Go gold with green

The Winter Olympics are an interesting phenomenon. You never think you’re going to watch much of it, but when it finally arrives, you immediately become addicted to watching it. There is something entrancing about people hurtling themselves down mountainsides at break-neck speeds.

Well, the same can be said about the green technologies that pop up at the Olympics. For the past few Olympics, the host contries claim that they are being as green as possible, and you never think much of it until you see what the come up with. The same goes for the Vancouver Olympics, where as part of their power smart village, they have erected a green wall. A green wall utilizes plants to conserve energy, minimize stormwater runoff, and in general beautify the area.

A green wall at the winter Olympics may sound a little contradictory, but green wall and green roof technologies are pretty advanced these days, and utilize soils and plants that thrive in a range of climates. For that matter, the Olympic green wall was made by a company in Rochester, New York, and designed and assembled by local Canadian firms the IBI group and Hodgson, King and Marble.

This isn’t something too unusual for Canada either, my colleague Oliver Brandes, of the Polis project works on similar water issues in British Columbia, quite close to Vancouver and the Olympics. If you’re interested in water issues in Canada, or just water issues in general, I highly recommend Oliver’s publications. You can look at a review of one of his most recent publications “Making the Most of the Water We Have” over at the Castle Crier Blog.