London Olympics Substation Building, News, NORD Stratford Design Images, Proposal, Architect

London Olympics Substation

2012 EDF Energy Primary Electrical Infrastructure, England, UK – design by NORD

26 Oct 2009

London Olympics Substation by NORD

London 2012 powers ahead as first Olympic Park building is complete

New substation switched on to supply electricity to Olympic Park and Stratford City development

The first building on the Olympic Park has been completed the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) confirmed today as EDF Energy completed work on a new Primary Electrical Substation that will supply electricity to the Olympic Park and the Stratford City development.

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2012 Substation images from Olympic Delivery Authority

The Electrical Substation is located in Kings Yard in the west of the Olympic Park and will distribute electricity across the Olympic Park and Stratford City site through new electrical networks consisting of more than 100km of electrical cabling. The substation is designed, constructed, owned and operated by EDF Energy through its wholly owned subsidiary Lea Valley Utilities (LVU).

Construction work which began in December 2007 and is now complete, making the substation the first building to reach this stage on the Olympic Park. The substation is now operational and will start supplying electricity to the Stratford City site next month, with the Olympic Stadium set to be the first Olympic Park venue to receive electricity early next year. The substation was officially switched on today by the EDF Energy Networks Managing Director Laurent Ferrari and ODA Director of Infrastructure and Utilities Simon Wright.

ODA Director of Utilities and Infrastructure Simon Wright said:
“Completing the first building on the Olympic Park site on schedule is a major milestone and shows that we are making good progress not only on the main sporting venues for 2012 but also on the backbone of essential new utilities infrastructure. The electricity substation will serve the lifetime of the 2012 project – powering construction work on the Olympic Park site, serving venues during the Games in 2012, and delivering essential new services for generations to come.”

Laurent Ferrari, Managing Director, EDF Energy Networks, said:
“As the first London 2012 sustainability partner and energy utilities partner, we are delighted to have completed work on the network hub that will help power the regeneration of the Olympic Park. This marks a key phase in our development of the site, which has already seen the skyline of East London transformed with the removal of more than 50 electricity pylons.

“Through the sustainability features that are embedded in this building, we are also helping to ensure that London 2012 is both a truly sustainable Games and a force for change that will deliver a legacy for the local community long after the Games have ended.”

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2012 Substation images from Olympic Delivery Authority

Mayor of Tower Hamlets Councillor Ahmed Omer said: “I am delighted to be here today as we mark the completion and activation of the first building to be completed on the Olympic Park. Although it is not as exciting to most people as some of the other structures currently underway such as the Olympic Stadium itself or the Aquatics Centre, which is already looking fantastic, it is equally as important, as without this, the Olympic Park would not be able to function effectively.”

The completion of work on the substation follows the good progress being made on the wider utilities networks and infrastructure being built across the Olympic Park site.

The Electrical Substation takes power from the upstream 132,000 volt electrical network outside the Olympic Park site. Main transformers within the substation then ‘step-down’ the power to 11,000 volts so that it can be distributed and used by venues and buildings across the Park and in the Stratford City development.
A clear emphasis was put on the architectural designs of the electrical substation to ensure the structure fit in with the design of the wider Olympic Park. The electrical substation was designed by EDF Energy with specialist support from Andrews Associates for the structural design elements and NORD Architecture (a Glasgow-based practice that won the prestigious Young Architect of the Year Award in 2006) for the external architectural features.

The external substation architecture was designed as a dark brick building to create a sense of solidity appropriate to the building’s role as a key part of the utilities infrastructure in the Olympic Park. The use of dark brick in the designs also reflects the traditional use of dark brick stock as window and corner details on the former Kings Yard industrial buildings on the site where the new substation has been built.

Sustainability is at the heart of the plans and the construction of the substation reused crushed materials from the demolition of the former Kings Yard buildings in the Olympic Park. The building also includes a ‘brown roof’ which involves crushed materials laid down on a flat roof which allow species to colonise naturally. The brown roof will help enhance the ecological value and biodiversity of the Olympic Park site by attracting local wildlife including black redstarts, a rare bird that thrives on brownfield land.

EDF Energy is also working with the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) to develop a low-carbon fuel solution for the flame of the Olympic Cauldron and Torch and the electricity that EDF Energy supplies to LOCOG during Games-time will come from renewable sources.

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2012 Substation images from Olympic Delivery Authority

London Olympic Substation – Building Information

More than 130,000 bricks were used in the construction of the substation

More than 200 piles were installed up to 19m into the ground to form the foundations for the building

The Electricity Substation will house 132/11kV transformers, each weighing 110 tonnes, as well as 11,000 switchgear and auxiliary equipment

The building is 80m-long and 14m-wide. The building height varies – the highest point being 15.9m at the Western end and lowest point is 4.875m in central portion of the building

The substation will distribute electricity across the Olympic Park and Stratford City site through new electrical networks consisting of more than 100km of electrical cabling – enough to cover 250 laps of the Olympic Stadium track

The substation’s eastern tower was designed to be lower in height to avoid blocking a viewing corridor from the north east corner of the Olympic Park to the Olympic Stadium in south-west, as well as a view out towards central London, to St Paul’s Cathedral and the Swiss Re tower (‘the Gherkin’)

Progress images of the substation construction, August 2008:

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Construction photographs from Olympic Delivery Authority

Image of the substation proposal by NORD architects, Glasgow

London Olympics Substation
Substation image from Olympic Delivery Authority

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