Ground construction of Beijing Winter Olympic 'Ice Jar' begins

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The underground foundation of the Comprehensive Training Hall of Winter Sports Management Center, dubbed the "Ice Jar," was completed on June 16, and the ground construction began on the same day, according to the Beijing Municipal Office of Major Projects. The training hall is planned to go into service by the end of 2019 as the first standard curling rink in China.

Located in Haidian district, the Ice Jar covers 33,200 square meters and is designed to accommodate professional training and competition as well as amateur games of ice hockey, figure skating, curling, and short track speed skating. The facility has two 31-by-61 meter ice surfaces installed on its first and third floors. The multifunctional hall has removable panel walls on the hockey rink and quick de-icing and ice-making equipment.

What differs the Ice Jar from regular ice rinks is that it needs many more heating units for uses such as anti-condensation of air-conditioning and flooring, de-icing and snow-melting, and ice-resurfacing, according to staff at the facility. A heat recovery system has been specially designed to even out heating demands across the hall and minimize its power consumption. 

In addition, the Ice Jar has a smart auto-control system that keeps its indoor temperature between 3 to 8 degrees below zero Celsius through sensors and electrical components to create an optimal environment for various training and competition needs. Once the operational parameters and modes are set, the training hall would be able to operate on its own in the future, and the staff would only need to supervise, troubleshoot, and reset when necessary.

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