Renewable energy sources, self-powered street lighting, “eco-roofs” and other innovative eco-technologies are being used in the construction of the Olympic venues in Sochi. The full details are contained in the Fifth report on the implementation of “green” building standards, which has been uploaded to the official Sochi 2014 website. We will soon see the eco-initiatives set out in the report bearing fruit in terms of reducing the workload on the engineering and communications networks in the Olympic host city. The innovations, which are being tested at the Olympic venues, will reduce the impact of the Games on the environment and on natural resources, and will also contribute to establishing the material and non-material “green” legacy of the Games as the experience of these new environmental construction standards is shared throughout the entire country.
Use of solar power
The region where the 2014 Winter Games is going to be held – the city of Sochi – has significant potential in terms of the implementation of renewable energy sources such as solar power. This potential has been successfully applied at the new railway station in Adler, where solar-powered radiators and boilers have been installed, to service buildings, including the water-based heating systems. The use of solar power as a “green” alternative to traditional sources of energy will enable annual savings of up to 30% on heating costs, and will satisfy all of the venue’s requirements as regards hot water.
Energy-efficient and environmentally friendly LED spotlights – one of the key features of “green” construction – have been used widely in the lighting technologies applied at the Sochi 2014 sports and infrastructure venues. These LED spotlights use one tenth of the electricity used by filament lamps and half as much as luminescent lamps, and last for up to 50,000 hours.
In contrast with luminescent lamps, the light emitted by LEDs makes it possible to recreate the daylight spectrum extremely accurately. After use, there is no need for specialist recycling for the LED spotlights, as they do not contain toxic components.
The application of LED lighting is encouraged by international “green” building standards as a progressive technology, illustrating a responsible attitude to energy-saving and protection of the environment.
Integration of autonomous street lighting
The self-powered street-lighting technology, in which LEDs are used to provide light, whilst photo-electric transformers or wind generators are being used as a source of energy, has been widely applied throughout the grounds of the Olympic Park in Sochi. This technology was also successfully applied at the Games in Beijing and London.
The environmental benefits of this technology are numerous; it can be installed in sites that are remote from the established communications and stationary electricity network. The use of renewable sources of energy such as solar power and wind power mean a reduction in costs as the need for laying underground networks is removed. In addition service and maintenance costs are reduced as the automatic management of the lighting system shuts down the system during daylight hours.
In addition to its other advantages, the technology provides the capacity to transfer surplus electricity to the electricity network.
The Fifth report also contains information about the introduction of a range of other “green” building technologies, which, if applied, will lead to an increase in the service term of venues, reduce the costs of use, reduce the impact on the environment and support the region’s biodiversity.
New national eco-standard
The implementation of “green” construction standards as part of the preparations for the 2014 Games is not only going to form the basis of the environmental legacy of the Games, but has been incorporated in the new National Russian building standard, which came into force on March 1, 2013. This is the first time environmental efficiency requirements have been included in National Russian standard in the construction sector. It was created after a large project carried out jointly by SC “Olympstroy”, the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and the Russian Ministry of Regional Development.