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Lee Valley White Water Centre

A dual watercourse lessens the impact of energy-hungry water pumps and achieves major savings

The very premise of this venue – the creation of artificial white water rapids for an Olympic Canoe Slalom course within a flat river valley on the northern outskirts of London – is energy-intensive because it relies on electric pumps to move the water. Designed as part of a collaboration between Faulkner Browns Architects and S&P Architects, the centre makes a departure from previous Games.

It has two watercourses – one for competition and one for training – have been designed. The less energy-hungry practice course can be operated independently when the elite course is not required. Geothermal ground source heat pumps, whose coils are located under the lake, supply heat to the building. A rainwater-harvesting tank supplies toilet flushing and a solar thermal array with a PV pump provides hot water to changing rooms.

London 2012: Sustainable Design:
Delivering a Games Legacy


This book by Hattie Hartman is published by John Wiley & Sons, £49.99.

For a 25% discount for AJ readers, go to and enter promotion code VB802

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