daylighting;
enabled design teams to identify –– lighting controls;

Tonnes of CO2 expected to be
value for money solutions. What
became apparent, however, was that
different versions of modelling tools
–– efficient building services for
heating, cooling and ventilation;
–– low velocity ductwork and
saved per year using energy produce different results, which can pipework.
efficient designs. have a significant impact on the
measured performance of a building.

Venue Energy efficiency improvement over Part L 2006

Aquatics Centre 15.3%
Velodrome 31.0%
Olympic Stadium 15.1%
Media Press Centre 18.1%
Handball Arena 20%
Eton Manor 20%
Table 3: Venue reporting requirements

The most energy efficient venue on providing confirmation that correct
The actual energy the Park is the Velodrome, which specifications had been ordered and
has significantly exceeded the CO2 that workmanship was of high quality),
performance of the emission reduction standards and carrying out site inspections and audits,
venues will only become has a predicted energy performance and a post-completion report.
that is 31 per cent better than Part L
apparent when the 2006. This has been achieved Energy centre and community
buildings are tested through a combination of passive heating and cooling network
design measures, efficient services This section provides a summary of
post-completion. and smart integrated design. Refer to the Olympic Park’s Energy Centre
the learning legacy micro-report on and community heating and cooling
the Velodrome Energy Strategy for network. For detailed information
more detail on how the Velodrome on the technical and engineering
exceeded the target so significantly. aspects, please refer to the Institution
of Civil Engineers (ICE) journal paper
The 15 per cent target was particularly on Providing community energy for
challenging for the Aquatics Centre the Olympic Park14. The ODA has
as this target was not included in also produced a ‘summary’
the original design brief and limited publication15 on the Energy Centre
changes could be made to the iconic which can be referred to for further
design. Refer to learning legacy information and imagery.
micro-report on the Aquatics Centre
Energy Strategy for more detail on Drivers for CCHP
solutions to meeting the target. The 2004 planning application for
the development of the site in Stratford
The actual energy performance included proposals for a CCHP system
of the venues will only become and network. CCHP was subsequently
apparent when the buildings are an integral part of the CO2 strategy
tested post-completion, in their in the original bid documents. This
legacy mode (2013). Studies approach to delivering energy on the
repeatedly show that buildings do Park was being promoted by the LDA
not achieve their design criteria, in and GLA7, 8. The Park had also been
energy efficiency terms, when tested identified as a potential northerly node
post-completion13. of a Lower Lea Valley heat network5.

The ODA has put in place measures Once the bid was awarded to
to close this performance gap such London, work was commissioned
as; embedding design-stage energy to determine the most cost and CO2
efficiency performance targets into effective solution that would meet
contracts, monthly assurance from the ODA’s key project-specific
contractors that they were on track to considerations for energy provision
deliver the target (for example, by and carbon mitigation.

Velodrome interior showing the extent of natural light – this venue is the most energy
efficient on the Park

This work resulted in two inter- provides the interface with the
A 40 year concession connected Energy Centres; one at the building’s heating or cooling system.
Kings Yard in the Park, and the other The base load heating and cooling
agreement was awarded in Stratford, as shown in Figure 2. requirements are provided using the
to privately design, build, This is the largest community heating CCHP units and renewable energy
and cooling scheme to be built so far sources. Peak heating loads are met
finance and operate two in the UK. by supplementing the CCHP with two
energy centres at the 20MWth dual fuel boilers.
Introduction to the solution
Olympic Park and The Energy Centres and Community The systems were configured to
Stratford. Energy Network were tendered in deliver a minimum 20 per cent
January 2007. A 40-year Concession reduction in CO2 emissions
Agreement to privately design, build, (equivalent to over 2,200 tonnes of
finance and operate the energy CO2 each year), and up to 30 per
centres was signed with Cofelyi in cent savings depending on the
April 2008. The Olympic Park Energy overall heat demand and plant
Centre became operational in configuration.
October 201016.
Table 4 shows that all of the
The Kings Yard Energy Centre has permanent venues are connected
one 3.3MWe CCHP enginej and also to the heat network and that the
includes a 3MWth biomass boiler to Handball Arena and Media Press
generate heat to help meet the base Centre are connected to the
demand (see the ‘renewable energy’ cooling network.
section of this case study for more
detail on this). The Stratford Energy The Energy Centre buildings, designed
Centre has two 3.3MWe engines. by John McAslan and partners, are
The CCHP engines convert natural well integrated into the environment
gas into electricity, and hot and and are functionally linked to a wider
chilled waterk. The water is stored ‘family’ of utility buildings:
or piped directly underground to –– The Olympic Park Energy Centre
individual venues and buildings for (below) sits alongside the new
domestic hot water, heating and air primary substation which
conditioning via a 40km network. distributes electricity to the Park;
Therefore, individual buildings do not built with smart grid technologyl.
have their own boilers (or chillers for –– A historic building in the Kings
the buildings with high cooling Yard forms part of the Energy
demands). A heat exchanger Centre and will house the biomass

