With less than a month to go until Opening Ceremony, the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games is gearing up to host the world in February for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. A range of high-performance technology solutions powered by The Dow Chemical Company were used in several venues, including Modular Houses and the Olympic Village. Dow’s solutions were applied to help reduce energy usage while making accommodations comfortable for athletes, attendees, media and drivers.

The Science of Warm for Modular Houses

With average February temperatures just above freezing, effective insulation is essential in PyeongChang. PIR (polyisocyanurate) panels incorporating Dow Papi Polymeric MDI are used to insulate the walls and roofs of the Modular Houses that will accommodate drivers who will be responsible for transporting people around the Olympic host city. The Modular Houses are built from manufactured panels consisting of boards, insulation and foam. Constructed within hours, rather than days, for less than half the usual cost, these energy efficient structures help protect the environment as they require roughly half the energy compared to standard EPS (expanded polystyrene), and are 98 percent recyclable.

Finally, the Modular Houses have been weather-sealed with durable, fire-resistant Dow Corning 1001 Perimeter Silicone Sealant, which is inherently impervious to damaging ultraviolet light from sun, and, when cured, is stable at temperatures from -40°C (-104°F) to 150°C (302°F).

“We’ve worked with South Korean partners such as SY Panel to create the next generation of cost-effective, sustainable Modular Houses using state-of-the-art insulation technology,” said Phillip Oh, Asia-Pacific commercial director for Dow Olympic and Sports Solutions. “Here at PyeongChang 2018, it is making a big impact on the built environment.”

The Science of Comfort for the Olympic Village

Housing in the Olympic Village is also weather-sealed using Dow Corning 1001 Perimeter Silicone Sealant. The finishing on the interior walls will combine three different Dow technologies, to create a wall putty that leaves a smooth, durable wall surface ready for painting: Acrysol Rheology Modifiers to help create a high-performance rheology profile; water-based Primal Acrylic Low VOC and Low Odor Emulsion Polymers to offer water whitening resistance, improved washability, and enhanced film formation; and Walocel Cellulosic will facilitate a variety of desired performance characteristics, including excellent adhesion, extended durability and open time and lower maintenance costs.

Besides helping create a more comfortable living environment, Dow is also contributing to a more comfortable sleeping environment. Although many factors go into the performance of athletes, a good night’s sleep is absolutely essential to help athletes perform at the top of their game. Some of the mattresses in the Olympic Village employ Dow Voranol Technology in the slab foam to help the athletes get the quantity, and quality, of sleep that they need – 10 hours a night or more[1]. Outside of the Olympic Village, Voranol Technology is also employed in a number of mattresses in hotels across the host city.

“By collaborating with Alfome we are able to help offer athletes the foundation for a good night’s rest by contributing to a more comfortable sleeping environment,” said Oh. “Voranol technology helps improve foam shape upon compression to create comfortable, breathable, flexible mattresses that stay cool to the touch and with reduced odor and emissions.”

Dow technologies used in both the Modular Houses and the Olympic Village are not only state-of-the-art in terms of sustainability, durability and efficiency, they’re also affordable and cost effective.

“The Olympic Games is a platform to showcase not only the best in athletics and sportsmanship, but also some of the best in materials science innovation for better performing venues and infrastructure,” said Louis A. Vega, Dow’s vice president of Olympic and Sports Solutions. “As the Official Chemistry Company of the Olympic Movement, Dow is proud to partner with our customers to bring our insulation and comfort science to the Olympic Winter Games.”