EXPO 2020 benchmark for sustainable design

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Environmentally-friendly principles were at the heart of the masterplan from architects HOK which was part of the bid that won Dubai the right to host Expo 2020.

The global design company said it planned the site and infrastructure to create a new sustainable benchmark for events in the Middle East.

“Sustainability is one of the main themes and will figure prominently in fundamental design directions and decisions, Daniel Hajjar senior vice president based in Dubai, said: “Many of the pavilions will be dismantled and shipped to their home country or other locales to be re-purposed. The three main pavilions – the Welcome Pavilion, the Innovation Pavilion and the UAE Pavilion – will be combined and transformed into a national museum to celebrate the achievements of the Expo.”

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Among other features of the masterplan is a photovoltaic fabric structure which covers the main walkways, acting as a solar-powered sun shade and combining with panels on building facades to capture enough sunlight to generate at least half of the Expo’s energy requirements onsite.

At night, the fabric will be transformed into an illuminated display of lights and digital projections. The main boulevards will be shaded by the fabric while smaller connective streets will be protected from the sun through the use of pavilions and strategic landscaping.

“Principles of Arabic design have been reinterpreted into modern forms of expression while retaining a strong response to the climatic considerations associated with Dubai,” Hajjar said.

“Responding to extreme temperatures, considering crowd control and maximising shade figured prominently into the physical form of the eventual development.”

The transportation plan includes a gondola that links each of the thematic zones and the main entrance while creating an additional viewing experience for visitors. Other sustainable strategies include recycling wastewater, reusing materials and monitoring the carbon footprint.

For the plan HOK, a global firm with its headquarters in the USA, teamed with Populous, which provided venue planning and shade structure, along with Arup, which provided infrastructure and transportation details.

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