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Olympic diving platform shows off the versatility of concrete

One of the most iconic venues built for the London 2012 Olympic Games was the Aquatics Centre.

The London Legacy Development Corporation has confirmed that it will be staying in place once the redevelopment of the Aquatics Centre is complete, ensuring it will be used by the general public in future.

A great deal of concrete was used throughout the construction process, both in the building itself and in the diving platform. This unique six-board platform was made from 462 tonnes of concrete, and it was all poured on site.

Lafarge Tarmac provided the concrete and oversaw the pour, with its Agilia ready-mixed concrete used for the job.

“These types of projects are usually precast, but the architect wanted to use high-quality self-compacting concrete,” says Lafarge Tarmac Readymix sector manager for the South Paul Betts.

Mr Betts arranged all of the onsite and offsite trials and was personally involved in 98 per cent of the pours. “We had to conduct several trials because the concrete had to be of such a high quality,” he says.

Weather assisted

The elements also played their part in complicating the project. “We used cold water in the mix during summer and hot water during winter in order to maintain the right temperature for the concrete,” Mr Betts says.

“These types of projects are usually precast, but the architect wanted to use high-quality self-compacting concrete”

Paul Betts, Lafarge Tarmac Readymix

The logistics of getting the concrete to site were also difficult because Lafarge was based offsite, so had to mix the concrete then bring it to site.

“It took one hour and 40 minutes from batching the concrete up to arriving on site,” Mr Betts says.

“This meant the concrete was already quite old by the time we came to pour it, but the concrete’s mix design gave it high fluidity that made it resistant to segregation. It’s able to last several hours.”

The platform and its concrete design formed an integral part of the arena’s design that caught the eye during the games.

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