Vancouver – For 16 days and beyond
At the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, the world’s best winter athletes will compete in six competition venues in the greater Vancouver region. Some of these venues were pre-existing but a number of others were built or adapted especially for the Games. These new venues have been designed for more than just 16 days of competition and will leave a long-term sustainable legacy to the region.
Leaving a Legacy
Three of the venues with the most obvious legacy benefits from these Games are the Vancouver Olympic Centre, the UBC Thunderbird Arena and the Richmond Olympic Oval. The Vancouver Olympic Centre, which will host curling this winter, was built on the site of an existing community centre, and after the Games will become a multi-purpose community centre for local residents, hosting a hockey rink, curling rink, a swimming pool, fitness centre and library. The UBC Thunderbird Arena has provided the University of British Columbia with a refurbished rink, a new training rink and an arena with 7,500 seats that can be used for hockey, concerts or other events. It will not only be fully exploited by the university community, but is also regularly used by the local community for local hockey leagues. The Richmond Olympic Oval post-Games will be a flexible multi-purpose facility that will benefit the local community in a number of ways but particularly through its multi-sport and wellness facilities.
The new and renovated Vancouver competition venues have also been designed to a very high standard of sustainability. Cypress Mountain, which will host the freestyle skiing and snowboard competitions, benefited from smart site selection with the runs being built on an existing ski area, and wetland plant species of local significance being relocated before building began. The roof of the Oval was produced using salvaged British Columbia wood that was damaged by pine-beetle infestation; and rain water and heat from the building will be captured and reused. The Vancouver Olympic Centre will also reuse heat and rainwater, and is aiming to be a net-zero green space loss building. The City of Vancouver is targeting LEED “Gold” green building certification for this facility once the post-Games conversion is completed. In addition to the six competition venues, Vancouver will also play host to a number of non-competition venues, including training venues and the Olympic Village. The Village is the first phase in a model sustainable community to be built in the Southeast False Creek. It is expected to house approximately 3,000 residents post-Games in 1,100 units, including 250 affordable housing units and 100 rental units. The City of Vancouver is targeting LEED Gold standard for all of the Village buildings, except the community centre, which is targeting LEED Platinum. The Village also has a number of other sustainable features, such as green roofs, creation of wildlife habitat and water efficiency programmes. Three training venues – Britannia Centre, Killarney Centre and Trout Lake Centre – will be used by athletes to prepare for their competitions and, thanks to the Games, they have all received upgrades that will allow the local communities to benefit from them for many years to come.