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©2016 This excerpt taken from the article of the same name which appeared in ASHRAE Journal, vol. 58, no. 7, July 2016

Ross D. Montgomery, P.E., CPMP, BEAP, BEMP, HBDP, Member ASHRAE; Walter R. Lenzi, CPMP, Member ASHRAE

About the Authors
Ross Montgomery, P.E., is president of QST Commissioning, Inc., in Parrish, Fla. Walter R. Lenzi is president of W&R Lenzi, Ltda, in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Beginning in 1994, the International Olympic Committee began to require environmental awareness as part of all Olympic Games. Over the years, the emphasis on sustainability grew, and the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in August is the latest example of the benefits gained by using these strategies. ASHRAE members and student members are a part of this high-profile project, as they provided commissioning and HVAC&R design services, especially at the Olympic Park. This venue is where most events will occur in Barra da Tijuca, located 21 miles (34 km) south of Copacabana beach.  

The major buildings designed and commissioned at the Olympic Park (above) are: Arena 1 (basketball and wheelchair sporting events); Arena 2 (judo and taekwondo); Arena 3 (Greco-Roman wrestling); the Velodrome (cycling); the Handball Arena; the Central Hotel and the International Broadcast Center (on-site media coverage). The commissioning concepts and principles used in this project are contained in the ASHRAE 2014 report “Strategic Guide to Commissioning” and ASHRAE/IES Standard 202-2013, Commissioning Process for Buildings and Systems. Sustainability practices follow the LEED v3 guidelines, and its energy-efficiency strategies are based on ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2007, which was translated into Portuguese by the ASHRAE Brazil Chapter.



Several areas of sustainable and environmentally aware transportation practices were used, including:

  • Restoration of 80 ft (25 m) wide strips of adjoining area limits of the lagoon surrounding the Olympic Park, with the replanting of 25,000 mangroves grown on the premises (facing page, top), among thousands of other species of coastal vegetation;
  • Installation of filtration stations at the runoff output locations into the surrounding site lagoon (facing page bottom);
  • Rainwater collection and reuse on site in selected areas;
  • Plumbing reduced water use fixtures;
  • Solar water heating for domestic hot water backed up with gas water heaters;
  • Solar tubes installed in roof membranes to absorb heat from envelope;
  • Enhanced daylighting design;
  • Lighting control using daylighting, motion detectors and light sensors/dimmers in select areas;
  • Semi-pervious pavement areas for walking and parking areas to allow natural permeation;
  • Seventy-two percent of the waste generated at the job site was sent for recycling and reuse;
  • One hundred percent of soil residues and/or construction waste was used for construction embankment at other locations and diverted from waste landfill sites; and
  • A direct line of uninterruptable “limited stops” public transportation has been installed, called Bus Rapid Transportation (BRT) to get from the international airport to the Olympic Park.

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