Sustainability in the fast lane

Today’s post is a blatant plug for a book by my friend Hattie Hartman, who is sustainability editor of The Architects’ Journal and has written a book called London 2012 Sustainable Design. It has been out for a while, but I have only just received my review copy.

Even for somebody who hates sport and is still not entirely convinced that bringing the Olympics to London was a good idea, the book looks fascinating. It looks at each of the venues and facilities, at the competition process, at design and delivery, and offers facts and figures. The joy of this is that there is so much real data, in contrast to the sea of greenwash in which we risk drowning.

How relevant is this to other projects? It is true that we are not likely to build many more Olympic scale stadia, although the lessons on flexibility are important. But temporary facilities? Energy centres? Schools? Housing? Parks? Most certainly. The ODA may be horribly controlling, but this tendency does at least mean it can gather data properly.

How encouraging to read a paragraph such as ‘Park-wide savings on embodied carbon associated with the Olympic Park’s concrete strategy are approximately 24 per cent compared to the industry average. The two key factors determining these savings were cement substitution and the use of sustainable transport.’ The industry should read, and learn.







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