London Eye completes £12.5m green revamp
Green business news - by GreenWise staff
8th May 2012
The UK’s number one paid for visitor attraction, the London Eye, yesterday completed a £12.5 million upgrade that will see the big wheel’s energy consumption and carbon emissions cut by more than a quarter.
The last of the 32 capsules
on the world’s largest cantilevered observation wheel
was put back in place last night, ending a three-year revamp of the iconic London
The overhaul, which was scheduled to be completed in time for the London 2012 Olympics, means the overall carbon footprint of the London Eye has been cut by 33 per cent. Electricity consumption has been reduced by 30 per cent against a target of 20 per cent. However, a target to reduce gas capacity by 20 per cent appears to have been missed as the the upgrade has only cut refrigerant gasses by 128 kilograms (kg) per capsule, against a target of 160 kg.
When Merlin Entertainments Group, the owner of the London Eye, announced the upgrade three years ago, it said it would be introducing a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system (HVAC) that would reduce gas capacity by 20 per cent by utilising chilled water systems as opposed to total refrigerated systems, while electricity consumption in the capsules would be cut by using free cooling and ventilation of ambient outside air.
In May 2009, the first capsules began to removed one by one and transported to Tilbury Docks in Essex, where they were loaded onto trucks to a workshop in Worcester to be updgraded.
Over the last three years, Merlin said approximately 110 designers, engineers, technicians and testers have worked on the project.
Planning for the upgrade began in 2005 to explore what could be done to improve both the experience for visitors and the longevity and the carbon footprint of the London Eye.
Commenting on the updgrade David Sharpe, divisional director (London) for the Merlin Entertainments Group, said: "It’s fantastic too see our hard work over the last five years, since planning began, finally come to fruition.
"Watching the 32nd upgraded capsule being attached last night was a proud moment and we’re very pleased we stuck to our deadline. No doubt there have been some Londoners wondering why capsules have been bobbing up and down the Thames periodically for the last three years, but it’s gratifying to know that our guests and the environment will enjoy an upgraded experience over the summer and beyond."
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