Thursday, 25 February 2010

Green Buildings: Olympic Event Legacy

Richmond Olympic Oval

Ever wonder if people read and respond to those comments you leave on blogs? Well, I found out today they do!

About a week ago I left a comment on Tourism Vancouver's Olympic blog, asking for some insight about 'greening' the Games. Lo and behold they actually responded with a post about The Green Games! The post includes a brief video profiling some of the green buildings and neighbourhoods developed for the event. Thanks, TVan!

I've written about about some of the operational issues with the Games: sponsorship, waste management, transportation, and aboriginal engagement. But what about how the Games have impacted the built environment?

Events, in this rare case can be seen as a catalyst for ensuring sustainable design elements are included in the built environment. Unfortunately most events deal with the cards they are dealt when it comes to infrastructure in a host destination...they can't create their own deck of new facilities like the Olympics can. The Olympics, however, is a different story.

To its credit the Vancouver 2010 Games has made good use of re-purposing existing facilities, including the Opening Ceremonies, hockey, and speed and figure skating venues. New facilities, as is evidenced in the video, have been built with a goal of achieving LEED certification. Great examples include the new Vancouver Convention Center expansion, Athlete's Village and Richmond Oval.

This extends to Whistler where it is estimated the population pressure on this small resort town has increased by seven times to accommodate athletes and visitors for the Games. The resort is featuring a new composting facility to handle organic waste, including sewage. Indeed there may be some athlete DNA sticking around in Whistler vegetation for many years to come.

1 comment:

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