“Green Olympics” – Beijing 2008

Beijing National Stadium - 'Bird's Nest'
Beijing National Stadium – ‘Bird’s Nest’
Photo credit: Guo Lei/Xinhua

The 2008 Summer Olympics in China are in their apogee and they are drawing a lot of attention. Taking into account a massive global audience, the Beijing Olympic organizers are hoping to focus our attention to climate changes and popularize the idea of using eco-friendly technologies. The “Green Olympics” may help change peoples attitudes and set standards for future building projects in China and around the world.

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.

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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. I really do hope that China will make the efforts neccessary to green their nation. The expense and struggle they had with the pollution in Bejing should give them a strong indication of how difficult it is to undo things than the cost of doing them right the first time. If they do well in the follow though I hope our government will watch and learn.
    Great article thanks

  2. It’s a shame then that they had to play around with natural water supply outside of Beijing and reduce the amount of water available to farmers when they built the olympic stadiums. China has certainly learnt about public relations and they put on a very tight olympic event. But at what expense?

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