2022 Winter Olympics construction to be completed by October
After a one-year delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Olympic Games are set to take place in Tokyo later this week. The event will be held from Friday 23 July until Sunday 8 August, but due to the virus, no fans will be allowed into the stadiums.
The venues of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games
With this in mind, it has been announced that the construction of the facilities for the Winter Olympic Games will be complete by October. Located in Beijing, the structures include for the games include the Beijing National Stadium, where the opening and closing ceremonies will take place, the Beijing National Indoor Stadium, which will house ice hockey games, and the National Speed Skating Oval. Other venues are organised into “clusters” for events such as skiing and biathlon.
Construction progress so far
Currently, 53 of the 57 Winter Olympic projects in Beijing and nearby Yanqing have been finished, while the remaining four, including renovation of the National Stadium, known as the Bird's Nest and are due for completion in coming months.
The Beijing sites will host snow events, while Yanqing, a mountainous subdivision of the Beijing municipality, and Zhangjiakou in neighbouring Hebei province, will host ice events such as Alpine skiing and snowboarding. China announced in June that all 76 Winter Olympics projects in Zhangjiakou had been completed.
The Tokyo Olympic Games 2021
Due to COVID-19, for the Tokyo summer Olympics, which was originally due to take place last year, the venues were completed in 2020 with the aquatics centre, known officially as the Ariake Arena, being the last venue to be built in February.
The main stadium, which holds 68,000 people, was constructed from wood and steel and was the first of the venues to be built in November 2019. Thanks to a unique cooling system, the stadium was designed to keep its occupants cool in the heat of a Tokyo summer.
Image: The ski slope for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games. Credit: Reuters.
University of Dresden constructs carbon concrete building
The Technical University of Dresden, in partnership with German architecture firm Henn, is constructing the first building to be made out of concrete and carbon fibre, rather than traditional steel.
The combination of materials, known as, “carbon concrete” has the same structural strength as its steel-reinforced alternative but less concrete is used, according to researchers at the university.
The building, called “The Cube” is currently under construction at the University of Dresden’s campus in Germany, and is believed to be the first carbon concrete building in the world. Strengthening the concrete, the carbon fibre yarns are used to create a mesh into which the concrete is then poured.
Unlike steel, the mesh is rust-proof meaning that the lifespan of carbon concrete is longer than that of the more typical steel-reinforced concrete. This also allows the layers to be much thinner than steel.
The design and shape of The Cube
According to the companies, the flexibility of carbon fibre allows the walls to fold up and become a roof. In a statement talking about the building’s design elements, Hen said: “The design of The Cube reinterprets the fluid, textile nature of carbon fibres by seamlessly merging the ceiling and walls in a single form, suggesting a future architecture in which environmentally conscious design is paired with formal freedom and a radical rethinking of essential architectural elements.
"The wall and ceiling are no longer separate components but functionally merge into one another as an organic continuum.” Displayed as a showpiece for TU Dresden’s major project, backed by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, The Cube aims to explore the potential uses of carbon concrete in construction.
"Carbon concrete could contribute to more flexible and resource-saving construction processes, and switching to carbon concrete could reduce the CO2 emissions from construction by up to 50%," Henn said in a statement.
Bio-based carbon fibre under development to reduce carbon footprint
While carbon fibre may be lighter and stronger than steel, it has a much higher carbon footprint. Describing the material’s impact on the environment, Dr Erik Frank, Senior Carbon Scientist at the German Institute of Textile and Fibre Research Denkendorf (DITF), said it is “usually very bad.” To reduce the carbon footprint, Frank is finding ways to make carbon fibre out of lignin, a common plant-based substance found in the paper manufacturing industry.