The Slovenian pavilion at the World Expo in Dubai is a global showcase for Urbanscape® SemperGreenWall — a stunning example of the infinite possibilities of Knauf Insulation’s Green Solutions in the heart of the desert.
Expo Dubai opens its doors to the world today with Knauf Insulation’s Green Solutions playing an inspirational role in the Slovenian pavilion, which showcases Slovenia as the green heart of Europe, situated at an important European crossroads combining three natural elements: water, forest and wood.
The pavilion features an awe-inspiring six-metre-high Urbanscape® SemperGreenWall created from 45,000 plants. The green wall is designed using 11 varieties of locally grown plants in a range of green shades to represent Slovenian forests.
The project is an incredible opportunity to demonstrate to the Middle East — and the rest of the world — the infinite possibilities and environmental benefits of our green infrastructure solutions.
The Slovenian Pavilion and its Green wall is unique for its lush green impact in a Dubai’s desert environment. With a total surface of 460 m2 it is one of the biggest projects in the Middle East and Africa.
The building itself represents a completed unit. It illustrates the very character of Slovenia and its natural treasures, biodiversity, innovation, awareness and sustainable orientation towards the preservation of natural resources.
Overcoming challenges of the pandemic
The lead, delivery and installation of the green infrastructure took almost six months— the production of the green wall and irrigation system one month, locally pre-growing plants in the greenhouse, three months, and the installation of the green wall panels fourteen days, which is an exceptional achievement.
The installation was done in stages by the local partner with our support, mostly remotely, due to the challenges of the world pandemic.
We mounted the vertical substructure elements (profiles) on a waterproof façade and installed the drip pipes which have later been re-connected from the irrigation unit (situated inside the pavilion’s technical room) to the green wall panels.
Before proceeding with the next stage of planting the green wall panels with the pre-grown plants, we had to secure the appropriate amount of water with the right temperature and pressure as well as a stable electricity supply.
Creating a vertical garden
The production of custom-made load-bearing substructure elements, green wall panels, lightweight substrate sheets, and a specially designed irrigation system was done in Europe and shipped to Dubai. Concurrently all the plants were pre-grown locally in a greenhouse and then planted into the green wall panels.
This innovative green infrastructure solution creates a vertical garden giving the walls a special green and sustainable character. Green wall panels are the most accommodative system on the market. Pre-cultivated at nursery, the panels (62 x 52 cm) are easy to install on any wall, even on curved surfaces like the Slovenian pavilion.
The final part of the project was relocating the vegetated panels from the greenhouse to the building. Here, we put a lot of effort into ensuring the utmost coordination of all stakeholders in the project.
Mounting the plants panels and connecting them to the irrigation unit was done in three phases and areas to be on the safe side due to the design of the pavilion and the dry climate conditions. We had to secure the appropriate amount of water with the right temperature and pressure as well as a stable electricity supply.
Due to the exceptional coordination of the project between the three parties involved, the installation of the green wall was successfully completed in early 2021.
The appearance of the installed green wall is already impressive, and for the final appearance, the vegetation needs a few more weeks to form a unity so that all the plants are united into a single surface.
Moisture sensors make maintenance easier
For the proper monitoring of humidity in the panels, we have used moisture sensors, measuring appropriate humidity for the remote monitoring of the green wall. The sensors for the green infrastructure are connected to an application which makes maintenance easier.
They monitor the basic parameters of the green wall 24/7 − such as evaporation, transpiration, temperature and humidity — which depend on the outside climate conditions. The green infrastructure sensors are connected to an irrigation and nutrient supply unit for proper plant growth and consequent support for the irrigation software. In case of any changes in parameters, the sensors are set to warn of incorrect operation in a timely manner.
Benefits of our Green Wall
Our wall is hydroponic based. The major benefit is its weight, which goes up to 45 kg/m2 when fully saturated with water (soil systems can weigh more than 90 kg). This makes the construction less robust and heavy as well as enabling easy fixing to the base construction.
- Energy savings (sun shading, direct absorption of the sun rays, cooling effect due to the moisture in the green wall substrate) – evapotranspiration
- Reduction of Urban Heat Island
- Reduction of CO2
- Absorption of dust particles
- Sound absorption
- Energy savings
- Raising the value of real estate
- Prolonged life span of the façade
- Reduced water consumption compared to soil-based green roofs
Benefits for users
- Sound insulation
- Better living environment – microclimate
- Reduced heating in the surrounding area
Figures on the wall
The green wall covers an area of approximately 500 m2, with about 1,500 installed green wall panels (30 are custom-made) and 45,000 hand-planted local plants selected by the client. The load-bearing structure of the green wall panels is represented by more than 1,000 metres of various profiles. It weights up to 45 kg/m2 when fully saturated with water.
We are using the most advanced irrigation systems for watering the green walls. The average water consumption on this project will range from less than two litres/m2 in winter, and up to four litres/m2 in summer (with temperatures exceeding 40°C).
Partners on the project: Riko d.o.o. / Sempergreen Vertical / Design by MAGNET DESIGN d.o.o. / Installation by Desert Dream Garden: Annie Hasnain
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Photos: Courtesy of ©Desert Dream Garden