Olympic Park
The largest community
heating and cooling Athletes Village

scheme to built so far in Stratford South

the UK. Energy centres

Figure 2: The development zones and two Energy Centres

i Cofely East London Energy is a subsidiary of GDF-Suez Energy Services.

j GE Energy Jenbacher cogeneration modules.

boilers. Part of the building will be Flexible, future-proofed and
converted into office space and a integrated design
visitors’ centre after the Games, If the UK is to meet its target to
where people can come to learn reduce CO2 emissions by 80 per cent
more about the community energy by 2050, reduce fossil fuel resource
system and the role of renewable depletion and maintain our energy
energy in new developments. security, then the use of renewable
–– To increase its sustainability, the sources of energy will be paramount.
Energy Centre has been designed The CCHP systems on the Park are
to use recycled wastewater currently using natural gas as a fuel;
produced by the Old Ford a finite source. This would not be
Wastewater Recycling Plant on sustainable in the long term without
the Park to cool the process water. consideration of how zero carbon
technologies and fuels could be
employed in the future.

Heating connection? Cooling connection?

Olympic Stadium Yes No
Aquatics Centre Yes No
Velodrome Yes No
Handball Arena Yes Yes
Eton Manor Yes No
Media Press Centre Yes Yes
Table 4: Heating and cooling connections for permanent venues on the Olympic Park

Tonnes of CO2 minimum reduction
each year, from the CCHP systems.

Figure 4: Olympic Energy Centre

k Chilled water is generated by ammonia (non-HFC) absorption chillers using the high
temperature heat available from the exhaust of the CHP unit. Absorption chillers
provide the base cooling capacity, with peak cooling demands met with supplemental
chilled water from traditional chillers.
l Building a ‘smarter’ grid is an incremental process of applying information and
communications technologies (ICTs) to the electricity system, enabling more dynamic
‘real-time’ flows of information on the network and more interaction between suppliers
and consumers. These technologies can help deliver electricity more efficiently and
reliably from a more complex network of generation sources than the system does
today. For more information see the Department of Energy and Climate Change
(DECC) publication on Smarter Grids: www.decc.gov.uk/assets/decc/what%20we%20

