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Legacy retro-fit to be part of £1 billion Olympic village plan

The successful bidder for the first block of the £1 billion Olympic Village will work on the project until all retrofitting of the development is complete.

Speaking at the Emap Games Briefing Olympic Delivery Authority chief executive David Higgins said that the package for Block 2, which is currently being tendered, will include all work until the building is fit for residential use.

He said: “We want the tier one package to be a complete one, which includes the structure, fit out and retrofitting.

“If the first block is a success, then we will roll it out across the rest.”

Olympic village developer Lend Lease has invited five firms to bid for the work including Bougyues, Galliford Try, Barratt East London, Wates and Ardmore Construction.

In total 11 blocks will be built as part of the project, all between eight and 10 storeys tall.

Initially there were plans to have two residential towers up to 30-storeys high. But the credit crisis and rules stating that athletes cannot stay higher than eight storeys above ground led Lend Lease and the ODA to limit the builds.

It is hoped that a large proportion of the build will be pre-fabricated, including the bathroom pods.

“We want contractors to come up with innovative methods,” said Mr Higgins. “And we need to take advantage of the current marketplace and see what value we can get from bulk buying.”

This means that the different blocks will contain similar elements, though each one is being design by a different architect.

During the Games apartments will be used to house athletes. In some instances the kitchens will be used as another bedroom, as athletes won’t be cooking themselves. Post-2012, all 11 buildings will be converted into residential apartments.

Mr Higgins said: “The retrofitting will probably go on for two to three years after the Games, so we need our partners to be able to plan a process for the Games mode to the legacy mode.”

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