A fresh warning: climate change
Major climate change is now inevitable and is almost certainly the greatest threat humanity has ever faced, according to the UN. We are already seeing the effects of global warming on a daily basis, from hydrogeological instability to record summer temperatures. Climate change is happening, according to more than 97 percent of climate scientists throughout the world, and it is being generated by human activities.
With the building and construction industry accounting for 40% of worldwide CO2 emissions and producing 30% of waste in Europe, anyone working in this field understands the necessity of sustainability. Most importantly, we must recognize that everything we develop now must not jeopardize the requirements of future generations.
Expo2020 and the future of mobility
Earlier this month, I visited the first Expo in a non-western country, where I led a delegation of 80 entrepreneurs from ANCE, the Italian national building association.
The narrative of Expo 2020 Dubai is about communication, healing, and constructing a better world, which is fitting given that our world has been turned upside down in recent years by the pandemic and climate change. The official theme is “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future,” which touches on sustainability, mobility, and opportunity.
It is significant that the majority of the fair’s pavilions will be recycled – unlike practically every previous World Expo – becoming a new neighborhood strategically placed between the city’s airports and transit hubs and easily accessible by public transport.
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The Italian pavilion: carbon-free and sustainable
The Italian Pavilion for this edition of Expo was designed and installed by Carlo Ratti Associati and Italo Rota to represent Italy and also to investigate reusable materials and natural cooling methods.
It is the most sustainable and only carbon-free pavilion among all other 192 present at Expo. The project team employed a variety of recycled and/or recyclable materials to promote sustainable building principles, including upturned boats for the roof, open walls faced with rope made from millions of recycled bottles, and recycled orange peel used in the flooring, in the hopes of creating a temporary structure that wouldn’t end up in the landfill.
The pavilion features three boat hulls, which literally shape and serve as the roof; when Expo is over and the pavilion is no longer needed, they will sail back to Italy in a new take on the voyages that settlers of old used to make. The walls of the pavilion differ from all others in Expo, in that they are open and are made up of a curtain of nautical rope that was created from approximately 70 kilometers and 2 million recycled plastic bottles. The Italian pavilion is the only one without air conditioning – despite the desert heat, the rope walls allow for a natural cooling effect via the ventilation they provide. Other recycled and sustainable materials used in the building include coffee grinds and orange peels, which were left to dry and turned to powder and to coat pathways and walkways.
The Italian pavilion is the poster child for an alternative built environment which can truly be sustainable and is in net contrast to traditional standards that contribute to climate change, due to everything from the way they are built to how they are managed.
In short, the pavilion not only showcases Italy’s beauty and our historic know-how, the so-called “Made in Italy”, but also displays how it is possible to be renewable and sustainable in everything we do. This marks a real journey towards sustainable technology, with the goal of making it, after Expo2020, one of Italy’s strongest calling cards.
In the cover picture: The Group Of Italian Entrepreneurs visiting the Italian Pavillion at Expo2020. Photo Credit: Angelica Krystle Donati
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by Impakter.com columnists are their own, not those of Impakter.com