Fear surrounding the Zika virus has ostensibly caused many athletes to cancel their plans to participate in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio this year. This is not good for the Olympics. On a positive note, the International Olympic Committee made it a priority to commission the buildings built for the event in order to ensure that they are designed in a way that maximizes energy conservation and performance. Professional and student members of ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) provided design services for the building complex, integrating sustainable strategies for water, lighting, and recycling of the waste from the construction site.

Although the spectators will not see the efforts that went into making sure the Olympic Park buildings perform to their maximum potential, they will all be able to see the newly restored lagoon surrounding the park. Mass transportation is being provided by a bus rapid transit line (TransCarioca) that runs between the airport and the Olympic Park to encourage the use of public transportation rather than just be an automobile-focused facility. It is nice to see a country and an organization make sustainability a priority in the construction and transportation industries.