Building’s Forum regulars offer their advice on problems. This week: a dissertation on sustainability and the London 2012 Olympics

Q: Dissertation London 2012

I am a third year building surveying student and have been thinking about my dissertation. I was wondering whether it would be suitable to write about the London 2012 Olympic Games and issues regarding whether the buildings are sustainable and environmentally friendly from a built environment perspective, looking into the methods and materials used in this project, in addition to the regeneration of certain areas.

I thought I might also be able to compare sustainability of the London buildings to those from previous Olympics, for example, Beijing. Any ideas or advice would be really helpful.



It sounds a great topic. I would say that you need to narrow it down though. There’s a lot of research there and I think you need to drill down to, say, maybe just talking about the construction of the athletes’ village or the main stadium. There’s a hell of a lot to look at on the whole 2012 construction side, so narrowing it to one aspect will enable you to do a more focused analysis. The best thing to do is to speak to your lecturer as they’re the one that will be marking it. In principle a very good idea though.

Peter Keogh


You could look back to the 1948 London Olympics and look at the legacy from that event - I think the only venue still standing is the Herne Hill velodrome (and that is now under threat).

Or more recently, the Commonwealth Games may be easier to look at from a UK perspective - have a look at the Manchester venues, maybe.



How will you measure how friendly a building is to the environment? And then how would you measure this against other possible solutions? Tonnes of CO2 per m3 concrete or per tonnes of steel? A big ask but this would be the route I would go down.



This sounds like a really interesting idea for a dissertation. I heard that the soil around the Olympic village was highly contaminated and they had to remove it, clean it up and then return it to the site. Brings in the question of remediation and problems/issues associated with it maybe.


BAJM100: Thank you for all the replies. They’ve been very helpful. Narrowing down my research question is the right idea, therefore a question which I have formulated so far is: “What will the legacy from the London 2012 Games leave behind after billions of pounds has been injected into the infrastructure of the Olympic village?”

From this I believe I could look into such areas as, regeneration, sustainability, eco-developments and form case studies from recent Games and the 1948 Games, comparing them to London 2012.


This forum has helped me out for narrowing down my approach for my assignment on the 2012 Games and its sustainable approach, which is due on Friday. Thanks all!


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