Expo 2020 Dubai

Expo 2020 Dubai aims to be one of the most sustainable World Expos in history. For its permanent infrastructure assets, the achievement of CEEQUAL Excellent provided credence towards this goal.

The Expo 2020 Dubai case study covers the eight separate CEEQUAL assessments conducted as part of Expo 2020 Dubai.

To explore the details of each individual assessment, use the tabs below.

Public Realm in Road Corridors and Drop-offs

CEEQUAL Excellent Sustainability rating (82.7%) – Whole Team Award
Version 5, September 2021| Dubai

Project:CQA619A Expo 2020 Dubai Public Realm in Road Corridors and Drop-offs
Assessors: Nihal Karagoz, AECOM
Sidra Habib, Kier Construction
Verifier: Mark Barrett, Independent Sustainability Advisor
Programme Management Consultant: Jacobs and Mace Joint Venture
Supervision Consultant: AECOM
Contractor: Kier Construction
Client: Expo 2020 Dubai

Event Infrastructure

CEEQUAL Excellent Sustainability rating (85%) – Whole Team Award
Version 5, February 2020| Dubai

Project: CQA619B Expo 2020 Dubai Event Infrastructure
Assessors: Olga Rudkovskaya, Parsons International
Mohammed Mudassir Ahmed, Transgreen
Verifier: Mark Barrett, Independent Sustainability Advisor
Programme Management Consultant: Jacobs and Mace Joint Venture
Supervision Consultant: Parsons International
Contractor: Besix and Orascom Joint Venture
Client: Expo 2020 Dubai

Village Supporting Infrastructure

CEEQUAL Excellent Sustainability rating (85.3%) – Whole Team Award
Version 5, February 2020| Dubai

Project: CQA619B Expo 2020 Dubai Village Supporting Infrastructure
Assessors: Olga Rudkovskaya, Parsons International
Colin Boulton, Tristar Engineering and Construction
Verifier: Mark Barrett, Independent Sustainability Advisor
Programme Management Consultant: Jacobs and Mace Joint Venture
Supervision Consultant: Parsons International
Contractor: Tristar Engineering and Construction
Client: Expo 2020 Dubai

Shade Structure

CEEQUAL Excellent Sustainability rating (85.3%) – Whole Team Award
Version 5, December 2020| Dubai

Project: CQA619C Expo 2020 Dubai Event Infrastructure
Assessors: Karl Pitman, Werner Sobek Dubai
Verifier: Mark Barrett, Independent Sustainability Advisor
Programme Management Consultant: Jacobs and Mace Joint Venture
Supervision Consultant: Werner Sobek Dubai
Contractor: Cleveland Bridge Engineering
Client: Expo 2020 Dubai

Al Wasl Plaza

CEEQUAL Excellent Sustainability rating (91.6%) – Whole Team Award
Version 5, April 2021| Dubai

Project: CQA619D Expo 2020 Al Wasl Plaza
Assessors: Xi Yi and Chris Drew, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill
Verifier: Mark Barrett, Independent Sustainability Advisor
Programme Management Consultant: Jacobs and Mace Joint Venture
Supervision Consultant: Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill
Contractor: Laing O’Rourke
Client: Expo 2020 Dubai

Al Wasl Plaza Trellis & Steelwork

CEEQUAL Excellent Sustainability rating (93.6%) – Whole Team Award
Version 5, April 2021| Dubai

Project: CQA619D Expo 2020 Al Wasl Plaza Trellis & Steelwork
Assessors: Xi Yi and Chris Drew, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill
Verifier: Mark Barrett, Independent Sustainability Advisor
Programme Management Consultant: Jacobs and Mace Joint Venture
Supervision Consultant: Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill
Contractor: Cimolai & Rimond Middle East Contracting
Client: Expo 2020 Dubai

Al Wasl Hammerhead & Access Ramp

CEEQUAL Excellent Sustainability rating (87.7%) – Whole Team Award
Version 5, July 2020 | Dubai

Project: CQA619E Expo 2020 Al Wasl Hammerhead & Access Ramp
Assessors: Olga Rudkovskaya, Parsons International
Verifier: Mark Barrett, Independent Sustainability Advisor
Programme Management Consultant: Jacobs and Mace Joint Venture
Supervision Consultant: Parsons International
Contractor: Al Futtaim Carillion, Laing O’Rourke
Client: Expo 2020 Dubai

