As Beantown makes its bid to host the 2024 Olympics, Boston has proposed using (and reusing) modular construction to create a scalable Olympic stadium and Olympic Village.
The Olympic Games can be a double-edged sword for a host city. An influx of tourism and a public relations blitz are assured for the months up to and during the Games. On the flipside, the host city also risks losing the sizeable investment required to submit a bid to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
After the Games the host city is often left with an overbuilt, even excessive infrastructure. In its grand plan for hosting the 2024 Olympics, Boston is looking to modular as a scalable building solution.
Modular’s Flexible Role Before and After the Olympic Selection Process
The selection process calls for a city must meet several prerequisites. These include 1 million square feet of space for broadcast teams and press centers, an 80,000-seat Olympic stadium, an Olympic Village large enough for 16,000 athletes, and 30-35 sporting venues.
Boston already has 43 sports venues in place, and plans use modular construction to fill any gaps.
The city is also looking to modular to build a larger stadium to accommodate the flood of Olympic spectators and then downsize the facilities to suit everyday needs. The city’s subcommittee on economic development and transportation suggests that a modular stadium for 80,000 spectators could be reduced to 40,000 seats after the Olympics, and used for local athletic and entertainment events.
Similarly, a modular Olympic Village could be easily converted to workforce or student housing post-Games.
Modular as a Global Olympic Phenomenon
South of the equator, Rio de Janeiro is preparing to host the 2016 Olympics. The city used modular construction to build its IOC headquarters. The 2016 Organizing Committee cited sustainability and strategic reuse as the primary reasons for choosing modular.
With one example of modular building in place for a confirmed Olympic host city, here’s hoping that the benefits of modular give boost to Boston’s 2024 Olympic bid.