Beijing National Stadium – ‘Bird’s Nest’
Photo credit: Guo Lei/Xinhua
The Olympic organizers are trying to make the Olympic Games environmentally friendly and Beijing a model city for using green technologies, zero net emissions and sustainable architecture. As a part of these efforts, more than a quarter of the energy used at Olympic venues is coming from renewable sources.
Beijing’s Olympic Village is a great example of sustainable community development. All seven main Olympic stadiums are equipped with solar generators capable of outputting 480 kilowatts of energy at any given moment. The entire hot-water supply for the Olympic Village will be powered by solar energy. Photovoltaic panels are incorporated on the stadium walls and roofs for most of the outdoor lighting. Also, the main stadiums will receive power from Beijing’s first wind farm.
Beijing National Stadium – ‘Bird’s Nest’ includes a rainwater collection arrangement, a natural ventilation system and its upper surface is clad with Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) roof panels, that let in natural light. The stadium is referred to as the ‘Bird’s Nest’ because of its saddle-shaped steel roof and interwoven façade
The spectacular-looking structure called “Water Cube” looks like a building made of bubble-wrap. It is officially known as the National Aquatics Center and is completely surrounded with ETFE pillows. It is expected to cut energy use by 30 percent and has been built so that after the Olympic Games to be converted easily to a shopping area and leisure center.
The idea for the Beijing’s “Green Olympics” makes perfect sense because China sees its energy costs rising and energy sources dwindling, as well as significant damage to the environment. And the so-called “Green Olympics”, although will not solve China’s environmental issues, they could point the way to a more sustainable future, according to officials and experts.
China is already a world leader in many renewable energy technologies, but so far many of the green technologies have been for export only, because they are too expensive for the country to use itself. China, for example, led the world in manufacturing and utilisation of solar water heaters and energy efficient light bulbs. It is also on the way to becoming the world leader in wind turbine manufacturing and installation.