C38 District Main Contract & Parks

CEEQUAL Excellent Sustainability rating (90.7%) – Whole Team Award
Version 5, October 2020 | Dubai

Project: CQA619F Expo 2020 C38 District Main Contract and Parks
Assessors: Olga Rudkovskaya, Qaiser Abbas, Nagelle
Fernandes, Parsons International
Mohammed Mudassir Ahmed, Transgreen
Arthika Saseendranath, Kier Construction
Verifier: Mark Barrett, Independent Sustainability Advisor
Programme Management Consultant: Jacobs and Mace Joint Venture
Supervision Consultant: Parsons International
Contractor: Arabtec Construction, Kier Dubai
Client: Expo 2020 Dubai

Project Summary

Expo 2020 Dubai aims to deliver one of the most sustainable World Expos in history, supporting the UAE in its journey towards a green economy. With an objective to leave a legacy of sustainable infrastructure, 41 sustainability KPIs were put in place to underpin the development of all permanent assets on the 4.38 sq km site.

The site incorporates the Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability Thematic Districts, all of which converge on Al Wasl Plaza at the heart of the site. At the centre of this is the Al Wasl Plaza, a major civil engineering structure spanning 130 metres and reaching 67 metres in height. The Trellis surrounding the plaza is constructed from tubular steel forming a complex pattern of rings varying in shape and size, echoing the Expo 2020 Dubai logo. It acts as a 360-degree video projection screen, which will create an immersive experience that can be viewed from inside and outside.

The site contains innumerable iconic buildings and structures developed by Expo, its partners and the more than 200 participants – including nations, multilateral organisations, businesses, and educational institutions – with each nation having its own pavilion. There are four arrival plazas, with innovative carbon fibre entry portal structures, and two major parks, providing space for large outdoor performances and zones for recreational activities.  Site facilities include prayer rooms, retail and food and beverage outlets, roads, carparks, bus stops, washrooms, alongside extensively landscaped areas.

All permanent site infrastructure achieved CEEQUAL Excellent, with high scores. Over 80% of assets across the campus are intended to remain after the event when the site will transition into District 2020, a smart city-within-a-city and an integral part of the Dubai 2040 Urban Masterplan.

 

View a video about Expo 2020 Dubai

CEEQUAL’s Role

Why was CEEQUAL used?

Expo 2020 Dubai aims to be one of the most sustainable World Expos in history.  For its permanent infrastructure assets, the achievement of CEEQUAL Excellent provided credence towards this goal.

Expo 2020 became the first city-wide programme in the Middle East to receive a full set of CEEQUAL Excellent ratings covering all of its projects, with some of its projects achieving exceptionally high scores.

Achieving best practice and innovation 

  • Strong client policies, strategies, plans, and KPIs which were well aligned to CEEQUAL objectives and incorporated into project documentation at the outset.
  • Robust and efficient monitoring of progress toward CEEQUAL certification based on formal monthly reporting processes and innovative reporting templates and graphs.
  • Expo Dubai’s ambitious Sustainable Materials Guidelines which put in place a common set of criteria to be followed by all projects.
  • One of the most advanced carbon-footprinting methodologies ever developed for a mega-event.
  • Following though sustainability KPIs into event operations, and live-monitoring performance using Siemens’ MindSphere platform.
  • Extensive knowledge-sharing across the projects through the client’s Environmental Forum and regular group meetings.
  • Making a 30 minute public film for Earth Day to celebrate CEEQUAL and Expo’s achievement of CEEQUAL Excellent for its eight infrastructure projects

Overcoming Challenges 

Tracking the progress of each CEEQUAL assessment project had its challenges given the scale, complexity, and fast construction pace of this mega-project. Expo 2020 addressed this by holding monthly CEEQUAL progress meetings with the Supervision Consultants for the eight projects, based on a standard report template. This contained an ‘S curve graph’ which tracked forecast versus actual progress for each CEEQUAL section. CEEQUAL management aspects were also covered in the template and reviewed during these meeting.

COVID disruption also resulted in some challenges. As the pandemic resulted in the start of the event being postponed by a year, some key CEEQUAL and Contractor contacts moved on from their projects. However, the Expo construction programme was extremely well-managed and Expo’s Sustainability Manager was provided with the opportunity to bring any key issues to the fore during weekly key issues meetings, where advice and support from Expo’s Leadership was provided in an effective manner.

