Sure everyone is excited about the Olympics but have you been wondering who is thinking about the sustainability of the infrastructure that’s required to build the venues and transportation for the Olympics? Turns out, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has been for the last 6 years. In 1996, following the two previous pillars, sport and culture, the environment became the third pillar of Olympism. The magazine, “Green Source” published an article, Going for Green in their May/June 2012 issue reviewing green features and ranking the Olympics over the past 6 years. The following are some of the highlights from the article:
- Sydney received the bronze. Features included use of recycled materials, rainwater re-use, using existing infrastructure for some of the events rather than building new facilities, the Olympic Village although abandoned for a while is now being used as a residential neighborhood.
- Beijing took silver with cutting edge technology in green design. The Athlete’s village was LEED Gold Certified under Neighborhood Development, the water cube used solar energy for heating the pools and is currently being used as a water park
- London is striving for the gold with their planned designs and monitoring methods, but only time will tell. Currently in the works are plans to quickly transition the facilities into usable spaces for the community so there will not be wasted infrastructure that will be sitting vacant for the following years.
While you are watching the Olympics this summer don’t forget to think about all the travel, energy and materials it took to put the event into place. Keep your eye out for green features designed into the venues while you are watching the athletes compete!