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Energy-Efficient PyeongChang Olympic Venues

The 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, will be here before we know it. As we start to learn about the athletes who will be participating, we are also starting to learn about the stadiums and venues in which the events will be taking place.

Dow Building Solutions, Midland, Mich., is a Worldwide Olympic Partner and Official Carbon Partner of the International Olympic Committee, and supplied building technologies from The Dow Chemical Co., which were used in three of the Winter Olympics venues: Olympic Plaza, the International Broadcast Center and the Olympic Sliding Centre. 

With temperatures expected to be frigid 1-2 C (33-35 F) winter conditions in February, preparations have focused on equipping buildings with energy-efficient insulation and air sealing technologies to create the best environment for athletes, spectators, media and others. The goal is to protect people from the elements, while minimizing heat leakage and maintaining ice conditions for competition surfaces. 

Louis A. Vega, Dow’s vice president for Olympic & sports solutions, says the company’s role as the official chemistry company of the Olympic Games allows them to bring Dow’s game-changing solutions to facilitate better infrastructure performance both for the Games and the surrounding communities. “Our portfolio of sustainable solutions sit truly at the intersection of science and sport,” he says.

The Olympic Plaza is where the opening and closing ceremonies will take place, while the International Broadcast Centre serves as the main hub for media. Due to the cold temperatures during February, it was important that the buildings are equipped to maximize energy efficiency while keeping the heating costs down. Both venues features products from Dow that help retain warm air, and keep cool air and moisture out.

To insulate the walls and roofs, the projects utilize PIR (polyisocyanurate) panels that incorporate Dow’s PAPI Polymeric MDI. These panels have excellent thermal insulation properties, which will help protect against cold weather during the event and help increase the buildings’ energy efficiency. Dow’s VORANOL and ISONATE polyurethane coating technology are included in the walls and roof, while Dow’s

VORASTAR coating technology provides waterproof protection. Additionally, Dow Corning silicone sealant fills and seals gaps between walls and doors or window frames to help protect reporters in the International Broadcast Centre from the chill that could seep through the cracks.

Dow insulation technology at the Olympic Slidding Centre helps maintain the cold temperature and ice consistency. A polyurethane spray foam, made with Dow VORANOL and PAPIT Polymeric MDI insulates the center, and keeps the ice in the track from melting by offering reliable temperature regulation to maintain exceptional ice conditions and support the safety and performance of the luge, bobsleigh and skeleton competitors.

Phillip Oh, Asia-Pacific commercial director for Olympic and sports solutions, said Dow’s insulation and sealing technologies help make key locations energy efficient. “The technologies used to conserve heat in the Olympic Plaza and the International Broadcast Centre, and maintain the cold temperature in the Sliding Centre, showcase the depth, breadth and versatility of Dow’s construction solutions,” he says. 

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