In 2007, the bidders for the Energy cells is also a future possibility.
To enable the Park to Centre and Energy Networks were The Olympic Park Legacy Company
asked to re-tender on the basis of an (OPLC) is responsible for the Park’s
become zero carbon alternative ‘zero-carbon’ CHP plant, zero carbon strategy in the legacy
in legacy, the Energy using biomass (clean wood) as a period.
fuel. However, the technology was
Centres have been relatively untested and bidders were Analysis of CCHP
designed on a modular nervous about the quality of gas that The future-proofed, privately-funded
would be generated and therefore scheme was suitable for this
basis. tied the plant to a robust steam cycle particular new, large-scale
plant which has a relatively low development, but it is not necessarily
electrical efficiency, and generates the optimum solution for all projects.
large amounts of heat, much of While CHP and community energy
which would not be possible to use networks are promoted by national
in the early legacy years. This option and local government and many
was therefore not pursued. members of the engineering
community, there is a new body of
Due to a shortfall in the ODA’s evidence that makes a case against
renewable energy targets (see later the widespread use of community
section on renewable energy), heating and CHP in the UK17.
biomass CHP was reviewed again in
2010, this time based on small scale The case against argues that it
gasification technology on the basis actively promotes energy use to
that the technology had moved on justify the capital investment, and
since 2007. However, at this stage that the widely reported efficiency
the concession agreement for heat savings from CHP are misleading.
supply was in place and Cofely were CHP also discourages the adoption
at the critical delivery stage for the of local energy saving measures such
main gas-fired CCHP. Changes to the as insulation and solar heating and
gasifier could not easily be changed, can militate against other renewable
and the biomass gasification plant energy options which are preferable
would displace heat demand from in carbon-saving terms.
the gas-fired CHP, reducing the
commercial viability of the system. The ODA have found that for a
private sector funded community
To enable the Park to become zero energy system to be successful, a
carbon in legacy, the Energy Centres number of factors must be in place.
have been designed on a modular Please refer to Appendix 1 for these
basis. Only the equipment needed to recommendations. For more details
serve the actual heating and cooling of the benefits and successes related
loads in 2013/14 is being installed to the CCHP and energy networks,
initially (using one out of five bays). please refer to the ‘Achievements’
This also reduces initial capital section towards the end of this paper.
expenditure on technologies that may
become redundant. Four bays remain To reap the highest carbon savings,
within the building to accommodate future projects should consider the
additional CCHP units, boilers, most suitable low/zero carbon supply
chillers, or alternative zero carbon options in a holistic way as part of an
technologies required to meet the integrated design strategy (considering
legacy loads as they increase when all sustainable supply options – lean
the Park is developed after the and green – simultaneously).
London 2012 Games.
If CCHP is deemed suitable, clients
In the longer term, the heat should appoint experienced consultants
infrastructure can be adapted to with a proven track-record in area-
supply heat from a number of wide community (or ‘district’) energy
different zero carbon sources. A networks for advice on developing a
likely possibility is the use of syngas sustainable community heating and
from anaerobic digestion or biomass cooling scheme. Key expert input is
gasification (produced near the site required on technical design, legal
in Fish Island and piped under the and commercial structures, planning
Lea Navigation to the Energy and procurement.
Centre). The use of hydrogen fuel

Renewable energy following demolition of the Park site.

1000 tonnes
CO2 initial energy demand for the
Initial proposals
The target for a 20 per cent CO2
reduction through renewable energy
One 3MWth biomass boiler has been
installed to meet initial demands
which are anticipated to be less than
park will be supplied from a 3MWth was agreed in consultation with the 1,000 tonnes CO2 each year. Cofely
biomass boiler. Olympic Board. The target relates is in the process of assessing where
to a 20 per cent reduction after CO2 the biomass will be sourced from.
savings from energy efficient design
and the CCHP have been applied. The use of large-scale biomass
boilers with community heating is
A detailed appraisal of renewable relatively common in other parts of
energy technologies was commissioned Europe, and with their European
to understand the capital costs, whole backgrounds all of the bidders for
life costs, potential CO2 reduction this package were comfortable with
contribution and the technical feasibility the approach.
of different technologies. The most
promising combination of technologies Eton Manor wind turbine
that were identified is outlined in The Eton Manor site was selected
Table 5, along with their proposed as being the only area on the Park
CO2 savings and a note about suitable for the location of a large-
whether this proposal is still part of scale wind turbine:
the energy strategy. Other options –– It was around 250m from the
initially considered are set out in the nearest housing.
planning application Energy –– It was located north of the sporting
Statement6. venues and therefore would not
cast a shadow.
The rest of this section highlights how –– The noise from the turbine was
renewable energy solutions have masked by the A12.
evolved since this initial proposal. –– The site was free of overhead
microwave telecoms links.
Biomass boiler
The biomass boiler was included Detailed planning permission was
in the procurement package for the granted on condition that more
Energy Centre and Energy Networks detailed information was submitted
and a performance target on the design, colour scheme, noise
incorporated into the concession and shadow flicker before construction
agreement which forms the main commenced. The proposal used as
contractual framework for this precedent a number of successful
package. Space for two 3MWth wind turbines in urban areas,
biomass boilers together with a including the Ford Dagenham
woodchip store and hopper were factory, Green Park at Reading
included in the King’s Yard, the only and Sainsbury’s east Kilbride depot.
building to be retained on site

Technology CO2 savings Still part of energy

3MWth biomass heating 7% or 1,000 tonnes Yes
boiler at the Energy CO2 reduction
2MWe large-scale wind 13% or 2,000 tonnes No (see subsequent
turbine at Eton Manor CO2 reduction sections for rationale)
Building integrated 3% CO2 reduction No (see subsequent
renewables on each venue sections for rationale)
Table 5: Renewable energy technologies proposed as part of the original ODA
Energy Strategy

