Going Green: Vancouver 2010

Utah Olympic ParkThe following is an excerpt from an article originally published at vancouver2010.com:

Today the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) received the Excellence for Green Building award from the Globe Foundation and the World Green Building Council. The award — handed out during a ceremony at the newly constructed Trout Lake Arena — is in recognition of the Organizing Committee’s leadership in establishing green building criteria for the 2010 Winter Games venues. In addition, 15 architects who designed the venues also received awards of recognition for their excellence in green building practices.

Walter Francl is one of the leading venue architects to receive the award for work on the Trout Lake Arena, a figure skating training venue for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. His work there began approximately four years ago with several groups including the forward-thinking clients of the surrounding Trout Lake community and the Vancouver Park Board.

“They’re a very kind and giving community group that spends a lot of volunteer time organizing and fostering the recreational and social activities in the community,” says Francl. “The ability to deliver to them something that they really see as a big improvement and something that they, as a community, can be proud of is something that I take a lot of personal pleasure in. That’s the most satisfaction you can get in this profession. And there’s the fact that it happens to be related to the Olympics in some small way. That is nice as well.”

Francl says the biggest challenge in creating an environmentally low impact arena is exactly that: it is an arena. Ice rinks are essentially big refrigerators with a hungry appetite for energy and a producer of much excess heat. To alleviate the situation, the waste heat from the rink will be used to heat the soon-to-be-built swimming pool in the community centre next door. Francl is presently working on the plans for the new pool system and the community centre that will be revamped post-Games in 2010.

The power for the 2010 Winter Games will have little to no net carbon impact. BC Hydro will provide clean power for the Games, which means carbon dioxide emissions from power generation for the venues will be reduced close to zero net carbon emissions, the lowest level yet for an Olympic Winter Games.

Click here to read the entire article.

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