Witteveen+Bos has stated the Netherlands Pavilion at EXPO 2020 Dubai is one of the few pavilions that is being dismantled using fully sustainable methods. The consultancy noted that all the materials used to build the pavilion were either leased or are reusable, recyclable and biodegradable, and will be used for future construction projects in the UAE.
The firm said it was responsible for the structural design, the indoor climate system, the building physics, and the sustainable aspects of the pavilion. It was part of a consortium of four companies who designed and built the Netherlands Pavilion, which included Expomobilia (construction), V8 Architects (architecture) and Kossmandejong (visitor experience), a statement from the firm explained.
The Netherlands Pavilion was built with sustainability in mind, being a temporary structure only designed to be standing for six months. Designed as a biotope, the Netherlands Pavilion was built as a circular climate system that brings together Dutch solutions uniting water, energy and food.
Commenting on the pavilion, Maarten Veerman, Project Manager at Witteveen+Bos for the Netherlands Pavilion explained, “The pavilion was designed with circularity in mind. This is reflected in the choice of materials used for all components, including structural elements. Our team worked with a structure of steel sheet piles and steel tubes, as those materials are widely available and known for their reusability. Sheet piles are often used in temporary structures and many companies rent them out, contributing to the project’s fully sustainable nature.”
According to Witteveen+Bos, the sheet piles and steel tubes that were used for the construction of the pavilion will be taken back to Meever and Meever, a Dutch company who specialises in civil structures in the UAE. The sheet piles and steel tubes, which reach up to 18m long, will be used for new construction projects in the UAE. Since the pavilion is built without concrete (not even in foundations), the plot will be left as it was originally found in 2018, as a natural and empty piece of desert land.
In 2018, desert sand was said to have been extracted from the excavation plot and used for filling the double sheet piles, whilst also serving as a temporary insulation material. The sand will be used to fill the plot again after the dismantling is complete. Inflatable ETFE material was also used on the façade of the pavilion, which will be sent back to Taiyo in the UAE for partial reuse and recycling. The steel cables of the minimised rear structure of the façade will also be reused, the firm pointed out.
The floor of the pavilion is made from local sand and gravel from the desert. The prefabricated pavement mats were said to have been rented to stabilise the floor, and by lifting these elements, the floor can be dismantled. The mats will all be returned to their supplier and will be used for new temporary pavements in Dubai, the consultancy highlighted.
The white silos at the lounge contain the mushroom nursery and are specially designed using local standard pipes. The pipes have been kept intact and can be easily dismantled and will be given back to the local building industry to be used in the future. The mushroom nursery will be taken over by a local entrepreneur to continue the production of mushrooms and mycelium products. By doing so, valuable knowledge is shared and facilitates the process of creating a biobased future, Witteveen+Bos explained.
The 9,300 partly edible plants and herbs covering the pavilion’s central green cone inside will be returned to the local supplier, and turned into compost for plants. The mycelium panels used for the walls inside the vertical farm, and on the floor of the business lounge, will be made into compost and returned to nature. The irrigation systems used for the construction of the vertical farm within the pavilion will be dismantled and reused for a local greenhouse. Due to the construction of the cone-shaped vertical farm, the long lengths of hoses can be reused effectively. The waterproof films and lead replacements will be taken back to Leadax for full recycling, the firm continued.
In addition, the firm stated the SunGlacier water-making machine, which was used for the climate system, has now been proven to be able to harvest water from the air. Engineered to fit inside a shipping container, the water maker will be shipped to the Netherlands where it will be further optimised for a new project to create water out of air.
The structure’s biobased curtains and canopy from Buro Belen are made from corn starch that was turned into biopolymer textile fibres and coloured with the oxides of the steel structure, the firm said. Various options are being explored for the curtains to be exhibited in Dubai, or shown at the Floriade in Almere, the Netherlands, for the agricultural world expo.
Lastly, the solar panels on the roof of the pavilion were installed to provide the pavilion with renewable energy. The first batch of PV panels were rented locally and are now being installed elsewhere in the UAE. The second batch are specifically designed organic and transparent PV foils, created by Marjan van Aubel Studio. Talks with various parties are underway to explore the possibilities for a new application of the organic solar panels, the firm elaborated.
Dismantling works began in April, following the close of EXPO 2020 Dubai.
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