CW Expert Interview | Josef Kleindienst on The Heart of Europe
EXCLUSIVE: The chairman of The Kleindienst Group shares details about "the most sustainable project on the planet"
In this episode of CW Expert Interviews series, Construction Week's deputy editor Anup Oommen speaks exclusively to the Chairman of The Kleindienst Group, Josef Kleindienst about the construction progress, sustainability, and first-of-its-kind innovative experiences at The Heart of Europe.
The $5bn (AED18.3bn) Heart of Europe project comprises six man-made private islands being built by The Kleindienst Group, under master developer Nakheel, 4km off Dubai’s shores, which is part of “The World” – a cluster of 300 islands that make up a miniature version of a world map.
Once complete, The Heart of Europe will have floating villas and floating hotels with underwater rooms that provide views of corals, fish, turtles, and other marine life in their natural habitat.
In addition, the master-planned hospitality and second home island destination will also comprise outdoor snow plazas; a "Rainy Street" where it rains on demand throughout the year; an indoor Aurora Borealis; the world's first wedding-dedicated hotel; the world's first 5-star "family-only" hotel; and a 24/7 party hotel.
"At The Heart of Europe, you will experience the best of what Europe has to offer. You will be able to experience the best of 51 European countries in one day. People can experience the best of Europe's hotels, restaurants, entertainment, art galleries, and more at The Heart of Europe," Josef Kleindienst says.
Commenting on the construction of The Heart of Europe, Kleindienst adds: "We are building this project in two phases. In total, we will construct approximately 4,000 units, most of which will be in the hotels that we are building. Phase 1, which comprises around 2,000 units, is already fully under construction and we're gearing up for handover of a part of these units by Q4 2020. Phase 2 is now in progress to start construction."
The Heart of Europe has also been touted as "the most sustainable project on the planet" with solar panels providing electricity, desalination plants providing water, wastewater reuse for irrigation, buildings constructed with a lifetime of more than 100 years, and a zero-discharge policy being implemented for the first time in the world.
"What does the zero-discharge policy mean? We are not allowed to discharge anything into the surrounding air or water. This is highest level of sustainability possible. These 300 islands that form The World will become the most sustainable project on the planet. There is no regulation that can achieve more than zero-discharge," Kleindienst explains.
The zero-discharge policy and zero micro-plastics policy – which ensure the protection of the Arabian Gulf, the corals, and the marine life that reside around the islands – prohibits any discharge of any sort into the ocean.
“We cannot even discharge temperature into the ocean as that can have a detrimental effect on the marine ecosystem. For instance, it could have been easy for us to use seawater-cooled chiller systems, but we have chosen not to do this because it can increase the temperature of the ocean water."