Detailed monitoring of wind speeds from the Severn Bridge18 and ‘ice
Bidders were offered the at the site (taken at 50m above throw’ from a wind turbine in
ground level) indicated that although Cambridgeshire19.
opportunity to develop a the site was not as windy as an ideal
wind turbine on the site greenfield wind farm site, which Together with the Venue Design team
become profitable above 7m/s, the for Eton Manor, the legacy venue
in exchange for lease average wind speed at 80m above owner, wind turbine preferred bidder
payments to the ground was calculated at around and the ODA worked closely to
6m/s, which was sufficient to give undertake a quantitative statistically-
landowner. a commercial return on investment. based risk assessment. This study20
identified that there was a 1 in
It was estimated that delivery of the 12,000 risk of someone being killed
wind turbine would take two years by the turbine if they stood under it,
from the beginning of procurement. but that this risk could be reduced to
Procurement started in 2008 on a 1 in 1 million (versus 1 in 20,000 for
design, build, finance, operate being killed in a road traffic incident,
(DBFO) basis. Bidders were offered or 1 in 100,000 generally considered
the opportunity to develop a wind as acceptable by health and safety
turbine on the site in exchange for professionals) by establishing a
lease payments to the landowner, 42m diameter exclusion zone
with the existing planning permission around the turbine (versus 1 in
and ‘Olympic factor’ exposure a 20,000 for being killed in a road
significant draw. A preferred bidder traffic incident, or 1 in 100,000
was appointed in November 2008. generally considered as acceptable
by health and safety professionals).
The sports federation raised concerns
about the location of a wind turbine Having agreed lease terms with the
next to the legacy hockey stadium landowner and safety policies, the
and its perceived impact on athletes preferred bidder’s turbine supplier
who they believed would be declined to supply a wind turbine
distracted by the rotating blades. As to the project on the grounds that
a result, the ODA commissioned a any incident would cause major
visual performance coach to assess reputational damage to the company,
the impact. The visual performance a leading European-wide supplier. A
coach confirmed the impact would search for an alternative supplier
be negligible. ensued. However, at this stage the
wind turbine industry was gripped by
This was followed by protracted legal the implications of the Machinery
negotiations to agree a lease with Directive 2006/42/EC21, which
the landowner. During this period, meant most of the lifts used to access
concerns regarding possible ice fall the wind turbine internal workings
from wind turbines were raised with were deemed ‘non-compliant’ and
notable incidents including ice fall when the ODA went out to tender

Following concerns
regarding ice fall from
the wind turbines and
the implications of the
Machinery Directive, no
commercial interest could
be found for a wind
turbine on the Park.

Interior view of the Olympic park Energy Centre

for the second time there was no systems tested by the venues proved

renewable energy achieved through
commercial interest from alternative
suppliers. Subsequently, a large scale
wind turbine has not been delivered
to be much more expensive than the
site-wide approaches. As a result, the
ODA moved away from building
the installation if photovoltaic panels. on the Park site. This was announced mounted renewables early on in the
in June 201022. It resulted in process and focused efforts on
‘abortive’ costs of £842,000 for its delivering Park-wide solutions.
procurement, design and related
consultancy23. Seven small (5KW) vertical helical
wind turbines have been integrated
Building integrated renewables onto the large lighting masts in the
During the venue design process, Olympic Gardens and 107 photo-
each venue was required to voltaic panels have been integrated
undertake a feasibility study to test into lighting columns. While their
the viability of installing building carbon mitigation is relatively small,
integrated renewable energy these renewable energy technologies
systems. Heat-generating renewables have the benefit of being a visual
(for example, solar thermal) would beacon of the ‘Green Games’ and
have adversely impacted on the an education piece.
community heating load and
therefore the business case for the Alternative solutions to meet
CCHP and energy networkm, so the targets
strategies for building integrated The combination of the 3MWth
renewables had to rely on generating biomass boiler and 2MWe large
either low carbon electricity or low scale wind turbine fell just short of
carbon cooling (for example, solar the 20% renewable energy target
PV or small-scale wind turbines). and the overall 50% carbon reduction
target, so the ODA had commissioned
The specialist types of buildings in further work to assess the most
the Park with long span, lightweight feasible and cost effective carbon
roofs would have required significant mitigation technologies long before
reinforcement to hold the additional the cancellation of the Eton Manor
weight of solar PV (meaning wind turbine. Some of the
additional materials which increase technologies considered included;
the embodied energy and cost). river water cooling, a second large
Together with the fixed price design scale wind turbine on East Marsh,
and build contracts, this meant that biomass gasification, large scale PV
all the forms of renewable energy arrays and small scale wind turbines.