Achievements

Project Strategy and Management

All eight projects of the programme scored very well in the Project Strategy and Project Management sections of their CEEQUAL assessment. Criteria in these sections were supported by Expo’s early incorporation of sustainable infrastructure principles through impact studies, strategies, plans, guides, training guides and KPIs. Examples are as follows.

A strong Expo Sustainability Strategy was established at the outset which closely aligned with CEEQUAL objectives. This was underpinned by Expo’s ambitious Sustainable Materials Guidelines, and a suite of 41 mandatory KPIs which largely mirrored CEEQUAL objectives, and were tracked through a monitoring and reporting regime.

Sustainability requirements were put in place for design, construction and operations phases, and were integrated into contracts across project lifecycles. A CEEQUAL Certification Strategy was issued to all projects, and each Supervision Consultant organisation was required to have a qualified CEEQUAL Assessor and Sustainability Management Plan in place to implement this, with the key aim of achieving CEEQUAL Excellent.

Expo 2020, as the client, commissioned a number of key studies which helped all the projects meet site-wide criteria such as climate change analysis, and provided detailed evidence for site-wide criteria. It also facilitated a Quarterly Environmental Forum, and supported other forms of ongoing collaboration, to assist knowledge-sharing and external stakeholder engagement across the projects.

Land Use and Landscape

The Expo 2020 Dubai Master Plan was developed not only to deliver a stunning event experience for millions of visitors but to create a sustainable community as a legacy for Dubai.  Following the close of Expo 2020, in March 2022, 80 per cent of Expo’s built environment will transition into District 2020. Major infrastructure, utility networks and public realm amenities, including open spaces, parks and the bike network, are to be retained.

Those assets that will not remain on site after the event are required to be decommissioned according to sustainability criteria aimed at assuring the reuse or recycling of structures, components and/or materials

In designing the site, design teams took into consideration climate change analysis, local air temperatures, solar heat gain, relative humidity and wind speeds in design for thermal comfort needs in Dubai’s hot climate. Design scenarios were informed by historical environmental data, as well as data generated by a physical wind tunnel model.

From the outset, designers drove down the urban heat island effect through extensive specification of light-coloured paving and roofing materials. All materials had to undergo a Materials Approval Request procedure, which contained strict SRI criteria. In addition, Expo 2020 had put in place challenging targets for the amount of the site to be shaded at mid-day peak: 75% of primary walkways in the Thematic Districts; and 60% of hard landscaping areas and public open spaces.

Through microclimate simulations a five degree Celsius temperature difference between shaded and unshaded areas was demonstrated. Shading was achieved, using adjustable shade structures, buildings and dense tree canopies. The result was that the comfort of pedestrians was greatly enhance by passive measures, not requiring high energy solutions.

The Master Plan was developed according to sustainable design requirements and KPIs set out in Expo’s Sustainability Strategy, and these were followed through, in the form of guidance, KPIs and CEEQUAL clauses, into the Landscape Operational Plan. The following KPIs were incorporated to drive sustainability into operations during Expo’s six-month event and potentially beyond it:

  • Percentage of total site landscape area managed without the use of chemical pesticides, herbicides or fertilisers (95%)
  • Percentage of green waste within the total site landscape area that has been sent for composting (100%)
  • Percentage of compost to be peat free within the total site landscape area (100%)
  • Percentage of exterior water to be monitored and leak detected (90%)
  • Number of pest/ invasive species on site (0)
  • Percentage of native plant species on site (50%)
  • Average water consumption in Public Parks (10 L/m2/day)
  • Average water consumption in Streetscapes (7 L/m2/day)
  • Average water consumption in Remaining Landscapes (4 L/m2/day)
  • Percentage of non-potable exterior water use to be met by treated sewage effluent (100%)

All of the above KPIs will be continuously monitored using the MindSphere navigator platform, which was developed with Siemens, Premier Infrastructure Digitalisation Partner at Expo 2020 Dubai.

Ecology and Biodiversity

730,000 individual plants will be used throughout the event, many chosen because of their low water needs and their ability to attract birds, butterflies, and bees, to help create habitats.

The plants are mostly native or resilient to the region, for example the super-resilient Ghaf tree, which is well-known for its low water consumption and soil enhancement capabilities.

Shade structures also incorporate plants, supporting ecosystems for insects and birds. Pest species are handled according to an Integrated Pest Management Plan, which includes sustainability criteria.

Many of the plants were propagated or grown-on in Expo’s huge nursery, which itself has become provided habitats for numerous bird species. With so much vegetation on site, significant carbon sequestration is being encouraged.

