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McAslan completes Olympic Park Energy Centre

[FIRST LOOK + FACTFILE] Work has completed on John McAslan & Partners’ energy centre in the London 2012 Olympic Park

Hailed as the ‘largest energy centre in the UK’ to date, the building will use zero carbon and renewable energy sources including a gas-fired combined cooling heat & power (CCHP) and biomass to provide heating and cooling system across the site for the Games.

The scheme is part of a wider ‘family’ of utility buildings on the Olympic Park, joining NORD’s black-brick electricity substation which completed last October and John Lyall Architects’ sewer pumping station which finished earlier this year.

According to the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) ‘these main utility buildings have all been designed to be grounded in the earth with a solidity to give them a separate identity to the main sporting venues in the Olympic Park which are seen as lightweight and floating out of the ground’.

McAslan’s scheme reflects, the ODA claims, the Victorian heritage of the Olympic Park site ‘as well as drawing inspiration from iconic London power stations’ such as Tate Modern - the former Bankside power station - and Battersea power station. 

Andrew Altman, chief executive of the Olympic Park Legacy Company, said: ‘The Energy Centre will be a core part of our long-term sustainability aims, meeting all future energy needs of the Olympic Park including the five new neighbourhoods that will be developed.

‘Not only will it be more energy efficient by eliminating the need for boilers in each home, but it has the capacity to supply the areas surrounding the Park and, in turn, leave an even bigger legacy for east London.’


An initial capacity of 46.5 MW of heating and 16 MW of cooling

The energy centre building is 45m tall at its highest point

Equipment in the building includes five cooling towers, and two hot water boilers each weighing around 60 tons

The Energy Centre will provide heating and cooling through 16km of Community Energy Networks across the Olympic Park

The facility will use zero carbon renewable energy sources such as biomass

The CCHP system has been designed to use recycled wastewater to cool the energy centre itself. Cooling will be provided through a combination of electric, ammonia based chillers and absorption chillers which are driven by heat recovered from plant in the building

The community energy networks across the Olympic Park have been designed to ‘operate at low temperatures, minimising energy losses’

Heating ‘will be affordable’, with mechanisms in place to ensure that supply costs less to end-users than traditional means

A second energy centre is being built in Stratford City to supply the new retail and commercial development

The flexible modular building design will ‘avoid overcapacity’ in the first phase of development but allows future technologies to be incorporated in the building as they are developed and as demand grows after 2012


Readers' comments (3)


    Great to see zero carbon renewable energy on site!

    Nice Facade too well done McAslan & lakesmere!

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  • quote
    "the building will use zero carbon, renewable energy sources including a gas-fired combined cooling heat & power "

    Gas zero carbon an renewable? I don't think so!

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • Kevan Shaw

    It's nice to see good architecture applied to utility buildings. It is a shame that more ugly gray boxes containing substations gas valves and other things plonked around our cities could not be brought up to this standard.

    Kevan Shaw

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