Photovoltaic panels will be installed on the roof of the Main Press Centre (to the right
of the image), and the Multi Storey Car Park (front of image)

Following the cancellation of the 20 per cent renewable energy target
turbine, the ODA reviewed all of on the Park down to nine per cent
the previous feasibility studies and through a Section 73 amendment.
commissioned a new location study The Planning Committee also agreed
to determine the most realistic and to amend the Section 106 agreement
cost effective way to deliver more to include the retrofit programme as
renewable energy on-site. Although part of the overarching 50 per cent
significant sums of money have been carbon reduction target.
set aside for delivery of alternative
renewables (around £5m), delivering The project is intended to be split
the target has proved to be more equally between four of the five
difficult than originally envisaged, host boroughs (Greenwich, Hackney,
with alternative approaches costing Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest),
significantly more than the original but managed centrally in order
strategy. to monitor and report back to
stakeholders on the success of the
With consideration of cost and project and subsequently, sign off
programme, the ODA could only on the Section 106 agreement.
reasonably deliver a further two The ODA, however, is a ‘sunset
per cent renewable energy through organisation’ meaning it has a limited
the installation of photovoltaic (PV) timeframe for operation (related to the
panels on the roof of the Main Press London 2012 Games) and so it was
Centre (MPC) and the Multi-Storey necessary to seek a third party who
Car Park (MSCP). The PV panels on could deliver the programme on
the MPC will be delivered in early behalf of the ODA.
2012 and the PVs on the MSCP
will be delivered after the Games, The London Development Agency
in the first quarter of 2013 during (LDA), now part of the Greater London
transformation of the North Park. Authority (GLA), has an existing
PVs have become far more attractive retrofit programme which, although
commercially since the introduction not an exact fit for the Section 106
of the Feed-in Tariff24 (FiT), which requirements, had potential to be
guarantees a high minimum price adapted and the team had practical
for any power generated by the PVs implementation experience in east
annually. The Olympic Park Legacy London. For this reason the ODA
Company will inherit the FiT income, decided to work strategically with the
along with the PVs, when the MPC GLA and set the following objectives:
and MSCP are transferred to their –– the savings must be additional;
ownership after the Games. –– a clear calculation methodology
and verification strategy must be
The combination of the biomass in place;
boilers, PVs and small scale wind –– the programme should reach as
turbines equates to 9.3 per cent and many households as possible;
leaves a shortfall against the carbon –– the programme should deliver
targets of circa 1,000 tonnes of CO2 some savings to local schools; and
per annum. –– deliver a target of 1,300 tonnes
of CO2, allowing for contingency
As a result the ODA investigated of more than 200 tonnes of CO2.
opportunities to deliver carbon
reduction off the Park (but in the The contingency makes allowance
local host boroughs). Initially, this for some movement in the final Park
investigation included large scale baseline and reflects the inherent
off-Park renewable energy, however, difficulties in estimating and
there were no real cost effective measuring retrofit projects. The ODA
solutions that demonstrated clear has now grant funded £1.7m to the
carbon additionality. The ODA GLA to deliver the project, the
then took the decision to invest in an majority of which will be completed
energy efficiency retrofit project in in 2012. The investment will be split
the local community to deliver the between two frameworks: the Mayor
remaining target. This proposal was of London’s RE:NEW and RE:FIT
taken to the Planning Committee in programmes, which have been
late July 2011 who then revised the adapted to meet the ODA’s needs.

RE:NEW is a domestic programme Extensive modelling has been

tonnes of CO2 savings through the
and the ODA intends to deliver
savings in 2,800 homes within the
five host boroughs of the Park. RE:FIT
undertaken for both programmes
and the ODA expects to deliver
800 tonnes of savings through the
Mayor of London's RE:NEW domestic is designed for larger public sector domestic programme and 500 tonnes
programme. projects and will be adapted to suit of CO2 to be delivered through the
a schools programme where the ODA schools project.
will deliver savings in 12 schools,
tonnes of CO2 savings in 12 schools
three in each of the four boroughs.

through the Mayor of London's RE:FIT

programme. Lessons learned from the strategy for renewable energy on the Park
Renewable energy technologies are relatively new in urban regeneration
projects and there are a lot of unforeseen issues that can impact on
delivery, even where there are strong precedents for adopting a
particular technology.

