Olympic Athletes Village:

Aerial image of the Olympic Athletes VillageColt natural ventilation and solar shading systems for the ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture and observation towerRooftop attenuated extract systemColt mechanical smoke ventilation system in an atrium in block N09 of the Olympic Athletes VillageView of the courtyard of the Olympic Athletes Village

Project Details:

  • Location: London
  • Main Contractor: Lend Lease
  • Consulting Engineers: Wallace Whittle, Hilson Moran, Lend Lease
  • Architects: KDS, Denton Cork Marshall, Patel Taylor, Panter Hudspith, Glen Howells, Toh Shimazaki Architects & Lifschutz Davidson Sandylands.


To protect accommodation blocks and associated car parks with effective smoke control systems: shaft and extended corridor systems for protection from smoke for the corridors and lobbies, and car park ventilation for smoke control and the reduction of fumes. To provide natural ventilation and shading to the ArcelorMittal Orbit Tower.

Colt supplied Car Park Ventilation and Shaft / Extended Corridor fire fighting / day to day ventilation systems to eight of the residential blocks at the Athletes Village for the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. The Village includes 2,800 homes in 62 blocks of apartments in a £2 billion development. Our works comprise 77 Shaft / Extended Corridor ventilation systems and 8 underground Car Park Ventilation systems.

We were involved at an early stage to advise the design and development teams on the optimum way of protecting the blocks and their associated car parks.

We won the order through excellent design capability and having the flexibility to satisfy a number of demanding scheme design and bespoke equipment challenges. This included the need to provide a high degree of attenuation to the extract fans for the accommodation blocks, so that they could be used for day to day ventilation as well as smoke extraction. This requirement to limit noise egress to 45dB(A) at 3m at the nearest balcony involved Colt carrying out rigorous acoustic tests.

The extract fans themselves were pre-assembled as single modules. This both saved installation time and reduced the number of contractors required on a site where space and security were key issues.

In each case we provided a full design of the entire system backed up by CFD. Space was saved by using Colt Shaft systems and Extended Corridor systems. Our design also saved space in the car parks since we were able to demonstrate that main extract fans would not required, and that smoke and fume could be extracted naturally. Besides reducing cost, this also dealt with the design challenge of keeping noise egress to a minimum.

We also provided natural ventilation and solar shading to the viewing gallery of the ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture and observation tower.

We were able to provide the appropriate project management capacity, with a dedicated engineering team working alongside the other trade contractors on this site.

Colt is a member of the London 2012 Supplier Recognition Scheme, with the designation of “Supplier of smoke control systems (Olympic Village) to the London 2012 Games”.

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