The Role of Retrofit in the Delivery of a Sustainable Commonwealth Games

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Architecture and Design Scotland is currently developing an exhibition and event series that will celebrate the sustainability legacy of the XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. While the Games will be a spectacular display of world-class sporting success, it will also provide a unique opportunity for the people of Glasgow and Scotland in terms of a green legacy, demonstrating the potential of enhancing existing facilities and infrastructure.
A key aspect of winning the bid was that 70% of the venues already existed – like the transformation of Hampden Park, the upgrading of Scotstoun Sports Campus, the refurbishment of Edinburgh’s Commonwealth Pool and the adaptation of the Scottish Exhibition Centre complex. In terms of sustainability, using what you have makes an enormous difference as even using the latest techniques, it is hard to build from scratch and meet the highest standards of environmental responsibility. Also, by reusing what we have, we can focus the available money on creating new facilities in areas of need, improving the local environment around the existing venues and creating better transport routes between these locations.
Glasgow’s approach demonstrates that with the right attitude, it is not difficult or expensive to make a difference. The lessons can be applied anywhere – across Scotland or by any other small country that aspires to host an event such as this. Rather than starting from scratch and creating new venues at huge expense a longer lasting impact can be made by making the most of what you already have. Glasgow, with its existing sporting history is making the most of the assets that it already has, and the 2014 Commonwealth Games will mainly take place in venues that already exist.

By reusing what we’ve got and thinking about smarter solutions, the Games is already off to a flying start and that’s a lesson we are happy to share.” Gareth Talbot – Glasgow 2014 Environment and Sustainability Manager.

This exhibition will open on the 11th April 2014 at the Lighthouse in Glasgow. It will demonstrate how these projects contribute to the success of the games while creating a legacy that will benefit the citizens of Glasgow, the people of Scotland and visitors for years to come.

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