When Careys went to the Olympics


As we celebrate our 50th anniversary this year, we’re incredibly proud of how far we’ve come. Over the past five decades, we’ve grown from driving to our first projects in London in a single transit van to helping to build some of the UK’s most recognisable landmarks.

  • The Carey Group
  • Thursday 14th March 2019

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Along the way, we were incredibly honoured to be able to contribute to the success of one of the biggest sporting events in history – the London Olympic Games.

London 2012

The 2012 London Olympic Games welcomed over 10,000 athletes from 204 different countries, competing in 302 different sporting events.

Careys was thrilled to help support, prepare for and deliver the biggest UK sporting event of the century. It was truly our privilege to participate in the transformation of the capital for the Olympics.

For this once-in-a-generation project, we had the opportunity to deliver a wide selection of specialist works. These included enabling and public realm works on the athlete’s village, screed topping of the Olympic stadium and utility works on Eton Manor – the designated warm-up venue for competitors in the aquatics events.

Helping to build the tallest steel structure in the UK

Standing between the Olympic Stadium and the Aquatics centre, the Olympic Orbit towers 115m high, providing a public viewing gallery with stunning views of London and the Olympic park. Careys Civil Engineering was contracted by principal contactor, Sir Robert McAlpine Construction to construct 10 linking structural pile caps to carry the plinths, which support the 1,400-ton steel structure.

During the course of carrying out our work, we needed to deal with snowy and freezing conditions. As is customary for Careys, we used an innovative approach to help us overcome the challenges presented by the extreme weather. For example, we applied ‘hot water’ concrete and used heated tents to enable our critical construction phase to continue efficiently and successfully.

Stratford Energy Centre

It was our responsibility to construct the Kings Yard Energy Centre and Stratford City Energy Centre in preparation for the Games. In order to make certain that it would be finished by 2012, we began working on this project in 2008.

The two energy centres formed part of a 40-year initiative, designed to provide an efficient, low-carbon supply of heating and cooling for the entire Olympic park area, including the Westfield retail development. They will also offer support for the future regeneration of the Stratford area.

The respective sites for each of the energy centres were situated in close proximity to Network Rail assets. So, we liaised closely with Network Rail in order to mitigate any potential disruption.

Our scope of works on this project consisted of providing piled foundations, drainage installation and reinforced concrete, as well as carrying out the installation of mechanical and electrical plant.

We were gratified to receive an award from CLM consortium for the quality of the safety on-site. This honour recognised our successful delivery of the years-long project without having any reportable accidents on-site.

Almost seven years after the London Olympics took place, we are still so proud to have worked on such an iconic project with its truly lasting legacy.

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