Unlocking Winter Olympics tech: Furniture goes green
By Zhu Zhu and Fu Jiamei
Furniture makers for the upcoming Winter Olympics are banking on China's green objectives and making their products more environment-friendly.
The furniture that will be offered in the pavilions and guest rooms in the Winter Games focuses on recyclable materials and minimizing carbon emissions during the production process. Also, the furniture has very strict environmental standards. Formaldehyde emissions of the furniture are far lower than the internationally accepted standard of 0.5 mg/L.
In addition, the entire range of furniture is also being designed to be reusable. That requires the products not only use recyclable materials, but also are suitable and adjusted for both the Winter Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.
"The size and height of our products for the Winter Olympic Games may not be suitable for the Paralympic Games. We've added some simple devices in our products to adjust the height," Shi Haidong, the chief designer of the Olympic furniture from BBMG Tiantan Furniture Technology Research Institute said. "Most of our products are very easy to use and help save enough materials for use in the Paralympic Games."
The temperature of all venues for ice and snow sports will be kept low, so the furniture has been specially designed for low-temperature environment. This also ensures that all parts of the furniture will not become deformed or fragile after being in freezing temperatures for a long time.
In terms of the details, the designs of the furniture are athlete-friendly. For example, some lockers were specifically designed for ice hockey players, which have integrated multiple functions such as seats, cloth hangars and storage spaces. The cabinet is equipped with many vents to ensure that the ice can melt and volatilize faster to better protect the athletes' belongings.
"We have incorporated various specialties in the products designed for athletes," Shi explained. "We've added anti-collision cushions on the wall for ice hockey players to hang their shoes. We've also put soft cushions with special angles in the closet for athletes while they change their shoes."
Besides the Winter Olympic Games, the supplier also told that some of these environmental friendly furniture will be launched into the broader market in the future to further reduce carbon emissions.