Learning from London 2012
THE WHOLE of Brazil and not just 2016 Olympic host city Rio de Janeiro are in a race against the clock to build the required Olympic infrastructure for the quadrennial Games.
More than 230 projects, including the four main Olympic venues, need to be completed before the 2016 sports spectacle so they could be tested.
Not only that, the South American country is also hosting another major sporting event, the 2014 World Cup featuring football’s best nations.
This, indeed, is a tough task for the Brazilians, especially when you compare them to the London Olympics organizers.
True, the British initially had problems staging the 2012 Games, with early reports of unsold tickets and pre-Games road-traffic issues. But as far as playing venues were concerned, there were none since all the sites passed with flying colors before any of the events could begin. All because the London 2012 organizers got help from highly trained professionals.
First, CH2M Hill, one of the world’s largest engineering companies based in Denver, Colorado, led a three-company international consortium called CLM that provided program management services for planning, design, and construction of the infrastructure and venues for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Together with its British partners Laing O’ Rourke, Britain’s biggest construction company, and Mace Ltd., a construction management company, CH2M Hill supervised the construction of about $14 billion worth of 22 sports venues, including the 80,000-seat Olympic stadium—the centerpiece of the 2012 Summer Games, the 6,000-seat velodrome for cycling events, the 17,500-seat Aquatic Centre and the Olympic Village, where 17,000 athletes and officials stayed during the Games.
The consortium also did upgrades and the modifications to existing London venues, including historic locations such as Wimbledon and Lord’s Cricket Ground.
It is the same American company which helped First Philippine Industrial Corp. (FPIC) clean up the oil leak from its pipeline that affected certain areas in Barangay Bangkal, Makati. It also worked on four other Olympics prior to London: Atlanta in 1996, Salt Lake City in 2002, Beijing in 2008 and Vancouver in 2010.
The London Games, however, marked the company’s deepest involvement with the Olympics.
In an article in the Denver Post published recently, “CH2M Hill leads among three Colorado firms playing major roles in the Olympics,” said Jacqueline Rast, president of international operations of CH2M Hill.
London Olympics organizers wanted to leave a legacy, noting that sustainability has been a theme of the projects, not only from an environmental standpoint but also from the economic and social standpoints.
“We wanted to be environmentally friendly, not generate a lot of waste, not leave a lot of carbon footprint to get materials to sites, and leave land and rivers clean,” Rast explained.
It made sure that the sports venues built would be usable after the Olympics and not become white elephants like what happened in the stadiums built in Sydney, Athens and Beijing. It is likewise already beginning operations for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Here in the Philippines, CH2M Hill has been in the news as FPIC’s partner in the long-term environmental remediation program in Barangay Bangkal.
The company designed the government-approved multiphase extraction (MPE) system that is being used for the recovery and treatment of petroleum leakage from the FPIC pipeline, which affected the West tower condominium and nearby streets in Barangay Bangkal.
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