Team on athletes' village attempts to take advantage of falling prices, as latest designs of scheme are released

The team behind the athletes village for the 2012 Olympics Games is renegotiating contracts with material suppliers to take advantage of falling prices.

Speaking at the launch of the scheme’s latest designs, Dan Labbad, chief executive of Lend Lease Europe, which is construction and development manager on the project, said the recession was helping push prices down. He said: “We have made use of the market downturn from that perspective.”

David Higgins, chief executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), stressed that the savings would go “straight to the government”, but said it was still unclear exactly how large they would be. Talking to Building after the launch, he said: “We won’t really know what savings have been made until the end of 2010. People may bid very competitively but then claim back later.”

The news came as the ODA unveiled the latest images of the Village, which will include 17,000 beds in 11 residential blocks during the Games and be converted into 2,818 homes in legacy mode.

Plans also include 10ha of parklands and open space. Each residential block will have a 2,400m2 courtyard with gardens and play areas. There will also be an 1,800-place educational facility, the Chobham Academy.

The size of the village has been scaled back twice since 2008 but the Olympic organisers today insisted the development would not be crowded for athletes as a result.

Jonathan Edwards, former Olympian and member of the London 2012 board, said: “My experience of going to Olympics events was that villages are to be endured rather than enjoyed.

“I’m very confident this is going to be a very positive experience for athletes.”

There are currently 1,000 workers on the site and this is expected to peak at about 3,500. Piling has started on all the blocks except one and construction of the Chobham Academy is due to start this month, Labbad said.

Fly-through of the 2012 Olympic Village