Expo 2020 to leave a sustainable trail

Expo 2020 to leave a sustainable trail
An artist's impression of the UAE pavillion at the Expo 2020 Dubai site.

dubai - Team plans to develop eco-friendly guidelines that can be used as a template in future projects

By Waheed Abbas

Published: Sun 21 Jan 2018, 3:24 PM

Last updated: Sun 21 Jan 2018, 8:16 PM

Be it electricity, water or construction materials, the Expo 2020 team has sustainability on the top of their agenda. The promoters also plan to set standards that could be later rolled out in the development of sustainable projects.

"Our Expo legacy is the rollout of new sustainability practices across the UAE. In terms of site-wise sustainability targets, we've focused on two main objectives - to protect natural resources through design and promote the use of sustainable materials in terms of environmental, social and economic impacts. We've sourced sustainable materials for contractors and consultants. We also look at importing materials from nearby locations to reduce carbon emissions," said Ahmed Al Khatib, VP Real Estate and Delivery, Expo 2020 Bureau.

From the visitors' perspective, Al Khatib said the focus is to design passages, corridors and streets in such a way that they are self-shaded by buildings. He added that more than 45,000sqm has been allocated for green areas which will help the environment bring down temperature.

Al Khatib noted that authorities include design sustainability guidelines during the tender stage so that all contractors must comply with the standards to win the contract.

"We have developed more than 40 KPIs for sustainability guidelines as a strategy for our master plan. We are monitoring them closely and meeting contractors on a regular basis; we also monitor the sourcing of materials. One of our KPIs is that 85 per cent of construction waste is to be diverted from landfill. At the end of last year, we had exceeded that target," he added.

Towards the end of 2017, more than 370,000 tonnes of construction waste was diverted from landfill. For electricity consumption, the target is to get 50 per cent of energy from renewable sources and the Expo team is exceeding that target as well, Al Khatib revealed.

Expo 2020 has tied up with the Dubai Municipality and Sharjah-based Bee'ah to recycle materials for construction rather than landfill.

He said the Expo team has awarded a contract for about 30,000 car parking spaces. "In a normal construction, this would have an environmental impact. Together with the Dubai Municipality, we will be constructing surface car parking using recycled tyres. The Municipality is helping us source those tyres."

Citing more examples, Al Khatib revealed that the cement and concrete remix used required seven per cent less water consumption.

"We have appointed consultants to monitor sustainability goals and achievements. They report to global organisations to ensure that even our processes are audited to show the world that we are honest in our commitments," Al Khatib said.

- waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com

More news from