The ODA has faced many challenges, including the cost of renewable
fuel, health and safety issues, reputational concerns, community and
stakeholder perception, changing political perspectives, policies and
subsidy regimes, contractual arrangements and technical issues and
development of new technologies which have profoundly affected the
CO2 strategy.

Relying too heavily on specific technologies, particularly if the strategy is

to adopt a small number of cost effective infrastructure scale interventions
rather than a multitude of small-scale initiatives, can undermine the ability
Relying too heavily on of a project to adapt and change its approach if that technology fails.
specific technologies can The ODA relied heavily on the wind turbine and since it was forced to
cancel, the project has struggled to meet its renewable energy and carbon
undermine a project's reduction targets.
ability to adapt and
If the ODA had known sooner that it would have to cancel the wind
change its approach if turbine, more emphasis would have been placed on alternative
that technology fails. approaches at the early stage of the Park-wide design.

Achievements the most energy efficient venue on

–– Energy efficient design is predicted the Park and setting new standards
to reduce the Park’s carbon for buildings of this type. The
emissions by around 1,630 tonnes project team put sustainability at
CO2 per annumo (compared to the core of the design from the
2006 Building Regulations). onset and minimised demand as
Project teams have demonstrated far as possible through passive
that improvements beyond Building measures. They conducted the
Regulations can be achieved for energy modelling early, optimised
high capacity sporting venues. the design and systems
The driver has been a requirement accordingly and pursued a
by the client for clear and combination of energy efficiency
unambiguous CO2 reduction measures that work together as an
requirements that significantly integrated solution.
exceeded the Building Regulations –– The privately financed CCHP plant
and a requirement to demonstrate and community heating and
that these are being met and cooling network was a suitable
exceeded through design and option for the Park and is the
construction. largest to date in the UK. The
–– The Velodrome has been designed 40 year Concession Agreement
to reduce CO2 emissions by 31 overcame a major barrier to
per cent against the 2006 Building delivering large-scale CHP systems.
Regulations (not taking into Cofely is on target to provide a
account CO2 savings from the minimum 20 per cent CO2
CCHP or renewables), making it reduction from the plant (around

2,200 tonnes CO2 each year), then optimise zero carbon supply
which is part of their performance (considering ‘lean’ and ‘green’
contract, and to achieve a 25–30 measures simultaneously), rather than
per cent reduction (around 3,000 following the linear energy hierarchy.
tonnes CO2) in 2013. The 3MWth
biomass boiler, also connected to Key recommendations resulting from
the district heating system, is the Park’s energy strategy are outlined
predicted to save 1,000 tonnes below. It is important to note that low/
CO2 each year. zero carbon policies, technologies,
–– The CCHP plant and community fuel sources and industry knowledge
heating and cooling network has about low carbon solutions are
been designed to be upgraded rapidly evolving: the latest guidance
and expanded in legacyp. The should always be consulted.
network is currently being
extended to supply 3MWth low 1 Minimise demand: The fundamental
carbon heat to the new Genesis start for any energy strategy should
Housing Scheme outside the Park be to minimise energy demand (in
in Stratford and further work is passive terms) as far as possible.
ongoing to integrate the scheme This is the most sustainable and
into the Olympic Park fringes and cost effective way of reducing CO2
a greater area-wide network over emissions and will always be the
the next 15–20 years serving the best primary investment. Energy
London Thames Gateway25. The efficient design should be
Energy Centre has been designed addressed from the onset as it
to be flexible and modular so it will affect the building design (and
can be upgraded over time to the various disciplines involved in
accommodate new low to zero it). Detailed energy modelling early
carbon sources of fuel if and when in the design can help projects
they become available. The achieve the optimum result.
current gas boilers can also be 2 Optimise supply: The technical
replaced in the future as zero feasibility and business case for
carbon technologies develop. decentralised energy supply
–– Heating will be affordable, with (CCHP and renewable energy
mechanisms in place to ensure that technologies) are very site specific
supply costs less to end-users than and should be addressed on a
traditional means16. The heat project-by-project basis, and
supply agreements include agreed with the planning authority.
consumer protection as part of They should consider aspects such
the contractual structure and price as; energy demand profiles from
control formula which sets a good the buildings, physical site specific
precedent for the expanding UK circumstances, neighbouring energy
district heating industry. supply opportunities, financial
–– Approaching the Park as an viability, technical feasibility, holistic
infrastructure project rather than environmental impacts (for example,
as a series of individual venue the effect of using biomass) and
projects has delivered economies the optimum location for large-
of scale and efficiencies that scale infrastructure (for example,
would not have been possible on site, near site or off site).
at venue level. 3 Clients should establish a project-
specific and future-proofed
Recommendations for future projects sustainable energy strategy early
Future projects are Given the complexity of this multi- in the project with guidance from
project programme and London’s expert energy/carbon consultants
recommended to first planning guidance at the time, (rather than adopting arbitrary
minimise demand for basing the Park’s energy strategy targets and technologies);
on the energy hierarchy was an communicate the strategy clearly;
energy and then optimise appropriate solution for this project integrate it into design briefs,
zero carbon supply when the strategy was developed in procurement documentation
2006. However, with more stringent and contracts; and develop
rather than following the energy/carbon policy now in place, contingency plans to deliver
linear energy hierarchy. future projects are recommended to carbon savings in the event
first minimise demand for energy and of unforeseen circumstances.

