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How concrete flooring helps keep athletes cool

The architects in charge of designing the athlete’s village in Paris for this summer’s games have implemented an interesting way to keep the occupants cool during the hot summer.

The standard way to do this is by using air conditioning, but these require a lot of energy to operate. Instead, the architects used several alternative technologies to keep athletes cool in hot weather, including a concrete flooring water cooling system.

The athlete’s village is built next to the River Seine. When the wind blows over the river it cools the air, which helps reduce the inside temperature of the building. Thick wall insulation and a green roof also help keep the building cool, and window shutters keep out the sun during the day.

Pipes are built into the concrete flooring. Water is then pumped through the pipes by a geothermal system which takes away heat from the concrete during the day and lowers the night temperature. The water is extracted from two hundred feet underground, where it is a steady cold temperature.

Engineers calculate that, if the temperature outside the development rises to 106 degrees Fahrenheit, the apartments inside should be between 72 and 82 degrees in the day, and no more than 79 degrees at night, Whatever the outside temperature, inside it should be at least 11 degrees cooler.

Air conditioning increases electricity bills and adds to a building’s carbon emissions. As climate change causes hotter summers, the Paris development demonstrates that concrete flooring cooling systems can be used to reduce reliance on air conditioning systems.

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