Tag Eco-Friendly

London Olympics: The Future of Sustainability

Jul26

The 2012 Olympics are now underway, and everyone is tuning in to watch world-tier athletes compete for fame, glory, and personal fulfillment. Team USA stars like Michael Phelps, Lolo Jones, Alexander Massialas, Natalie Coughlin and Gabrielle Douglas are filling headlines and capturing the rapt attention of American audiences (and fans worldwide!).  But among the many Olympics categories, such as synchronized swimming, fencing and sprinting, there is one other “event” that is four years in the making: Olympic Architecture!

When a city is declared the official location for the next Olympic Games, local designers and construction workers immediately get to work. They need to create venues that will both match the majesty of the occasion and dazzle tourists. These stadiums stand as a symbol of national pride and are often massive revenue sources for local government, so their designs are definitely not taken lightly! And this year, sustainability and eco-conscious design were very important. The Olympic Stadium was built as a landmark achievement in eco-friendly design.

stadium

London’s Olympic Stadium is located in Olympic Park, Stratford, London, U.K. For the building, the London Olympics created a Sustainability Plan which includes 5 major tenets.

  1. Climate change — greenhouse gas emissions were reduced and facilities were designed to be adaptable to climate change.
  2. Waste – there was clear focus on minimizing it every step of the way in the construction of the project, preventing any landfill use during the actual games,
    and utilization of new East London waste processing methods.
  3. Biodiversity – protecting the local wildlife and their habitats was critical.
  4. Inclusion – attendance was encouraged by all peoples at the Games, and new employment and business opportunities for citizens of the UK were created.
  5. Healthy Living — an obvious and inherent part of the Olympic Games, the building and events are meant to encourage and inspire sports and the adoption of
    healthy, sustainable lifestyles.

To these ends, the stadium’s composition is over 30% recycled, and it uses 60% less potable water than similar contemporary stadia. A special cold foam process was used for the access roads, which reduces the energy needed to lay them and adds to the total recycled content.

Another important feature of the stadium facilities? They’re “temporary” designs, meaning that they can be reduced in size once Olympics 2012 are over. This way, they won’t simply become ghost towns using up valuable space and wasting precious resources. During the games the stadium seats 80,000, but after the closing ceremonies it can be reduced in size to a 60,000-seat permanent stadium in legacy when the upper tiers are removed. In addition, this stadium uses half the steel of most modern stadiums, which makes it the lightest Olympic Stadium ever constructed.

The Aquatics Centre, home to the legendary Olympic water sports and designed by Zaha Hadid, is also temporary in design. Seating 17,500 people for the Games, it can be reduced dramatically to a 2,500-seater when the two wings are removed. Ammonia-based chillers were used instead of traditional HFC chillers, reducing the climate change impact. The post-games design for the Centre was built to the BREEAM excellent standard.

aquatics centre

Sustainability is a big concern in the world today. John D’Amelio, President of Precast Specialties Corp., has always emphasized the value of precast and its role in a project’s LEED certification. Precast concrete wall panels can often be reused because they are so durable. It also minimizes waste on the job site, and it’s partially composed of recycled materials like fly ash and recycled steel. Precast concrete is inherently sustainable, and a great choice for eco-friendly construction.

The Olympic Stadium facilities were recently nominated for the 2012 Stirling Prize, the top award for architecture in Britain. And you bet precast concrete has something to do with it! Precast seating tiers and plinth, combined with the white main structural elements and the secondary ones colored black, make quite the flashy ensemble that is also quite friendly to the environment! All in all, the facilities will provide an impressive and cutting edge stage for some of the greatest athletes in the world, and should inform and inspire building design for years to come.

Photo Credit: Times Live, Architecture List, Web Designer Depot

 

Precast Specialties Corp. specializes in architectural concrete panels, concrete roadway products and exceptional custom precast products including seawall panels, boat ramps and large support piers. All of our custom products are cast in our factory utilizing 5,000 psi, super-plasticized, air-entrained concrete. We can produce virtually any color, finish or texture to meet your project needs. Find out what our clients and contractors have to say about our work, or see for yourself by contacting us for your next project at:

Precast Specialties Corp.
999 Adams Street
P.O. Box 86
Abington, MA 02351
Tel: (781)878-7220
Fax: (781)878-7464
 

info@precastspecialtiescorp.com

FM Global Office Project Completed

Jun13

FM Global

Precast Specialties Corp. is happy to share this finished Norwood, Massachusetts building. We touched on the project in an earlier post last fall, but it has recently been completed. Hobbs Brook Management LLC, a pioneer in the development of office space in Boston-area suburbs, managed progress on this building, which should soon receive LEED certification. It’s located at 1175 Boston/Providence Highway in Norwood, Massachusetts. The office building houses two companies: Dedham Medical Associates and FM Global, a worldwide force in business property insurers. Ground was first broken for the project on October 21st, 2011.

FM Global 2

It was designed by Margulies Perruzzi Architects and constructed by the Columbia Construction Company. The panels were erected by American Steel & Precast Erectors of Greenfield, NH. Precast Specialties Corp. provided this project with ninety-five dark-buff colored precast panels with ribbed features and a monolithic sun shade.

Hobbs Brook Management LLC has emphasized energy efficiency and green building practices for over thirty years. This office building was no different. Constructed as a high-performance green building, the project has a laundry list of efficiency features, including irrigation-water-reducing indigenous and drought-resistant plant materials, a high reflection roof to disperse sunlight, and solar shaded windows. It all adds up to one impressive, eco-friendly office building for Dedham Medical and FM Global, and hopefully some new job positions for Norwood, MA residents. The 200 FM Global employees relocating to this building certainly have something to look forward to!

 FM Global 3

Precast Specialties Corp. specializes in architectural concrete panels, concrete roadway products and exceptional custom precast products including seawall panels, boat ramps and large support piers. All of our custom products are cast in our factory utilizing 5,000 psi, super-plasticized, air-entrained concrete. We can produce virtually any color, finish or texture to meet your project needs. We are dedicated to helping construct LEED certified buildings that are sustainable and environmentally friendly. Find out what our clients and contractors have to say about our work, or see for yourself by contacting us for your next project at:

Precast Specialties Corp.
999 Adams Street
P.O. Box 86
Abington, MA 02351
Tel: (781)878-7220
Fax: (781)878-7464
info@precastspecialtiescorp.com

Quality Products with a Focus on Eco-Friendly Innovation

May25

LEED Points with Precast Concrete from Precast Specialties Corp

One of the most important concepts that Precast Specialties Corp. continually strives for is sustainability. Sustainable products are those that are environmentally responsible, economically profitable, and socially aware. Precast concrete offers a variety of eco-friendly advantages when used in construction projects.

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. For companies, using precast concrete can help them earn LEED credit in terms of site development.

- By choosing precast for structural elements like walls or flooring, companies earn LEED points because of the reusability of the precast

- LEED points are given for using recycled materials, and precast concrete is partially composed of recycled materials such as fly ash and recycled steel

- Serving a local market, Northeast companies using Precast Specialties Corp. earn credits for choosing locally harvested raw materials

- Precast concrete can save building owners up to 25% on heating and/or cooling costs for the entire life cycle of the concrete

- Precast concrete can also help reduce heat islands, places like industrial sites that retain consistently higher temperatures than surrounding areas

In the building environment, in addition to being sustainable, Precast focuses on making products that meet both the needs of the present as well as the future. With quality products and a focus on eco-friendly innovation, Precast Specialties Corp. offers the best of both worlds for our precast customers.