Sustainability guidance for Belgian Pavilion Dubai competition



Showcasing Belgium’s expertise in eco-design

From 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021, about 25 million visitors are expected to attend the Expo 2020 in Dubai. Its theme being ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, the fair aims to create a worldwide discussion platform acting as springboard for collaboration, creativity and innovation in terms of opportunity, mobility and sustainability. With 190 participating countries, this event promises to be a great opportunity for each nation to showcase their industrial, technological and cultural know-how.

For this occasion, Belgium will focus on the subtheme ‘sustainability’ by building a pavilion that will be a reference in terms of eco-design. This project called ‘the green ark’ is carried out by the Belgian contractors BESIX, the design firms Assar Architects and Vincent Callebaut Architectures, and the scenographers Krafthaus.

Because of its location and function, the project involves some specific issues, such as:

  • extreme weather: very hot outside temperature, low relative humidity, low precipitation, sand storm, etc.;
  • up to 10.000 visitors/day;
  • many openings;
  • the need to reuse the material of the building afterwards.

In order to deal with those challenges in a sustainable way, project developers turned to 3E’s expertise. As a sustainability advisor, 3E designed a project that offers high sustainability values and comfort to all visitors by combining passive and active technologies.

Here are a few examples of this approach:

  • Thermal comfort will be guaranteed by external solar shadings and greenery on the façade. In addition to preventing direct light and glare discomfort, these will provide a shaded, ventilated and comfortable outdoor space for visitors. Natural ventilation during night will also help to reduce the heat island effect.
  • Renewable energy will cover 30% of the electricity demand thanks to PV panels installed on the rooftop and 85% of the domestic hot water demand thanks to solar thermal panels. Energy consumption will moreover be reduced by high performance coolers, also connected to a heat recovery producing domestic hot water.
  • A circular economy approach will be adopted by developing a building that is modular and 100% demountable, plus using materials with a low impact on the environment.