The Copper Box
We are not into handball too much on this side of the pond, but the sport is popular among men and women throughout Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, the Balkans and Korea. If you have scored a ticket to the Handball Arena, or the “Copper Box,” you will sit in one of the most interesting and sustainable Olympic venues this summer. Lighting pipes on the roof decrease electricity costs by 40 percent, a rainwater harvesting system will take stress off the local water grid and the exterior’s panels are in part derived from recycled copper. Built partially out of bricks sourced from construction dust, the 7000 seat arena will remain after the games but will be used for smaller athletic and local community events.
Shooting Ranges at the Royal Artillery Barracks
The Royal Artillery Barracks were an important training center for British soldiers from the early 19th century until 2007. Site of the longest Georgian-style facade in the United Kingdom, the former home of the Royal Artillery will host shooting events during this summer’s Games. In stark contrast with this 200 year old building will stand three indoor shooting ranges. Each of the temporary venues was built from steel, clad in plywood and then covered in more of the phthalate-free PVC membrane that will be recycled after the games. But what is the most cutting-edge feature? Each of the buildings is laden with octopus-like suckers that will allow natural ventilation to circulate inside. The shooting ranges will be dismantled and be rented for other events after the Games’ conclusion.
The Energy Centre
It is the least sexy of the Olympic venues but arguably is the most important. Tasked with heating, cooling and powering the Olympic Zone, the Energy Center is nod to sustainable design staring with its modular construction. Like a giant set of LEGOs, the facility can add more capacity by adding additional units when more capacity is needed in the surrounding east London neighborhood. Energy efficient gas boilers, along with a biomass boiler that uses wood chips, generate heat. An adjacent pumping station takes in wastewater, recycles it, and then distributes it for the nearby park’s irrigation as well as for that timeless water hog, toilet flushing. Its exterior reminds locals and visitors of the iconic Battersea Power Station, but instead of brick, its exterior is composed of rusted Corten steel layered over a protective cover of rubber.