Looking at cutting-edge smart venue renovations from the Military World Games

Looking back at the 7th Military World Games held in China in 2019, it not only showcased the spirit of the Chinese military dedicated to strengthening itself, but also introduced the speed of China under the leadership of 5G technology to the world and the Chinese wisdom in sports infrastructure construction

Wuhan Military World Games

The Summer Military World Games, held every four years, is a comprehensive and high-standard military sports event organized by the International Military Sports Council. It is hailed as the ‘Olympics for soldiers’. It serves as an important platform for countries’ military forces during peacetime to showcase their strengths, foster friendly exchanges, and expand international influence.

All competitions, as well as the opening and closing ceremonies, were hosted by a single city for the first time in the history of the Military World Games. The Wuhan Military World Games set a record by completing the construction and renovation of 35 venues within 27 months to accommodate all events, showcasing the remarkable “China speed”.

Wuhan Military World Games proposed the design concept of benchmarking the Olympics, moderate construction, green ecology, frugal organization, and post-event usability. Building upon the principle of frugality, the Games aimed to utilize new technologies, materials, and concepts as much as possible to make sports venues more intelligent and user-friendly, becoming a highlight of the venue construction.

Wuhan Military World Games

01 Innovation in Craftsmanship Makes Venue Construction Projects More Efficient

The Hubei Provincial Olympic Sports Center utilizes domestically advanced static pressure box air supply technology. This involves treating reinforced concrete structures for thermal insulation and soundproofing, turning them into ducts for central air conditioning. The air supply outlets are concealed behind the seats, ensuring even and stable airflow to every seat and avoiding the impact of air conditioning on small-ball sports events.

Static Pressure Box Air Supply

As the main venue for the competitions, the Wuhan Five Rings Sports Center hosts all athletics events except for the marathon. Its roof is shaped like a flying phoenix, embodying the charm of the Jingchu region. However, during the incipient design phase, this elegant and dynamic design concept led to a dramatic increase in the construction workload for the irregular steel structure.

Main Venue for Wuhan Military World Games

In the end, the project construction team utilized Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology and 3D scanning measurement technology to assist on-site builders in achieving precise spatial positioning, seamless process integration, and rapid dimension calculations. The spoke-wheel-type cable-supported grid structure saved a significant amount of steel, and its construction process was a pioneering example domestically at the time.

Inner Appearance of Main Venue for Wuhan Military World Games

The construction of five temporary venues for the Military World Games was carried out through leasing arrangements. For example, the vehicle inspection tent and manual inspection tent used for the modern pentathlon test events utilized steel structure platforms that could be dismantled and reused at any time, blending in among the trees and waters, manifesting thriftiness. Innovative construction techniques significantly improved energy utilization and construction efficiency, making the venues both aesthetically pleasing and practical, while also making short-term complex construction projects possible.

02 Material Innovation :Creating More Energy-efficient and Environmentally-friendly Venues

The venues for the Wuhan Military World Games incorporated the concept of sponge cities. For instance, the archery venue at the foot of Jiuzhen Mountain employed techniques such as grass-filled ditches, permeable bricks, and sunken green spaces. These features allowed for water storage during rainy days and supplement to the surrounding environment during dry periods. They truly became “breathing grounds”;

The sailing platform of the naval pentathlon competition venue’s utilized internationally standardized anti-pollution coatings, resulting in minimal pollution to the surrounding lake water. Additionally, the East and West Lake Sports Center extensively employed precast concrete components made of clean water concrete. Their surfaces gleam like jade, requiring no additional decoration. When rainwater falls upon them, they appear fresh and clean resembling lotus leaves after rainfall. This design completely eschews the traditional concrete’s dull and heavy appearance.

Main Venue for Wuhan Military World Games

The badminton venue for the Military World Games at Wuhan University’s Sports Activity Center features an intelligent skylight system, catering to the natural lighting and ventilation needs of public buildings. Not only does it ensure air circulation, but it also senses wind and rain, making it a smart sports arena with a “breathing” roof, adjustable lighting, and wind speed regulation.

Inner Appearance of Venue for Wuhan Military World Games

Material and design innovations have brought a richer architectural texture to the Military World Games venues, reducing construction pollution and allowing for more natural ventilation and lighting utilization. This approach enhances the sustainability of the venues for future use.

03 Application of 5G ,Experience Extraordinary Speed

The widely known 5G technology, which dazzles us today, had already shown its brilliance during the Wuhan Military World Games.

On the evening of October 18, 2019, during the opening ceremony of the Wuhan Military World Games, amidst the cheers of seventy to eighty thousand people, many of them took out their phones to share photos, send videos, and engage in video calls with their beloved ones. At its peak, over 87,000 phones were simultaneously online, sending and receiving messages without any delay or buffering. The gigabit access speed and millisecond-level network delay brought about an astonishing level of speed. It’s worth noting that during the Military World Games, Wuhan had already deployed over 3,700 5G base stations, achieving full coverage for 35 venues and key areas. However, the impact of 5G on sports events and venues goes beyond just fast speed.

5G Experience

Firstly, 5G networks bring a completely new experience for both participants and spectators.

With the help of 5G networks, cutting-edge television technologies are widely used in broadcast production, providing audiences with the most immersive audiovisual experience. 4K+5G live broadcasts cover the opening and closing ceremonies, athletics fields, and multiple venues for naval pentathlon; swimming events are filmed in 8K for demonstration purposes; AI technologies such as voice recognition and facial recognition are used for faster and more efficient material searching; and naval pentathlon competitions utilize 5G+VR technology to produce real-time ultra-high-definition 360-degree visuals… These are all new experiences that audiences cannot feel when watching traditional TV broadcasts.

Furthermore, 5G technology, as the foundation of smart venues, can develop various application scenarios to provide more intelligent services for event organization, participation, and viewing.

One of the applications of 5G technology in sports venues during the Military World Games is the facial recognition system. Accommodation facilities such as the Military Village collect facial feature information of occupants during accommodation, enabling intelligent recognition of occupants and facilitating administrators to grasp the arrivals and departures of individuals in real-time.

The combination of 5G technology and the Internet of Things provides security for competitions. The police unmanned patrol vehicle, appearing for the first time at the Wuhan Military World Games, is driven by 5G technology. These vehicles are compact and can perceive road conditions in advance, actively avoiding pedestrians. They also feature functions such as remote communication and one-touch alarm.

Intelligent lighting utilizes the “individual lamp power control system,” where each streetlight has its own code, enabling intelligent control of lighting time and brightness via remote computers. This ensures illumination without disturbing people’s rest, providing safe and heartwarming services for every user.

The impact of 5G technology on various aspects of the sports industry is beginning to show in various applications at the Military World Games. The military sports venues, utilizing new technologies, materials, and techniques, not only host an international military sports event but also integrate modern cutting-edge technology into sports architecture and cultural environments.

Night Scene of Main Venue for Wuhan Military World Games

The valuable experience gained from the renovation of Military World Games venues also provides inspiration for the conceptual development of smart parks, smart trails, and smart communities in cities, which is highly beneficial for promoting the digital transformation of nationwide fitness.

In a word,whether it is providing a more comfortable viewing experience or enhancing the efficiency of athlete training, smart venues demonstrate the development direction of future sports venues. Therefore, sports venue builders should closely follow the construction results of these smart venues, draw lessons from their design concepts and technological means, and continuously improve their construction capabilities and competitiveness. By applying intelligent technology and innovative concepts to the construction of different types of sports venues, we can provide athletes and sports enthusiasts with more advanced, convenient, and comfortable sports venue experiences, thus promoting the development and popularization of sports.

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