The Water Environment

The irrigation network is extensive, and the entire system is automated, with flow monitoring and leak detection built in, and all controllers incorporated into and managed by the Rainbird irrigation system. This system is in turn integrated into the MindSphere platform, which live-monitors and reports consumption data against a range of irrigation KPIs. Irrigation targets are set for each landuse type (see the Landuse and Landscape section above).

As well as leak detection assemblies and flow sensors being installed at the district levels, the SCADA system at the site-wide pump station is integrated in MindSphere to allow for monitoring of site-wide irrigation water monitoring and reconciliation with consumption data for the districts, to enable accuracy checks.

Not only are plants selected for low irrigation but no potable water is to be used for irrigation. An efficient drip irrigation is used to reduce the amount of water needed, and flexible irrigation pipes are used instead of rigid PVC, reducing the risk of water losses for the irrigation network.

Physical Resources

Expo is progressively calculating the entire carbon impact of the site and the event based on the calculation of the embodied CO2E of construction materials and the CO2 impacts of operating the event. In doing this it is applying one of the most advanced carbon-footprinting methodologies ever developed for a mega-event. This has been guiding Expo on where carbon emissions may be eliminated or – in the worst case – where it can address emissions through the procurement of high-quality carbon offset credits.

The embodied CO2 of all infrastructure projects has been independently assessed though detailed scrutiny of Bills of Quantity and the Environmental Performance Declarations of key civil engineering materials. The MindSphere platform is set up to live-monitor operational carbon emissions and water consumption across the entire site.

Waste recycling has been extremely high. There is a mandatory KPI requiring that at least 85% of all waste be diverted from landfill. Each project met this target comfortably in the construction phase, which was a key achievement. In addition, none of the millions of tonnes of excavation material generated since the initial development of the site was allowed to leave the site, and was required to be stored and processed on site and beneficially used according to topographical studies and logistics strategies.

Expo placed a considerable emphasis on designers adopting re-usable, modular and prefabricated solutions, which supported the efficient use of resources and the sustainability criteria of the decommissioning plan. Other examples of the many achievements in this area included:

  • 70% of the rubber in the running track was from recycled sources
  • More than 90% of the key materials used complied with Expo’s Sustainable Material Guidelines which requires:
    • Environmental Performance Declarations for concrete and steel
    • FSC certification for timber
    • ECVM Charter for PVC
    • low VOCs content for paints, coatings and adhesives
    • high level of local sourcing for aggregates and concrete
  • The huge lightweight composite carbon fibre entrance portals designed to be de-constructed and used easily after the event
  • Electrical power for outside lighting reduced by more than 40%, and, for the landscape areas, by more than 70%
  • Car parks used rubberised asphalt, with 20% recycled rubber from crushed used tyres
  • All of the 8,000 square metres of wooden slats for the Shade Structure compliant with Forestry Stewardship Council
  • The global warming potential of the steel making up the trellis of Al Wasl dome was 20% lower than the industry average
  • The carbon footprint of the gantry steel used during construction of the trellis was offset by purchasing Emission Reduction credits, supporting a community windfarm development in Indonesia
  • Through numerous design revisions the weight of each of the trellis brackets was reduced by over 1 Kg which led to an embodied carbon saving of over 41,000 Kg
  • Hundreds of high strength concrete blocks had to be used to enable construction of the Al Wasl dome; the project was able to re-use or recycle 4,000 tonnes (99.98%) of the concrete
  • The use of solar task lighting to avoid the excessive use of diesel generators
  • The use of 100% non-potable water for dust suppression during Summer
  • The re-use of waste materials to make barriers, storage boxes, signage etc

Transport

The transport network was planned to serve both event and legacy phases, and has a significant emphasis on public transport, with bus routes and a Metro train link incorporated.

The wider site incorporates the Dubai Exhibition Centre and a new Metro Station. The station is part of a Metro extension created to serve the Expo site. Trains run every two minutes and at peak, the station can accommodate 22,000 passengers per hour in each direction.

Honouring the visionary leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to position the UAE as a pioneer in sustainable development and the green economy, each of these CEEQUAL ‘Excellent’ certificates is a testament to the dedication and teamwork of our sustainability and site delivery teams. All involved are bound by a shared desire to ensure Expo 2020 is one of the most sustainable World Expos ever, while supporting the UAE’s efforts to build cleaner, safer and healthier communities for its people.

– Ahmed Al Khatib, Chief Development and Delivery Officer, Expo 2020

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