Dutch to build mushroom-growing Expo 2020 Dubai pavilion in May 2019

The artificial rain-generating pavilion will use locally sourced and returnable construction materials

The Dutch Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai will grow mushrooms and create artificial rain [image: supplied].
The Dutch Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai will grow mushrooms and create artificial rain [image: supplied].

Construction work on the climate-generating Dutch Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai will start in May 2019, the project's main contractor said. 

Expomobilia's director of pavilion projects, Roger Kornmayer, told Construction Week a building permit could be obtained in April, paving the way for the $22.1m (AED81.4m) project to kick off.

“We are working on the detailed design right now and we aim to have a building permit by the end of April, so we will see construction going forwards in May,” Kornmayer said.

READ: Expo 2020 Dubai's Netherlands Pavilion design to be revealed 

The Dutch Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai will be built by a consortium of Netherlands-based builders and architects, including Expomobilia, V8 Architects, Kossmann.dejong, and Witteveen+Bos.

The centrepiece will be a biotope that produces water, renewable energy, and organic mushrooms. It will harvest carbon dioxide to purify the air, and its circular climate system will create artificial rain to grow mushrooms.

Locally sourced and rented construction materials, such as steel walls and sheet piling, will be used during construction. All materials will be returned or resold to the construction market when the Dutch Pavilion is dismantled in 2021. Instead of using concrete or asphalt, the consortium will use rubber mats for the pavilion's flooring requirements. 

Officials said the project's design was inspired by the Netherlands' civil engineering prowess, which is exemplified the important role played by Dutch companies in the construction of Burj Khalifa and Museum of the Future. 

READ: Dubai Ruler reviews Expo 2020 construction progress

While civil engineering takes pride of place in the design, Kornmayer said the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) scope also stands out.

“I really like the cleanliness of the pavilion design,” he added. “I have seen a lot of pavilions and you can't really get [the design essence], but here you really get it. The construction is not rocket science. The technical input and the things that really stand out are in the MEP work, where we generate rain to harvest vegetables. This is going to be quite a challenge to achieve, [and] we will have to do a lot of testing to do it.”

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