London 2012 Velodrome


The design concept for the building sought to recreate the efficiency of the bicycle in its engineering design, not through mimicry, but by eliminating all but the essential.

One of the key challenges posed to the engineering of systems and environmental performance of the London 2012 Velodrome was to contribute to the design of the fastest track in the world providing stable and slightly higher temperatures for the cyclists, whilst keeping spectators comfortable throughout the year.

Both passive and active systems had to meet strict environmental conditions required by the cyclists, considering the requirement of high temperatures (24-28 °C) to go faster on the track to achieve record breaking times.

To comply with these purposes, our strategy to design a heating system composed of three main elements: underfloor heating in the infield providing background heating for most of the time; under seat heated air supply providing extra heating and fresh air; and jetted heated air supply to allow quick conditioning of the arena.

All parts of the ventilation systems are integrated into the void below the elevated seating area, minimising duct runs and using the space as both mechanical and natural ventilation plenum, with the main arena fully naturally ventilated in mid-season and summer. Inlets and outlets are seamlessly integrated into the building façades which in combination with exposed thermal mass in strategic locations allow passive cooling of the building in the warm season.

Rooflights in the main arena were optimized to provide sufficient daylight for training for most of the year. Special diffusing glass was used to prevent patches of sunlight on the track and to give an internal high level of diffuse light.

Energy efficient artificial lighting linked to an intelligent control system can be used to provide elevated lighting levels for major events.

The assessment of the overall energy performance of the building showed results that surpass the target set out by the ODA, reaching a 30% reduction in carbon emissions in relation to Part L 2006.


London, UK


New build sports venue


21,700 m2

Our Role

MEP Consultant/ Environmental Consultant/ Lighting Consultant


Strict environmental conditions


Embodied energy


BREEAM Excellent


Natural ventilation


Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA)


Hopkins Architects

Structural Engineer

Expedition Engineering

Project Manager

CLM Delivery Partner

Cost Consultant

CLM Delivery Partner

Main Contractor


Archmarathon Sport Award

ArchDaily Building of the Year Award (Sports Architecture)

CIBSE Awards: Judges Special Award for Engineering

Civic Trust Award: Special Award for Olympic & Paralympic Projects

Design Museum: Architecture Design of the Year

Structural Steel Design Award

WAN Award, Civic Building Sector

Elle Decoration: British Design Awards, First Place

Condé Nast Traveller Innovation & Design Awards: Infrastructure Winner

LABC Building Excellence Awards: Best Sustainable Project

ICE London Civil Engineering Award

New London Award: 'Play' Winner

AJ100: Building of the Year Award

RIBA Regional Award: London Client of the Year

Architecture and Design Business Stadium Award

Stirling Prize: People's Choice

BCI Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award

The Institution of Structural Engineers Supreme Award for Engineering Excellence

London 2012 Velodrome

"This is a 'one-of-a-kind' project that delivered excellent building performance which, in turn, contributed to outstanding and world beating performance on the track.”