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South Korea Wins a Gold Medal for Sustainability

Energy Live News
By Jonny Bairstow

Image: Singulyarra / Shutterstock

Image: Singulyarra / Shutterstock

South Korea should win a gold medal for its energy efficiency successes in its hosting of the Winter Olympics.

That’s the verdict from the Alliance to Save Energy (ASE), which says the PyeongChang Organising Committee for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (POCOG) has managed to cut carbon intensity through the careful management of transportation and accommodation.

The group says the recent construction of a 120-kilometre high-speed railway connecting the site of the games to important cities and airports means trains can reduce the carbon footprint of passengers to an eighth of what they would generate travelling in petrol or diesel vehicles.

POCOG predicts 6,654 tonnes of emissions can be saved if 420,000 visitors use the railway rather than personal vehicles.

It also signed an agreement with the Korea Electric Power Corporation to provide staff with 150 electric vehicles (EVs) and 24 rapid charging stations.

These will remain after the event finishes, providing infrastructure to support the continued use of efficient EVs.

POCOG also built 11 green sports facilities, designed to consume less energy and reduce pollution throughout their life cycle, from design to construction and maintenance.

These include the Gangneung Ice Arena, which ASE says saves energy through LED lighting, efficient insulation, airtight doors and windows and a water circulation system.

Read the full story here.

First ‘Zero-Emissions’ Winter Olympics Kicks off in South Korea

Climate Action

2018.02.09-ZeroEmissionsOlympics-IMAGE

Image source: Climate Action. Photo Credit: 2018 Olympics.

The 23rd Winter Olympic games has now opened in what it is hoped will be one of the most sustainable events in the tournament’s history.

The games, taking place in PyeongChang, South Korea, has sustainable thinking at its heart with a goal of becoming the first zero-emissions event in its history.

Not only has it procured 190 megawatts of wind power to meet more than 100 per cent of its energy needs, but all six stadiums have been awarded with ‘green-building’ certifications. Organisers have ensured that a forest area twice the size of the event has been restored, and the Olympic Park has been built on the site of an old landfill, covering 86,696 square meters.

Speaking at a forum this week, International Olympic Committee member Mario Pescante said this year’s games shares the objective of furthering “the peaceful development of humanity”

Read the full story.

Building the Green Olympics

By Mark Spence
Construction Global

Photo/Rendering Credit: LA 2028 Organizing Committee

Photo/Rendering Credit: LA 2028 Organizing Committee

Following the recommendations contained in Agenda 2020 by the IOC, and its request that candidate cities must present projects closely adhering to their long-term social, financial and environmental planning needs, now, more than ever, ‘greenness’ will be a vital cornerstone of any winning Olympic bid. With this in mind, what new measures, techniques and approaches can we expect to see implemented from the 2024 cycle onwards? 

The history of the Olympics is littered with what could be considered failures. Ghost town Olympic villages, redundant stadiums and a sheer lack of concrete evidence of genuine sustainability from previous Games, highlight some of the issues endured by previous hosts. It’s hardly surprising then that Boston, Budapest, Rome and Hamburg all pulled their bids for the 2024 games mid-race, fearing high costs and local opposition.

So, what will Paris and LA do differently?

The Paris masterplan

“For us it is quite simple. Our vision is the most sustainable Games ever,” Paris bid co-Chair and member of the IOC’s Sustainability and Legacy Commission, Tony Estanguet, told the South China Morning Post in January. “We will also have low carbon installations for the rare venues we have to build and we will use specific materials to reduce the overall carbon footprint.” These claims are backed up by the Paris committee’s aims in their project program including:

  • 100% bio-based materials
  • 100%green energy during the Games
  • Over 26 hectares of biodiversity created on the Olympic sites in Seine-Saint-Denis

In addition, architects, Populous and engineers, Egis, will mastermind the construction of 38 Olympic and Paralympic venues across Paris. Their masterplan will involve the use of a number of existing buildings in the city and see temporary venues installed in some of the capital’s most famous attractions. The Eiffel Tower and Champs-Élysées as well as the aforementioned River Seine will all become backdrops for events.

Central to the winning Paris bid is the idea of using existing infrastructure, more specifically, venues and temporary structures. Indeed, the only new major construction will be an aquatics centre. Crucially, these ambitions are echoed by the LA 2028 committee’s proposals.

Radical reuse

LA 2028 has delivered a comprehensive sustainability program built on the concept of ‘radical reuse’. Essentially this idea focuses on the use of LA’s existing world-class venues, rather than creating any new permanent structures. Executive Director of Sustainability and Legacy, Brence Culp, told Global Construction: “Radical reuse is the core principle of the LA 2028 Sustainability Program. It refers to LA 2028’s plan that requires no new permanent construction. Every facility of our Games Plan, from sports venues, to the Olympic Village at UCLA, to the Media Village and other media facilities at the University of Southern California (USC), already exists, will exist independently of the Games, or will be temporary. This approach allows LA 2028 to avoid the environmental and carbon impact of the large construction projects typically associated with the Games.”

Read the full story here.

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