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2012 London Olympics Go for the Green

with Its Energy Efficient, Sustainable, and Recyclable Design

Tomorrow the 2012 London Olympics will be officially underway, and the 500-acre Olympic Park constructed for the world competition is home to nine brand new sports facilities. With the enormous task of keeping tens of thousands of spectators cool, making sure the lights are on, and ensuring that hundreds of bathrooms are in good working order for the next several weeks, the London 2012 Organizing Committee and the Olympic Delivery Authority set out to build new facilities with energy efficient, sustainable, and recyclable designs. Here’s a rundown on how the London 2012 Olympics is cutting down the watts and water to keep the games clean, green, and energy efficient.

The Velodrome -- one of the most iconic and sustainable buildings ever built for an Olympic Games -- contains the indoor cycling track. It was built to hold 6,000 people and keep them cool this summer with a completely natural ventilation system using outside air. That’s right; no air conditioning required. In addition, the Velodrome uses natural lighting during the day to supplement fluorescent lighting, saving a lot of energy. Did we mention it collects rainwater for its main water usage with its sloped roof? Savvy indeed.

Then there is the Water Polo Arena , the first-ever dedicated water polo venue to be built for the games. The 5,000-person capacity arena sports a 37-meter pool and a uniquely sloped roof (from 25 meters down to 6 meters). But more interestingly, the arena was built sustainably in that it can (and will) be torn down immediately after the games, and the materials reused for construction. The building is made with polyvinyl chloride material, or PVC, which is easily recyclable.

by Erik Hyrkas

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