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Dr. Jan Hellings,
Olympic Development Authority
The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) is contaminated material required to be removed
redeveloping 2.5km
2
of brownfield land within from the site.
the Lower Lea Valley in east London to house
The earthworks were designed to address the
five major venues for the 2012 Olympic and
various end users by incorporating a Separation
Paralympic Games.
Layer, with a minimum 600mm thickness
The site was acquired in July 2007 by the London providing protective measures for human
Development Agency. Since then over 215 health. Beneath this cover system a bright
buildings have been demolished, 90% of the marker layer was placed to coincide with the
site has been cleared and over 2.1M.m
3
of soil Sub-Grade level, after remedial works were
excavated. undertaken, wherever required for any soft
The site has historically been used for a range
spots or hot spots and in areas which were to
of uses including light retail and heavy industrial
receive fill.
processes. Ground investigations highlighted As part of the Olympic Park Project’s aim to be
that there had been potentially significant the most sustainable games, it has been
contaminative land uses on the site, generally recognized to be the first to design, procure
associated with mixed industrial use with and maintain a Soil Treatment Centre (or
significant importation of fill material for the HUB) within the UK. The HUB receives and
reclaiming of the original marsh land, during cleans/recycles site-derived materials from
the mid to late industrial revolution and from within the park's multiple construction zones.
the clearance of World War II damaged buildings
Materials are received from site demolition,
in the London area.
site clearance, earthworks and remediation
During the course of the redevelopment works excavation works. Because of the sheer size of
the majority of the site has been excavated, the park, the site was divided into two principal
predominantly consisting of made ground as a contractor areas (north and south), each with
result of land reclamation of the old marshes their dedicated treatment centre, with the
in the Victorian era and land raising over the ability to share resources for both treatment
past 50 years. The site also had extensive areas and supply of suitable recycled materials/fill.
of five of the EA's seven principle invasive plant
By bringing together specialist designers and
species, namely Japanese knotweed, Giant
contractors, and setting up centralised treat-
Hogweed, Himalayan Balsam and Floating
ment centres, the recycling of site-derived
Pennywort, particularly adjacent to and within
soils and hard materials has been maximised.
the six waterways that dissect the park.
Material recycling and reuse on the park has
The Enabling Works were designed to produce so far exceeded best practice targets within
an Olympic Park platform that was also suitable remediation projects: excess of 85% of soils
for the proposed legacy development. The from excavations and more than 90% from
remediation works were designed to address demolition and site clearance hard materials.
the most sensitive landuse needs of the
Demolition materials in the form of brick and
Olympics and legacy, thereby achieving much
concrete are recycled using a combination of
greater cost saving and environmental benefit
either/both crushing and screening on site,
under the scheme.
rendering the materials suitable as an
The core principles of the Olympic Delivery engineering class of material/fill. Site clearance
Authority required phased earthworks, which materials in the form of soft landscape, topsoil
were required to consider the need to minimise and foliage, including invasive species, for
any additional earth movement in the conversion hard landscape pavements (in concrete and
phase of the site following the games. The blacktop), are processed on site to maximise
design was also focused on minimising the their reuse or sent off site for recycling into
need to export or import materials of secondary new tarmacadam and compost/chippings.
aggregate, with therefore only the most
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