GOLD FOR CHINA: Olympic Village Receives LEED Award

by , 08/18/08

Amidst the excitement of athletic accomplishments at this year’s summer Olympics, a significant achievement for sustainable design was recognized as well. Last week, on Wednesday, August 13, U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson presented Chinese officials with a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold award for the 2008 Olympic village. The world-class development boasts a variety of sustainable features including solar panels, green roofs, and an extensive rainwater recycling system.


According to Michael Kwok, Olympic project director for Arup, a British-based architecture and engineering firm, “there was a general objective that this was the ‘Green Olympics.’” While the Olympic Village is a segment of the celebrated athletic event’s environmentally-friendly planning, a major goal for the Olympic Village was that its practices and techniques would also serve as a model for future development in China.

Currently housing 16,000 Olympic athletes, the 160-acre site contains 42 residential buildings ranging between six- and nine- stories, seven community centers, three commercial and retail buildings, a health center, library, gyms, swimming pools, tennis courts, and a kindergarten. Using high levels of insulation, energy efficient windows, and a system that collects and re-uses rainwater for heating and cooling, these buildings are 50 percent more energy efficient than most other buildings in Beijing. The apartments are also partially powered by solar energy and use greywater to flush toliets.

Developers also considered the conservation of water in the infrastructure of the village, planning for stormwater runoff, wastewater management, and open green space. Vegetated green roofs make up more than 60 percent of the impervious surface on rooftops, and 95 percent of parking was constructed underground, freeing up area for open green space as well as a network of pedestrian and bicycle pathways. Landscaping of outdoor spaces incorporates a water-efficient irrigation system and a selection of drought-resistant and native plants. The ample amount of green space also reduces the amount of stormwater runoff coming from the village.

Developers of the Olympic Village plan to convert the community into luxury apartments in early 2009, with 80 percent of the apartments already sold.

+ US Green Building Council

+ Official website of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games

Related Posts


or your inhabitat account below


  1. WAWAN October 15, 2008 at 6:07 am

    i want this blog to display photo ebout design in urban

  2. WAWAN October 15, 2008 at 6:04 am

    urban design

  3. Bashar August 29, 2008 at 1:23 am

    China’s steps toward creating a “sustainable, green” vision is certainly applauded. I find renewable technologies totally fascinating, and it’s great that China has embraced them toward the energy requirements of the Olympics. One can only hope that the legacy of the”Green Games” will spill over to the rest of the country, but I’m somewhat doubtful.

    China has a TON of work to do wrt its dependency on fossil fuels, and it has some major environmental disasters to quell. The people of China really deserve so much better than the flash-in-the-pan display shown at the “green” Olympics. It’s time the government put its money where its mouth is!

  • Read Inhabitat

  • Search Categories

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

  • Browse by Keyword

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
Federated Media Publishing - Home