Appendix 1: Recommendations –– The development of a Public
Energy technologies are resulting from the ODA’s private Private Partnership (PPP) requires
sector funded community energy openness and lengthy negotiations,
changing fast and it is system in which the different parties need
likely that new fuels, to understand the other party’s
The ODA have found that for a issues and concerns. It was very
distribution and storage private sector-funded community useful to adopt an open book
systems will transform the energy system to be successful, a approach to costs and return on
number of factors must be in place: investment and this built trust and
energy sector. –– A commitment to development that understanding.
will require a heat/cooling load is –– The procurement process and
necessary to size plant and make legal framework developed by the
investment decisions. Heat load ODA offers many lessons for other
uncertainty reduces the ability of public sector bodies and major
investors to finance CCHP. At the regeneration companies. The UK
same time there is a push towards Green Building Council task group
buildings that are passively heated on Legal Frameworks for
and cooled. Having a mix of Sustainable Community
building types can help spread Infrastructure25 would be a very
demand and even out the energy good vehicle to share the lessons
demand profile of a development. learned with a wider audience. In
Public sector organisations such as particular, agreeing the contractual
councils, schools and hospitals are structure took almost a year due to
well placed to provide ‘anchor the lack of precedent. Adopting the
heat loads’ structure could save future projects
–– The sharing of commercial risk time and reduce development
and reward between private and costs which are often impediments
public sectors is necessary to to projects.
attract new investment in –– Energy technologies are changing
distributed energy. Risks need to fast and it is likely that new fuels,
be allocated according to who is distribution and storage systems
best placed to manage them (for will transform the energy sector.
example, fuel price risk can be Utility buildings need to be flexible
managed by energy companies, and adaptable to cope with these
stakeholder risk lies with the public changes. Modular design and
sector/client side) and long-term capability for expansion is a key
assurity of demand lies, to a large part of this, as is adequate space
extent, with the public sector and safeguarding and design of
major landowners and landlords. networks assets for expansion.

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–– Dan Epstein (ODA)
–– Alasdair Young (Buro Happold)
–– Jo Carris (ODA)

–– Ian Guest (Buro Happold)
–– David Kingstone (Buro Happold)
–– Holly Knight (ODA)
–– John Coleman (Cofely)
–– Judith Sykes (MustRD)
–– Gustavo Brunelli (BDSP)
–– Klaus Bode (BDSP)
–– Emmanuelle Danisi (Arup)
–– Howard But (Arup)
–– Evelina Maier (Balfour Beatty)
–– Paul Houghton (ISG)
–– Dean Goodliffe (ISG)

Peer reviewers
–– Peter North (LDA)
–– Darren Ball (Novarama Ltd)
–– Patrick Bellew (Atelier Ten)

© 2011 Olympic Delivery Authority. The official Emblems of the London 2012 Games are © London Organising Committee of the Olympic
Games and Paralympic Games Limited (LOCOG) 2007. All rights reserved.

The construction of the venues and infrastructure of the London 2012 Games is funded by the National Lottery through the Olympic Lottery
Distributor, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Mayor of London and the London Development Agency.

For more information visit: london2012.com/learninglegacy Published October 2011

ODA 2011/031