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Solar panels for tower block dominating 2012 Olympics skyline

PUBLISHED: 17:47 09 March 2009 | UPDATED: 14:10 05 October 2010

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A STRIKING new facade including a wall of solar panels will shortly dominate the East London skyline just five miles from the 2012 Olympics site. A £7.5 million refurbishment is now under way at the 23-storey Ferrier Point in Canning Town, the tallest building in Newham.

A STRIKING new façade including a wall of solar panels will shortly dominate the East London skyline just five miles from the 2012 Olympics site.

A £7.5 million refurbishment is now under way at the 23-storey Ferrier Point in Canning Town, the tallest building in the East London borough of Newham.

Half the south-facing wall is being covered in nearly 3,000sq ft of photovoltaic cells, contributing to the communal electricity needs for the 115 homes as well as the lifts, hallway lighting and reception desk.

The rest of the tower block is being clad with a coloured aluminium panels, giving the 1960s structure a distinctive appearance, but will also incorporate extra insulation to reduce heating costs.

But there’s no scaffolding. The developers, Rydon Construction, are using mast climbers’ travelling up and down the face of the building, similar to the cradles used to clean tower block windows, to lift the new cladding, windows and solar panels into position.

The refurbishment is part of the £3.7 billion regeneration of Canning Town and Custom House by Newham Council with up to 10,000 new homes and both town centres modernised, expected to be finished by summer next year.

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