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Article Date: 16th May 2012

Dow Building Solutions - The Copper Box – London 2012 Olympic Handball Arena

Thermal Insulation - Wall Insulation - Roof Insulation - Floor Insulation

Dow Handball Arena

The Copper Box will be the venue for Handball, Goalball and the Fencing discipline of Modern Pentathlon during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

With a vibrant, multi-coloured interior and an exterior clad with recycled copper, the building has a distinct appearance which has been likened to a jewellery box. Designed as a permanent structure, LOCOG and the ODA have planned that The Copper Box will be adapted to become a multi-use sports centre for community use, athlete training and events after the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Because the architect wanted to protect the integrity of the box-shaped design, it was important that rooftop building services equipment such as air conditioning units were shielded from view.

The solution was to place all rooftop services equipment above the seating areas around the edge and create a high parapet to create an uninterrupted view of the rectangular building structure from ground level. This also meant noise and vibration from such equipment would be limited to the perimeter area rather than over the central playing courts. However, compressing such equipment into a smaller space meant specifying insulation with extra strength in order to help meet structural as well as thermal efficiency demands.

The STYROFOAM Solution
The thermal insulation material specified for this demanding requirement was FLOORMATE 500-A, a STYROFOAM-A grade with very high compressive strength, sustaining high design load capability.

Using FLOORMATE 500-A in specific, highly loaded locations on The Copper Box roof meant that heavy building services equipment could be limited to the perimeter and visually ‘sunk-in’ to the building by hiding it with high parapets.

FLOORMATE 500-A is not only able to support heavy machinery such as air conditioning units but also offers low water absorption and resistance to freeze/thaw cycles, making it suitable for rooftop conditions. The material is often used in cold stores and warehouses where it offers thermal efficiency and is also strong enough to cope with the demands of heavily loaded shelving, rails and vehicle movements.

All STYROFOAM-A materials offer durability and long-term moisture resistance – important in this case for a building which needs not only to cope with the demands of high level competition but the needs of the local community once the athletes have collected their medals and gone home.

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