'Two thousand tons of steel is going into its construction, and all of it will be reused after the event.'
- ExpoMobilia is the main contractor for the Netherlands Pavilion. What makes this project so special in terms of construction?
The Netherlands Pavilion is a unique project, perfectly designed to be used as a temporary structure at a mega event. Two thousand tons of steel is going into its construction, and all of it will be reused after the event. This is one of the key highlights of the project when it comes to sustainable construction.
- The Netherlands Pavilion centers around a beautiful biotope. But you refer to the pavilion as a ‘steel monster’. Can you elaborate on that?
Yes, that’s right! The shell of the biotope is made entirely of steel, and it’s quite an impressive sight, even for those not familiar with the ins and outs of construction. Describing it as a ‘steel monster’ conveys our feeling of pride and alludes to it being such a massive, unprecedented and iconic element of the pavilion.
- Locally sourced materials are being used for the Netherlands Pavilion. Could you tell us more about that?
At Expomobilia, practicing and promoting sustainability is a fundamental part of our everyday work. It’s something we take very seriously. For example, we pay close attention to issues like exhaust gas emissions. So we aim to minimize or eliminate the need for transport wherever possible. We’re also committed to supporting the local economy.
- How has sustainability been taken into consideration in the construction?
The postponement of the event has certainly aided us in our mission to achieve the sustainability goals for the pavilion. When creating temporary structures, the secret is to look for materials that can be leased, like metal profile sheets or steel tubing. After the Expo, these materials will be carefully dismantled and returned. This even extends to the lifts; we’re using standard construction lifts normally used for skyscraper projects. After the event, they will be used at another construction site. Together, these methods help make the Netherlands Pavilion more sustainable.
- What innovative technologies are being used for the circular climate control system, the pavilion’s main feature?
The Netherlands Pavilion was designed with circularity in mind, right from the outset. This means we’ve been able to incorporate several smart, state-of-the-art technological innovations into the climate system.
The adiabatic cooling system in the cone’s chimney helps control the temperature and the moisture in the air required for growing mushrooms on the cone. As part of the water production system, a machine on the roof captures humidity from the air outside to help produce water. Water is also purified using a distinctive, innovative method. In addition, renewable energy is produced using conventional solar panels and transparent solar cells that allow natural light to enter the pavilion and stimulate the growth of the plants on the cone.
Together, all these groundbreaking techniques convey the pavilion’s theme of ‘Uniting Water, Energy and Food’ and give visitors a chance to experience this remarkable innovation, even in the harsh conditions of a place like a desert.
- Are you using any techniques or strategies to minimize the ecological footprint during construction of the pavilion?
We’ve demonstrated how to construct a massive project without using any additional space around the plot, even for the site facilities and heavy lifting equipment. Most work has been done on the plot itself so managing the ecological footprint is largely a matter of logistics. Once the entire structure has been dismantled after the event, nothing will remain. There will only be pure golden sand left, just as it was before.
- Once Expo 2020 is over, what are the plans to dismantle and dispose of the structure in a sustainable way?
Preparation works for dismantling the pavilion will begin in April 2022. The aim is to not produce any waste at all. Even before the contracts with suppliers were signed, we had already developed a concept to assure the reusability of materials once the event is over.