#EngineeringTheOlympics: The Olympic Aquatics Stadiums Green Credentials

#EngineeringTheOlympics: The Olympic Aquatics Stadiums Green Credentials

While the Olympics diving pool made headlines today as it turned mysteriously green overnight the Olympic Aquatics Stadium next door already had green credentials, with a natural ventilation system and “nomadic architecture” at the heart of its construction.

aquatics stadium for rio 2016 g020816 1 aquatics stadium for rio 2016 g020816 2 aquatics stadium for rio 2016 g020816 3 aquatics stadium for rio 2016 g020816 4

Sustainability was a major theme for Brazil bid to bring to the 2016 Games too Rio and The Olympic Aquatics Stadium utilised techniques to reflect this.

The Stadium which contains two arena’s, which can be used for swimming and water polo. It was built using ‘nomadic architecture’ techniques. This will allow it to be taken down and rebuilt as two smaller aquatics venues after the Games.


If you enjoyed this article subscribe to our mailing list to receive weekly updates!

The venue employs an innovative natural ventilation system that will keep it cool while reducing energy usage. Average Games-time temperatures across the Barra Olympic Park were used to model where to place 15,000 strategically positioned tiny holes across the structure. Without these holes providing airflow through the building it is estimated an equivalent of 10,000 household air conditioning units would have been needed to artificially cool the arena.

The two pools each have for 3.7 million litres of water. With seating placed as close at 10m from each pool.

The pools both use a special filter system which is said to reduce the use of chemicals by 25 per cent. With water in each pool being maintained between 25 and 28 degrees Celsius.

The venue has a total capacity of 14,997 people.

The roof is made from identical steel trusses that cross the 100 m span. While valley cables grant to the PVC membrane the required shape and structural stability. The façade is constructed from steel vertically disposed tubes. These form an harmonic arrangement with the roof, granting to the arena a high architectural and engineering standard.

The temporary building structures of stands and roof are designed to allow simple disassembling, transportation and later assembling operation. Just as the Future Arena will be dismantled after the games with its parts being used to build four public schools, the Olympic Aquatics Stadium will be taken down and reused in the construction of two aquatics centres. One with a covered 50m pool and capacity for 6,000 people and the other with a 50m pool with capacity for 3,000 people.

The Olympic Aquatics Stadium in numbers

Gross floor area 36,887 m²
Length 136.8 m
Height 31.65 m
Roof area 13,912 m²
Ground area 35,898 m²
Width 101.7 m
Facade area 15,097 m²
Seats 18,000

Born to Engineer Weekly

Get the latest Engineering news delivered to your inbox every Monday morning