Sustainability has been embedded into the Olympic Delivery Authority’s (ODA) construction project from the very beginning as one of its six priority themes. This month, with the announcement that the Olympic Park is now officially Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified, London 2012 took a giant leap towards achieving its ambition of being the ‘most sustainable games ever’.
More than two-thirds of all wood used in the Olympic Park’s construction is now FSC certified. Two excellent examples of how the ODA successfully used the FSC process include the development of the Olympics Village and Velodrome. Village developers used the certification process to ensure that they achieved the desired Code for Sustainable Homes and BREEAM assessments, providing evidence that the timber comes from legally compliant, responsibly-managed forests.
The iconic Velodrome, the first Olympic Park venue to be completed, has a striking outer cladding which uses 5,000 square meters of western red cedar timber. 56 kilometers of surface timber, sourced from sustainably-harvested Siberian pine, was laid to form the track itself.
This represents a tremendous commitment by the ODA to ensuring that the wood that it uses comes from for-ests that are responsibly managed. One only has to gaze at the magnificently designed, wood-clad Velodrome to get a sense of the scale of the project.
ODA Principal Sustainability Manager Holly Knight said: “We started working with the FSC early in the design process to ensure we had the right systems in place to deliver homes and venues on the Olympic Park that are truly sustainable. On such a complicated site it took lots of dedicated people to make sure we received certification for 100% legal and sustainable timber. FSC’s contribution forms a major part of this achievement.”
FSC Director General Andre de Freitas sees natural synergies between the Olympics and FSC, “FSC certified forest operations are environmentally appropriate and socially beneficial. It’s fitting that an event which is com-mitted to excellence like the Olympics choose FSC, which sets a high bar for forest management towards a legacy of stewardship.”