Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Eco-Gold: Olympic Village Bestowed with LEED Award!

China is on top of the medal tally at the Beijing Olympics and it seems that it intends to stay there by the time the flame starts its journey to London. Irrespective of who finish on top of the tally with the highest number of gold and China has bagged a golden honor with the way it has built and maintained its Olympic Village. U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson presented Chinese officials with a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold award for the 2008 Olympic village and that is one ‘Olympic Gold’ that China can only claim to have!

This is indeed being dubbed as the ‘Green Olympics’ and ironically so as Beijing is one of the world most polluted cities before the games started and there was a frantic effort to clean things up. While the Olympic Village is a segment of the celebrated athletic event’s environmentally-friendly planning and that is a major goal for the Olympic Village Eco environment was that its practices and techniques would also serve as a model for future development in China.

Currently housing 16,000 Olympic athletes, the 160-acre site contains 42 residential buildings ranging between six- and seven community centers, three commercial and retail buildings, a health center, library, gyms, swimming pools, tennis courts, and a kindergarten. Using high levels of insulation, energy efficient windows and a system that collects and re-uses rainwater for heating and cooling and these buildings are 50 percent more energy efficient than most other buildings in Beijing.

The apartments are also partially powered by solar energy and use grey water to flush toilets and vegetated green roofs make up more than 60 percent of the impervious surface on rooftops and 95 percent of parking was constructed underground are freeing up area for open green space as well as a network of pedestrian and bicycle pathways. What is nice to know is that the village is being used as a model for future villages in China and for that reason alone the LEED accolade is well deserved. Via


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