Olympic Stadium to be Recycled into Shelter Developing World

The fabric 'wrap' that surrounds the London Olympic Stadium is to be recycled under a partnership between the Dow Chemical Company, Axion Recycling and UK building and development charity Article 25.

20 August 2012

The fabric 'wrap' that surrounds the London Olympic Stadium is to be recycled under a partnership between the Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW), Bramhall, Greater Manchester based recycling company Axion Recycling and UK building and development charity Article 25.

According to Dow, which supplied the panels, the textile wrap panels are slated for recycling and reuse projects in the UK, and shelter solutions for at-risk children in Uganda and Rio.

Over the past year, the chemical company said that with its partners it has created the new material for the stadium wrap, conducted extensive performance and application testing and identified viable post-Games use options.

The material was developed to meet LOCOG's Sustainable Sourcing Code and Temporary Material Guidelines.

Dow claimed that its Elastomer technology made it possible for the wrap to achieve a unique combination of durability, flexibility and fire performance, with the total wrap system, including steel cables and fixtures accounting for less than half of 1% of the stadium's total carbon footprint.

Good causes

Article 25 is a UK registered charity and NGO, which since 2006 has worked on over 50 construction assignments, from one-off centres for abandoned children to large-scale reconstruction after disasters.

In partnership with Article 25 Dow said that it is exploring the possibility of working with the Bola Pra Frente Institute in Brazil to construct a shaded community area at the organization's new facility in the Santa Cruz neighbourhood of Rio de Janeiro.

The Institute was created in 2000 to help children and teenagers from underprivileged communities through social programs focused on education, sports, arts and professional training.

Furthermore, the same sheltering solution will be used as part of Article 25's work with Jubilee Action at a vocational training and counselling centre for former child soldiers in Uganda.

Olympic legacy

Dow said that the stadium wrap panels will remain as much in their current shape as possible, keeping the look of the Games.

"These projects will build understanding about the importance of the use and reuse of materials in the global community," explained Robin Cross, director of projects and CEO of Article 25.

Dow said that it worked with the Building Research Establishment, UK (BRE) to screen and narrow the list of options for the post-Games use of the wrap. In its evaluation, BRE took into account various factors including waste creation, extent of reprocessing required, technical challenge, scale and end of second life use.

The chemical company is also working with Axion Recycling to implement additional projects for reuse or recycling of the wrap within the UK.

"We have already demonstrated that the stadium wrap can be recycled back into new plastic raw material in our Manchester factory. We look forward to developing other sustainable options for reuse of the wrap textile into beneficial applications in the Greater London region," added Axion director Keith Freegard.

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