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GEM Olympic Leisure Center

Mixed-use, Sport Facility
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Credit: Archetype

Green Building Consultancy

As the project's Green Building Consultant, we worked with Archetype Mongolia to design Ulaanbaatar's new Olympic Leisure Complex. 

The FIFA standardized stadium can accomodate 15,000 spectators who can also enjoy watching a variety of sports competitions through the adjoining swimming pool, ice-skating rink and multifunctional gym facilities. The complex also includes office, hotel and retail blocks. The overall project is designed to take advantage of Ulaanbaatar's solar availability for passive heating and daylighting while providing thermal protection from cold winters.

Fact sheet

Client: GEM

Architect: Archetype (Mongolia)

Gross Floor Area: 80,000 m²

Facilities: FIFA standard stadium, soccer club, ice skating arena, olympic swimming pool, multi-purpose sports arena, office building, hotel building, retail and commercial area, TV studio

Project stage: Design

Status: On-going (since 2016)

Website: Archetype


  • Green Building Consulting for high performance building level

  • Site context and climate assessment

  • Building's Relationiship with its environments study

  • Solar exposure and radiation analysis

  • Orientation and massing optimization through Building Physics Studies

  • Space layout optimization

  • Envelope and Facade consultancy

  • Eco-friendly materials and resources exploration and recommendations

  • Daylighting implementation and artificial lighting efficiency

  • Water saving technologies and water systems efficiency

  • Passive design incorporation and HVAC efficiency

  • Renewable energy generation consultancy


Sustainability targets and examples of features

Shaping the building to capture solar heat

The climate analysis showed that passive solar heating coupled with high performance glazing could significantly increase the thermal comfort of occupants indoors as well as decrease the energy demand for space heating. 

Massing optimization can significantly improve the building’s performance without increasing the project’s cost. With Ulaanbaatar’s severe cold climate, focus was put on optimizing the design for the heating months.

Orienting and shifting as much as possible the building facades towards South allowed for effective passive heating of indoor spaces.

Meanwhile, the design was optimized to increase the roof's solar exposure. By carefully orienting the different surafces, not only does the exposed facades benefit from higher solar heat in the winter months, but the surfaces were better suited to receive solar collectors and PV panels for renewable energy generation.

Massing optimization for passive solar heating and renewable energy generation

“ It was the will of the client and us to design a project that was both environmentally and financially viable without compromising the architectural concept and aesthetics. Armelle has been able to assist us in achieving this by taking in account the program and our vision within the continuous optimization of our design concept. By iteratively analyzing the alternative design options such as the orientation, massing and envelope, we were able to improve the overall performance of this mixed use facility. As a result, the Olympic Center has a reduced energy water consumption as well as minimized carbon footprint. As for our client, this integrative approach favoring passive design techniques allowed for a better return on investment and a favorable argument for green funds. 

As we recognize that sustainability brings added value to design concepts, Archetype continues to work with Armelle and develop real estate and industrial projects whether it is to comply with client’s international mandates, offer an opportunity for green funding or generate marketing value for our client’s projects. "

—  Marine Ros, Managing Director at Archetype Mongolia

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