Beijing 2008 Olympics: US–China collaboration on greening the Olympic Village

The selection of China to host the 2008 Summer Olympic Games opened the way for increasing international cooperation and understanding on clean energy technologies with a view toward presenting a “high-tech” global sports event. Building on a longstanding history of engagement on energy science and technology, the United States and China seized upon the opportunity to broaden areas for collaboration that could further China’s sustainable development goals for the Olympics.

As part of this effort, the United States and China facilitated the “greening” of the Olympic Village by developing a micro-energy building and undertaking an assessment of the Olympic Village against an internationally recognized performance rating system.

Overall, it proved to be amost rewarding interaction that provided a new perspective and improved focus for future cooperative activities between the United States and China.  Moreover, on July 15, 2008, theOlympic Village was awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) certification at the Gold level by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The entire process from site planning and design to construction has clearly demonstrated the resourcefulness and creativity of the Chinese in applying innovative energy and environmental approaches to the construction of the Olympic Village that will house the athletes for the summer games to be held this month in Beijing.

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