Expo 2020 Dubai: Austrian Pavilion Leads the Change Towards Sustainability

Standing out as an oasis of calm and relaxation in the general hustle and bustle of the event, the markedly different architecture of Austria’s building has won three prestigious awards for its contribution to Expo 2020’s vision of organizing one of the most sustainable world expos of all time.

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These include the first prize in the sustainable architecture category at the Global Architecture & Design Awards 2021, the Jury’s Favorite in Architectural Design – Sustainable & Energy Saving at the Built Design Awards 2021, and the top sustainability honor at the German Design Awards 2022.

Sustainable living

According to Commissioner General of the Austrian Pavilion Beatrix Karl, Austria has a long history of sustainable living through responsible utilization of available resources. He adds, “These awards are a testament to the efforts that every individual has put into creating this captivating pavilion which represents what a resourceefficient, climate-neutral, environment-friendly future may look like. We hope that through this far-reaching platform of Expo 2020 Dubai, the world can see and experience the very best that Austria has to offer.”

Distinctive structure

Operating under the theme of ‘Austria Makes Sense’ and staying true to Expo 2020’s mission of creating a sustainable future for everyone, the central European nation has come up with arguably the most distinct structure. The entire building – which pays homage to the Arab architectural tradition of using cones inspired by wind towers – requires 70 percent less energy than any conventionally air-conditioned facility in weather conditions
similar to those in the UAE.

Out of the box

Combining the best of technology and ecology, the Austrian Pavilion has only partnered with companies that have a spectacular vision for a better future, sending a strong message of support for climate protection and sustainable development. A case in point inside the pavilion is the iLab, which is a vibrant space known for its innovative practices and out-of-the-box ideas. The exhibits of Austrian companies inside the iLab are displayed digitally and physically in Innovation Towers with topics grouped in two phases with four cluster themes in each. In the first phase, from October to December 2021, the Innovation Towers in the Austrian Pavilion will focus on the topics: City, Circular Economy, Mobility and Digital Opportunities. These will be followed from January to March 2022, by the next four clusters of the exhibition: Water, Agriculture, Health & Life Science, New Materials and Digital Security. Under the topic Health & Life Science, the Austrian companies are showcasing how technology can be used to provide better solutions and improve the quality of healthcare services.

For example, the company Kerkoc, an orthopedic technology company that was established in Vienna in 1945, has developed the Luxinergy system that combines knowledge gained through traditional craftsmanship with modern production technology.

After scanning the patients; the system uses 3D printers, developed especially for orthopedics, and a patented biocompatible resin to create an accurate 3D model, which is then used to design custom-fit orthotics. The system reduces lead time and waste compared to the current pouring and molding method by more than 70 percent. It creates lighter-weight, more breathable and more durable orthotics. Another company is SCARLETRED, a Vienna based international digital health company revolutionizing the global dermatology and telemedicine market. The company is presenting their CE-certified medical device, Scarletred®Vision, the first technology to enable the generation, documentation, and objective analysis of standardized dermatological images using customizable analytical tools. The system integrates the use of a small patch to standardize the imaging procedure and exchanges anonymized medical data in real time between users and a neuronal machine learning network.

The cooling concept

Located in the Opportunity Sector, the Austrian Pavilion enables visitors to immerse themselves directly into the countless possibilities that are related to and go beyond sustainable living.

The cooling concept is a page out of the Arab architectural book where wind catching towers, or cones, allow reduced electricity consumption to cool the entire space. This makes for quite a pleasant environment throughout the pavilion even during hot weather.

The entire structure has been prepared using prefabricated parts with the aim of using as few resources as possible. Moreover, the entire façade is easy to take down after the event which concludes in March, 2022. Once decommissioned, the design team responsible for creating the pavilion intends to set up a new building using the same parts at a different location in the region. The high flexibility of the components allows them to create something entirely different from what has been seen at Expo 2020 Dubai. H

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