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Athletes’ village may be Games’ biggest legacy

Sustainability built into every aspect of Whistler facility



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The International Olympic Committee's technical requirements for an athletes' village, detailed in a 378-page manual, were also analyzed prior to the development of the Whistler Athletes' Village. The IOC regulations call for a maximum of two athletes per bedroom, and four per bathroom. So the Whistler project was planned with two people per bedroom and additional bathrooms were provided to get greater efficiency out of each unit.

By contrast, the Vancouver Athletes' Village will house one athlete per bedroom.

Following the Torino Olympics, and after plans had been formulated for the Whistler Athletes' Village, the IOC told VANOC it had to provide accommodation for an additional 650 athletes and trainers. Doyle said his first thought was to build a temporary construction camp, similar to those used by the oil and mining industries. VANOC could have leased portable units but with input from B.C. Housing decided to buy the units from BRITCO.

The 80 temporary modular units at the athletes' village will become 157 units of permanent housing in several B.C. communities following the Games.

Sechelt Mayor Darren Inkster, said his community will receive four modules following the Games, which will become eight units of low-income housing.

Inkster said Sechelt has an old RCMP building and was looking to find a new use for it and the property it sits on. Originally people thought it might be a museum, but with the modular units from the Whistler Athletes' Village it will become a low-income housing complex.

B.C. Housing brought the athletes' village and Sechelt together. The housing complex will be occupied by Sechelt resident by next fall.

Nejat Sarp, VANOC vice president, services and villages, said the variety of accommodation styles within the Whistler Athletes' Village provides alternatives to national Olympic teams.

Some teams stay in private accommodation the night before their events, Sarp said, but they return to the athletes' village the rest of the time. He expects the Whistler Athletes' Village will have 90-95 per cent occupancy on any given night during the Games.

All the major national Olympic committees have visited the village, Sarp added. Some, particularly the Scandinavians, were skeptical. He said all have left very impressed.

Within the nearly 300 units that will become permanent Whistler resident housing following the Olympics there are some temporary measures. The areas allocated for garages and kitchens in the units will be utilized as bedrooms during the Olympics. But the drywall in these rooms is not taped and the gap between the drywall and the floor is hidden by baseboards. Thus the drywall can be reused following the units' conversion to permanent housing.