As we move into the Olympics year, Building launches a campaign to celebrate the construction industry’s achievements

It’s going to be a big year for construction. This week, via and our social media hashtag #BLD2012, we launched the Building 2012 campaign to celebrate construction’s pivotal role in delivering the London Olympic Games. Building 2012 aims to showcase UK construction expertise both here and abroad and to laud the London Olympics’ construction legacy. The campaign coincides with David Cameron’s special summit during the Games in August showcasing UK construction and architecture, backed by UK Trade & Investment. The government’s aim is to generate £1bn worth of new work globally for UK companies off the back of the Games.

With support from the Olympic Park Legacy Company, Building 2012 will focus on the three key themes - Greener, Faster, Smarter - which we will use to highlight the innovation, technology, projects, speed and sustainability initiatives that companies have deployed to bring the Games to life as East London is transformed. Of course, the London Games are much more than a radical regeneration project. They’re about a boost to an ailing UK economy, but also about best practice, the setting of new standards and the marketing of UK know-how globally. We’re sure they’re already inspiring companies from all over the country.

As the final scare stories and tabloid dramas unfold over the coming months, Building 2012 will step back and celebrate the people and companies that will lead us to the opening ceremony

As well as this week’s extended coverage, over the coming weeks we will be looking at the lessons learned from the London Olympics - including the role of the client, the engineering feats and the role of the many supply chain companies that have made the regeneration of East London happen in such a short space of time. We will also unveil a Building 2012 Heroes initiative to celebrate those real stars who have been involved in delivering the Olympic projects - from the newly appointed apprentices to the most experienced technicians. And on 18 April, we’ll showcase construction’s Olympic achievements as part of the Building Awards, before handing on the baton to the next Olympic project via Building’s offices in São Paulo as Brazil prepares for the Games in 2016.

In the excitement of this year’s preparations, it’s easy to forget that when London was named as host of the 2012 Olympics, it was against the backdrop of the catastrophic construction of the Wembley stadium project. Everybody was clear that the odds were firmly stacked against successful delivery of the Olympic project: a mixture of negative perception, a lack of leadership, bolshy unions and the sheer scale of the task made the project look not only daunting but almost impossible. At the top of the construction challenge was a major land decontamination exercise around Stratford accompanied by a difficult compulsory purchase order programme. And then there was the task of lining up the right teams to design and deliver the Olympic buildings, that had not only to be built on time and to budget but also fit for legacy. Six years on, the Olympic construction project has proved a triumph. As the budget for the Games comes under the spotlight and the final scare stories and tabloid dramas unfold over the coming months, Building 2012 will step back and celebrate the people and companies that will lead us to the opening ceremony. 

Tom Broughton, brand director