From 30 September 2020 the construction of the Dutch pavilion for Expo 2020 Dubai will be suspended. In the light of the COVID-19 pandemic the Expo has been postponed for a year and, to preserve the integrity of the pavilion, construction will not resume until March 2021.
Innovative climate system
Following the announcement of the Expo’s postponement, the commissioning authority for the construction of the pavilion, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), spoke with the general contractor, architecture firm and building suppliers to discuss the optimal schedule for the project’s completion. This is because the Dutch pavilion is no ordinary construction. It is a biotope – a circular climate system in which water, energy and food are inextricably linked. This system is contained inside the building, which is made largely of metal.
Integrity of pavilion is top priority
‘Since the Expo has been postponed,’ explains Daan Stoop, RVO project manager for the Dutch pavilion, ‘it’s not advisable to complete construction at this time. We must also consider the matter of sustainability, which is key to the design and construction of the pavilion. If we were to continue construction, the completed pavilion would stand unused in the Dubai desert with working cooling systems, etc. for the better part of a year. That would result in the unnecessary consumption of electricity and other services. By suspending construction, we can ensure that the pavilion is in top condition for the opening of the Expo on 1 October 2021.’
Resumption of construction
The steel structure that constitutes the main framework of the pavilion will be completed in late September. This material will weather with time in the desert, but that will only add to its appeal and will not affect the integrity of the structure.
Construction of the pavilion will resume in March 2021. The interior of the building will then be completed, technical systems will be installed and the pavilion will be fitted with innovative Dutch solutions. In addition, the grounds will be landscaped and the plants growing in the pavilion will be brought in. Audio-visual equipment for the visitors show will also be installed.
When agreeing to suspend construction, consideration was given to operational planning. ‘The adjusted building schedule, including resumption of construction in March, takes into account the needs of the operational team,’ says Niels Bouwman, director of the Dutch pavilion. ‘They need time to get up and running before the opening of the Expo. The new schedule allows for this. The team working in the pavilion will have time in September 2021 to prepare before the Expo opens. This includes security personnel, hosts and hostesses, catering staff, etc. They’ll have plenty of time to get acquainted with the systems and their work in the pavilion.’
Find out more about the Dutch pavilion and the innovative solutions it showcases here.