Reaping the benefits

PUBLISHED: 01:30 31 July 2012 | UPDATED: 21:41 20 February 2013

Reaping the benefits

Reaping the benefits

Miles Waterscapes star at the Olympics

Miles Waterscapes star at the Olympics

Just as Olympic athletes are hoping to reap the benefits of years of hard training at London 2012, so is one local firm looking forward to seeing the results of their own two years of Olympic preparation.

When admiring crowds flood the Stratford complex for the first time on July 27, Miles Waterscapes can take satisfaction from knowing they have made their own special Olympic contribution.

The Great Ashfield-based firm has been involved in a variety of projects for the London 2012 Olympics, completing work on the South Park, the Olympic Stadium, Athletes Village and also on the Westfield Stratford shopping complex.

Much of the work has been tricky and complex to execute involving both the land and the rivers and has included dredging, lining, bio-engineering and sheet pile removal.

The main thrust of the work involved the riverbank next to the Aquatics Centre and Water Polo Arena.

Part one of the job involved re-profiling the existing bank using recycled crushed concrete. Next, various membranes and geogrids, wetland soils and other materials were laid to form a suitable base on which to grow coir products. These included pre-planted coir rolls and coir mats made from coconut fibre.

This specialist bio-engineering solution was chosen as it offers erosion protection for the riverbank which is more aesthetically pleasing, provides greater ecological diversity and is better value compared to traditional hard engineered erosion solutions.

The second part of the works was to remove the pilling sheets that were placed in the river along the bank as part of the enabling works.

This posed a particular challenge as the toe of the sheets were to remain, meaning they had to be cut below water. To achieve this, Miles used a specialist underwater plasma cutter, the only one in the country, running at up to 30,000oC, to cut the piles quickly and cleanly from a pontoon based on the water.

This was a cost effective and efficient method compared to the alternative of divers with thermic lances and proved the perfect solution to a tricky waterscaping problem.

Miles Waterscape is a family run business with over 90 years experience. Their areas of expertise include specialist consultancy, design, construction and renovation of lakes and other associated water features.
Tel: 01359 242356


Londons 2012 venue, which will host athletics, as well as the opening and closing ceremonies, has cost 500m to construct and covers 500 acres.

The London 2012 stadium will seat 80,000 people during the Games, however the capacity will be reduced to 25,000 after the Games.

The stadium is the first to be built on an island. The site for the stadium lies between rivers and tributaries and six footbridges will be used to access to the venue.

The stadium lies in a bowl dug out of the island site. During excavations, 800,000 tonnes of soil were removed enough to fill the Royal Albert Hall nine times.

Athletes from 205 different countries will compete in 26 Olympic sports and 20 Paralympic sports at the 2012 Games.

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