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Green Code for Olympic Development

A Chinese expert team is currently utilizing a "green building code" to ensure resource conservation and harmony between humans and the environment while constructing Olympic projects.

Jiang Yi, chief scientist in charge of a Ministry of Science and Technology project to innovate green building, said the green code, which features sustainable development, will help Beijing realize its promise to the world of a green Olympics.

The main content of the code is aimed to control construction scale and maximize conservation of resources, said Jiang.

To make the Olympics project "green," environmental impact evaluation will be implemented during the entire process of construction and in choosing building and decoration materials, electric and machinery equipment, low-voltage electric equipment, landscape equipment, stadium seating, air-conditioning equipment and electronic recording equipment.

The environmentally friendly materials and equipment will be widely used in the construction of 30 Olympic fields and buildings, the renovation of 59 training fields and buildings and the construction of relevant facilities and infrastructure inside and outside the Olympic Village.

Jiang said the green code aims to curb flawed trends in China's process of urbanization. The trends are listed as blindly pursuing "new, unusual, and different" design schemes and always wanting to become "No 1" in the world.

"But they forget the basic principles of architecture which are function, economy and beauty," said Jiang.

James Jao, chief executive officer of the US-based J.A.O. Design International told China Daily it is wonderful that the Chinese Government is making its people more ecologically concerned by adopting the concept of "Green Building" in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Game facility design. "Unfortunately, many people in China still have misconceptions and misinterpretations of the terminology of 'Green Building'," Jao said.

"Green Building" does not mean building with a lot of green plants, trees, or flowers. The term has a very clear parameter about it. Using recycled materials, recycled water and re-useable energy are essential features of green buildings.

Jiang Yi also said being financially thrifty is also a main concern of the green building code.

"Meanwhile, we should minimize costs," said Jiang, who added that efforts should make the Olympics a drive for the healthy development of the society instead of a heavy economic burden which could block economic and social development.

But Jao said using "green building" technologies may not necessarily save upfront and short term costs.

"Yet it will pay off in the long term, because the Olympic facilities will be here to stay and will be enjoyed by the Chinese people for many years to come." Jao said.

(China Daily November 15, 2004)

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