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Raising the roof for the Olympics

Posted on by in News

Construction work on London’s 2012 Olympic site is firmly on track with the main venues already becoming landmarks on the east London skyline.

One of the most recent and visible achievements was the lifting and lowering into place of the wave-shaped Aquatics Centre roof (above), one of the most complex engineering and construction challenges of the entire Olympic site (see NSC May 2009).

The 160m long steel roof frame weighs more than 3,000t and rests on just three supports. It has been fabricated from plate rolled in Gateshead, Motherwell and Scunthorpe, assembled on the site and connected together 20m off the ground on temporary supports.

Raising the roof for the Aquatics Centre began in March 2009 when a 30m steel truss weighing more than 70t was lifted into place on top of the southern support wall. Over the following months another 10 steel trusses, each made up of four sections, were erected to connect the roof to the northern supports.

Once the steel frame was complete it was lifted over a metre at its southern end, turning on rotating joints in the northern roof supports. The top of the temporary trestles were removed and the roof frame lowered on to its three permanent supports.

Work has now begun on the aluminium roof covering, half of which is recylced, and this month (January) the installation of the timber cladding is due to begin.

“The Aquatics Centre is on track for completion in mid-2011 and the sweeping roof, which will form the ‘Gateway to the Games’, is now a fixture in the skyline alongside the Olympic Stadium,” said Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) Chief Executive David Higgins.

Commenting further on the recent construction progress, ODA Chairman John Armitt, said: “The external structure of the Olympic Stadium has been finished, work is also racing ahead in the north of the park with the first residential plot of the Village structurally complete, the huge steel frame of the International Broadcast Centre in place and the striking architecture of the Velodrome taking shape.”


The Olympic Stadium’s external structure is complete with work underway to install its cable net roof

Olympic Village

The Olympic Village will deliver a lasting legacy of new housing including 2,800 homes and more than 1,000 affordable apartments

Energy Centre

The steel framed Energy Centre will have a number of sustainable features setting a benchmark for future schemes

Broadcast Centre

The steel frames for the International Broadcast Centre and the Main Press Centre are largely complete

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