The Richmond Olympic Oval is known for many things, such as being the venue of the speed skating events during the 2010 Winter Olympics; proudly held in Richmond, Vancouver. Since the Olympic games have ended, the Richmond Olympic Oval is now the new hot spot for teens, and adults to work out and get fit. This beautiful sports center was built to qualify for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), and is definitely considered a “green building“.
WHAT IS A GREEN BUILDING?
In order for a building to be “green”, or in other words eco-friendly, it absolutely MUSTqualify for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. LEED is a certification program that evaluates how a building is designed to protect the environment from further negative impact, and to save natural resources from going to waste. Energy efficient commercial lighting, efficient heating and cooling systems, as well as “rubber roofs”, “white roofs”, or “flat roofs” (like what Tiocoat flat roof provides) are all perfect factors that helps buildings become more eco-friendly to the environment.
WHAT MAKES THE RICHMOND OLYMPIC OVAL GREEN?
The Richmond Olympic Oval is a perfect example of an eco-friendly building. It has many key elements that show the use of eco-friendly materials and machinery.
Let’s first talk about the Oval’s “refrigeration plant”. A refrigeration plant is a device that can be placed just about anywhere. They can be installed in facilities to keep the room cool, or even mounted on trucks! These special devices use gas, liquid, and mechanical energy to transfer heat from one place to another. The Oval uses one large refrigeration plant on the Olympic speed skating rink. The speed skating oval is equivalent to six international hockey rinks. In order to transfer the heat energy out of the water to create ice for the rink; you will need one big refrigeration plant. This device will then transfer the heat elsewhere in the building to prevent it from going to waste. This is a very smart way to save heat from going to waste.
A very large roof that collects rainwater and uses it to help address the project’s water needs, as well as reducing the amount of centralized drinking water supplies protects the Richmond Olympic Oval. The collected water then travels down the building’s pipes to supplement toilet flushing. Harvesting rainwater to use for toilet flushing is a very common way to save it from going to waste. The left over rainwater are then directed into a pond on the east side of the Oval, which provides a very attractive community.
One of the most spectacular elements incorporated into the Oval is the use of salvaged pine-beetle-kill wood for its beautifully made ceiling. Approximately one third of British Columbia’s pine forests are currently experiencing a major mountain pine beetle infestation. The mountain pine beetle is a small insect that lives most of its life in the inner bark of limber pine trees. They attack the trees in a large group to defeat the tree’s defence system, leaving it to die and decay. The Oval’s choice to use dead and decaying trees for their ceiling is a great demonstration of recycling. The Oval’s roof is known to be the largest surface ever-covered in beetle-affected wood. Whoever’s convinced that these types of wood is useless and cannot be turned into something beautiful obviously hasn’t seen the Oval yet!
The Richmond Olympic Oval was built by the Fraser River foreshore; this helps preserve trees along the Hollybridge Canal. It diverts recyclable construction materials away from the landfill, and incorporates the use of healthier building materials. Some examples are wood laminates, and sealants.
In conclusion, the Richmond Olympic Oval is a wonderful example for others out there who lack an eco-friendly environment. It’s not difficult planting a few more trees, or even changing your outdated lights to fluorescent ones! You can even help save the earth just by turning off the lights when you’re not in the room! It’ll be the easiest thing you’ll do all day.
*All photos used were found on Google*