Construction on an Olympic Scale

Construction on an Olympic Scale

The 2012 London Olympic Games have captured an audience of more than 4 billion viewers worldwide. Watching the best athletes in the world compete head to head is a very exciting event. Although the main focus is on the athletes, the venues that house the Olympic Games are world class—being designed using the best architects, engineers, and technological innovations available today.

A total of 34 venues are being used in the Olympic Games this year. However, there are five main venues for the Olympic events: Olympic Stadium, The Copper Box, Aquatics Center, Basketball Arena, and the Velodrome. Combined, it took over six years to construct the five main venues, using 30,000 construction workers.

Construction by the Numbers:

– The Olympic Stadium alone cost $758 million and took three years to build.

– 150 miles of power cable are used in the Olympic stadium alone.

– Fourteen 230 feet towers illuminate the Olympic Stadium, using a total of 532 floodlights.

– The Copper Box was built using 9,842 square feet of recycled copper.

– The roof of the Aquatics Center is lined with over 36,090 square feet of recycled aluminum.

– 120 electric vehicle charging stations were installed at the Olympic venues.

– 10,000 tons of steel used in construction.

– Over 200 buildings were demolished during construction.

– 75,000 firms were involved in construction of the Olympic venues.

– 2,818 new homes were erected in the Olympic Village.

Even though massive amounts of construction materials and energy will be consumed during the 2012 Olympic Games, the London Olympic Delivery Committee (ODA) is working to be as environmentally friendly as possible. As per the ODA vision statement, the design and technology used to construct the venues will allow a 34% reduction in carbon emissions, thus being considered energy efficient. This will be obtained by reduced energy consumption, efficient energy conversion, and renewable resources supplying energy.

By the close of the Olympics, do you think that the ODA will have met their goal of 34% carbon emission reductions? What are your thoughts about creating a more environmentally friendly Olympic campus? In your opinion, which Olympic venues are most impressive and why?

– Rob Boot


  1. Kenosha Shields

    I can truly say I have spent more time watching the Olympics this year than ever before!!! It’s GREAT to see them ALL accomplish their goals that they have worked so hard for!!! Go USA!!!

  2. Edward Shields

    We know this wire is being used throughout the country. Really good to know that Southwire serve a lot of people and capacity but not once did I know all or any of the facts provided above. Thanks.

  3. Matt Herzog

    I believe we should be striving to reduce our carbon emission not only on the Olympic campus, but throughout the globe. Every business, company, and individual should be aware of how they are effecting our planet, and then try to make it better.

  4. The facts about the massive construction projects that were carried out in preparation for the London Olympics are quite impressive. It’s really hard to imagine the incredible transformation that any city needs to go through to accomodate an event with such magnitude. The legacy of this effort will be the housing and facilities that will soon be available to local Londoners as well as the business generated for local companies. An additional benefit is the technological development that comes with such large-scale contruction. Soon we will hear more about the advancements in sustainable design and construction that are a result of these Olympics.

    • Dave


      I like the Olympics. My mother and I enjoyed the opening ceremony. Especially the dancing and the singing.

  5. Judy Rowe

    I personally like the Olympic Stadium, I think it looks impressive. Will they meet their goal of 34% carbon emission reductions? I’m not sure; however, I am impressed that they’re attempting to lower the carbon footprint of the games and also lower the carbon footprint for all of the venues that will be utilized long after the games are over.

    Thank you for sharing this interesting behind the scenes information about the Olympics. I have truly enjoyed watching the games this year. Go USA!!

    • Whitney Agan

      Great report! I can’t help but think about how hosting the Olympic games would help the US economy! Imagine how many people could be employed as a result of the US hosting another Olympic Games! And how much wire that Southwire could sell…

      • Courtney Roberts

        Most Olympics are funded through taxes and corporate sponsorship. The recent years have not been as profitable for those that arrange the games but no matter how much profit is made the federal/state money spent to host the games is never reimbursed. In Vancouver the Fed actually gave the Canadian Govt $165mill to get started and we had to pay for that. I think the economic times have had a lot to do with the recent numbers as people just don’t have extra income to spend on merchandise or memorabilia. The 2018 and onward Olympics are still undecided and it would be nice to host another round of Olympics and figure out a way to host them without the $500mill tax bill we payed for the 96 Olympics in Atlanta.

        • Whitney Agan

          I agree. A country shouldn’t have to go in debt for hosting the Olympics. I think private sector sponsorships would be the way to go!!

  6. David Winkles

    Thanks for all this information. I love these kinds of facts and I will be sharing them. The Olympics and mega construction shows are some of my favorite to watch, so this is right up my ally!

  7. Ryan Hall

    Those are some impressive statistics! I’m glad to see a green attitude toward the construction of these facilities. every little improvement made to help the environment adds up and goes a long way for the future of this world.

    • Whitney Agan

      Some are torn completly down and recycled. One of the main venues this year will be moved to Brazil for the 2016 Olympics. In Atlanta, Turner field was part of the original Olympic Stadium. Really interesting though…

  8. Kirby Sprewell

    People forget about how much thought and work goes into the olympics. Not only are athletes training years before the games, but architects, designers, etc. are responsible for making the olympic Venues available for such athletic events. Without these people, the games could not happen. I really enjoyed reading the statistics of the venues. I think this was a very intersting blog post. Thanks Southwire!

  9. Saud Ahmed

    Thanks for providing the information. Little did I realize the amount of efforts that go into building such a grand show of athletics. As companies go green, it makes one feel good to know that it’s being driven in much larger environment such as the Olympics itself. I not only enjoyed reading the blog post but also appreciate the time you took to provide such statistics that I was unaware of.

  10. Wesley Agan

    This is a great article. I have not seen any other article that goes into this much detail about olympic construction. I would love to see more information about this.

  11. Ryan

    It would be great to see this happen. The United States has such high standards on emissions and air quality. There are a lot of other countries that need to get on ball to do this also.

  12. Holly Israel

    England has been an environmentally friendly country, and it seems as though this bent was not lost in construction of the Olympic venues. From the recycled copper and aluminum used to the charging stations erected, the designers for these games were mindful to conserve elements and energy. I’m sure the community rallied around this commitment to uphold the ODA vision statement. Good job, London!

  13. Gail Phillips

    Incredible expense! I hope there was a lot of money made for the people of London! What happens to everything they’ve constructed for this one time event now that the Olympics are over?

  14. Sandra Kilgore

    It is amazing how long it takes and how much is involved in preparing for the Olympics and in such a short time it is over.

  15. Lisha Brantley

    I think the fact that so many people were fixed on Gabby’s hair kind of took away from her moment. She is an athlete. She is not in a fashion show. Go Gabby!!!

  16. Shawn Styles

    Was by far the most interesting Olympic games I have ever experienced. Not surprised by the magnitude of the project. London did a fantastic job.

  17. Paul

    I enjoyed watching the Olympics, but couldn’t help but wonder about the high cost of hosting the games and whether it is really worth the investment.

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