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Besix breaks ground on Expo 2020 Dubai's Belgium Pavilion

The zero-waste structure has been 'co-created' by Assar Architects, Vincent Callebaut Architectures, Besix, and Krafthaus

Ground has been broken on Expo 2020 Dubai's Belgium Pavilion.
Expo 2020 Dubai
Ground has been broken on Expo 2020 Dubai's Belgium Pavilion.

Ground has been broken on Expo 2020 Dubai's Belgium Pavilion, the sustainability-led zero-waste building within Expo 2020 Dubai's Mobility District that was “co-created” by Assar Architects, Vincent Callebaut Architectures, and “scenographers” from Krafthaus, and for which Besix – in which Orascom Construction Industries acquired a 50% stake in Besix Group in 2004 – is working as contractor.

Expo 2020 Dubai’s smart tech- and environment-focused pavilion will offer “an experience focused on the mobility of tomorrow”, Besix said whilst revealing the pavilion in March 2019.

The contractor added that the building, “in an ode to the circular economy”, would be a zero-waste smart structure, in line with Expo 2020 Dubai's waste management goals.

Work commencement was announced by Belexpo Dubai, the developer of Expo 2020 Dubai's Belgium Pavilion, on its official Twitter account. 

Najeeb Mohammed Al-Ali, executive director of Expo 2020 Dubai Bureau joined HE Patrick Vercauteren Drubbel, Commissioner General of Belgium for the pavilion’s groundbreaking ceremony.

They were accompanied by a Belgium delegation that included the Ambassador of Belgium to the UAE, HE Peter Claes, Expo 2020 Dubai said in a statement. 

Commenting on the pavilion, Drubbel said: “Trying to imagine how your grandchildren will move in the future is not obvious, correct? Mobility is often considered slightly differently from what we know today. The Belgium pavilion will reverse your thinking; visitors will be able to experience what our most creative inventors have in mind.”

Al-Ali added: “With its self-built country pavilion in Expo 2020’s Mobility District, Belgium will be able to showcase its latest innovations in bringing people, goods and ideas together – offering visitors a glimpse into the Belgium of the future.

“While located in the Mobility District, the Belgium Pavilion also boasts impressive green credentials – in line with Expo 2020’s key sub-theme of Sustainability. We look forward to the Belgium Pavilion’s impressive designs coming to life over the coming year as we approach our 20 October 2020 opening date.”

Local and bio-sourced materials, including recycled and recyclable products “and virtuous loops” will be used to build Expo 2020 Dubai’s Belgium Pavilion.

To facilitate its goals as a zero-waste structure, waste segregation will be a key area of focus for the pavilion’s developers, with the pavilion also designed to be “assembled, transported, and dismantled”.

Besix said in March that the building had been designed to “measure, reduce, and compensate its […] emissions in a responsible way”.

The process will be supported by the development of hanging gardens to convert CO2 into oxygen and make up a “carbon sink”. Emulating a natural oasis, the sink will be supported by 10,000 plants to store 35 tonnes of CO2 during the course of Expo 2020 Dubai.

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Construction Week - Issue 748
Sep 01, 2019