Monday, January 28, 2008

Water Cube: Beijing '08

Just look at this little beauty!

This is the Water Cube, being built in Beijing right now for the '08 Olympics.

When finished, it will house all swimming and diving events.

China is really taking green-construction seriously, and this gem of a building only helps cement that reputation.

"(BEIJING, Dec. 26) -- The National Aquatics Center, or the "Water Cube," fully represents the concept of "Green Olympics," in terms of architecture, outside layer engineering, environmental protection in the areas of material, energy and water resources as well as the indoor environmental quality, according to a BOCOG official.

The project is featured by the reasonable and efficient application of clean energies, said Yu Xiaoxuan, deputy director of the Venue and Environment Department of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG).

The "Water Cube" absorbs solar radiation and reduces thermal loss, guarantees the incoming of most of the sunlight which serves as the thermal source of swimming pool water, Yu said in a recent interview with the press.

The maximum use of natural ventilation and lighting features the environmental design of the project's outside surface, to ensure temperature and humidity control in different sections of the swimming pool and provision of comfortable indoor environment for athletes and spectators, Yu added.

He said the architects skillfully took water use into consideration, ensuring the maximum and efficient utilization and recycle of water and protection of its quality and environment. The advanced water treatment system enables the water quality to meet the national standard and the rigid standards of International Amateur Swimming Federation (FINA) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

According to Yu, guided by the concept of sustainable development, constructors choose innovative energy-saving materials and products to reduce inside and outside pollution.

The realization of "green Olympics" in the "Water Cube" project set a good example for other Olympic venues and the construction of Beijing's urban projects, Yu believed.

The project uses the state-of-the-art ETFE material which is light but very strong. The blue bubbles outside the National Aquatics Center comprise over 3,000 air cushions, which look like an entirety but actually they are relatively independent from each other, providing convenience for replacement of individual cushions when needed.

The swimming pool is 13 meters deep, which can reduce the interference of water temperature variation, according to project manager Sun Hongzhuang. The temperature of swimming pool is projected to be kept at 28 degrees Celsius, the best suitable for swimmers, Sun said.

During the Olympic Games, the venue can sit 17,000 spectators. "We've made lots of personalized treatment to let the spectators at every corner to see athletes' performance," said Sun."

Wowee, the present is starting to feel a lot like the future.

Does that make sense? A rapidly developing country getting stringent about environmental impact and its citizenry working alongside to pick up the slack? Must be the future. Things that great can't happen today.

Or can they?!

Go China!

Here's the site for the Water Cube.

No comments: