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Last updateThu, 16 Jun 2022 8am

Construction National blog: 16/02/2012

Construction National blog logoNext month sees the bringing together of the two biggest buzzwords in construction in the UK since – well, since ‘Wren’ and ‘Great Fire’. I am, of course, referring to Ecobuild, the showcase of everything there is in sustainable construction. This year the three days will reflect the upcoming London 2012, flagged as the “greenest Olympics ever”. There is a whole seminar and conference programme devoted to the delivery of sustainability in the build programme and the learning legacy. Ecobuild is an Olympics learning legacy partner and as such playing its part by delivering presentations by many of the major players from ODA and LOGOC.

What follows the Games is, of course, crucial to whether London 2012 is seen as a green triumph or a white elephant. On a much smaller scale, much of what was anticipated in Manchester has gone by the board following the banking crisis and change of government. Not only has the stadium become an advert for an Arab airline (one of the first things to go was the running track), the housing regeneration has fallen victim to the cancelling of schemes such as Pathfinder, leaving streets half-demolished and homes sometimes in a worse state than they were to begin with.

For London 2012 to leave a legacy better than its predecessors, the people of East London will need to see tangible improvements to their quality of life; plus the cost – financially and environmentally – must not be dumped onto future generations. As recently as 2009 one source estimated that the people of Montreal were still paying for the 1976 Games. That must not happen to London.

The list of firms involved in the construction project that London 2012 has engendered reads like a construction directory all of its own – from internationally-renowned architect and contractors to small businesses based in the East of London that make up the bulk of the workforce. If that acts as the base for the Olympic legacy, then all will be well.

Of course, a couple of Gold Medals wouldn’t go amiss, either.