Malaysia’s net-zero carbon pavilion kicks off groundbreaking ceremony
Malaysia led by Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment, and Climate Change (MESTECC) has kicked off construction of its “Rainforest Canopy” Pavilion during a groundbreaking ceremony today, to begin construction within the 4.38km2 World Expo site’s Sustainability District.
Recently, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad revealed that construction of “Malaysia’s Net Zero Carbon Pavilion”, an initiative to offset the carbon from the Malaysia Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, is an important and conscious step towards ensuring that building the structure will be sustainable in the long term. The offsetting actions will be done in Malaysia through tree planting initiatives which will also ensure that the nation will reforest more land areas, apart from the current programmes being conducted by various national agencies, including the ASEAN Framework for Climate Change agenda. Malaysia’s current forest cover is at 55.3 percent, or 18.3 million hectares of its total land area, exceeding Malaysia’s initial commitment to the Rio Earth Summit, which was 50%.
“Malaysia aims to attract USD2.5 billion in potential trade and investments, capturing 1,000 business leads with 20 memorandums of understanding or partnership agreements signed in our six-month long participation at Expo 2020 Dubai. Malaysia Pavilion provides excellent opportunities for world business communities and calls for business partnerships with our 200 organisations/businesses ranging from Sustainable Agriculture and Agricommodity to energy, STI, environment and climate change, culture, tourism and youth, e-commerce and ICT, trade and 4IR, women and community development,” said Dr. Mohd Nor Azman Hassan, Deputy Commissioner-General for Malaysia in Expo 2020 Dubai, who is also Deputy Secretary General, Science, Technology & Innovation (MESTECC).
As a symbol of sustainability, Malaysia’s Deputy Commissioner General, Dr. Mohd Nor Azman Hassan, presented on behalf of the Commissioner General, Datuk Seri Dr. Mohd Azhar Hj. Yahaya, a Rajah Brooke Butterfly frame to Mr. Najeeb Mohammed Al-Ali, Director General, Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau. Rajah Brooke, a species of Malaysia’s butterfly unique to Borneo is used in #MyButterflyEffect Campaign, resonating from Malaysia’s participation in Expo Astana 2017 to Expo 2020 Dubai to encourage and empower Malaysia in inspiring a sustainable world for all.
The Rainforest Canopy Pavilion, detailing Malaysia’s theme “Energising Sustainability”, spans 1,234.05 square meters, comprising of four segments – Energising Today, Energising Tomorrow, Energising Harmony and Energising Business. While “Energising Today”, focuses on how agri-commodities have shaped the socio-economic development of the country; “Energising Tomorrow”, showcases Malaysia’s commitment to becoming a high-income nation, while reducing carbon emissions. In addition, “Energising Harmony”, encapsulates how Malaysians of diverse cultures, traditions and races are working together towards the nation’s progress; and “Energising Business”, portrays the role of the private sector, state-owned enterprises and government initiatives in promoting sustainable development across all industries.
Designed by Hijjas Architects + Planners, a Kuala Lumpur-based and award-winning firm, ‘The Rainforest Canopy’ was inspired by Malaysia’s oldest rainforests which include its prehistoric rainforest Taman Negara, in Pahang. Estimated to be over 130 million years old, Taman Negara is Malaysia’s premier national park and one of the world’s oldest rainforests.
Serina Hijjas is a Malaysian architect, principal and creative director of HIJJAS architects & Planners HIJJAS architects & Planners, widely known for buildings that are dynamic, innovative, bold and sustainable concepts.
All the buildings have references to context and culture with a strong contemporary response. Hijjas has explored sustainability in every project. In Malaysia HIJJAS designs include many multinational and national projects such as the Shell Headquarters Building, Celcom Headquarters Building, Center of Excellence a waste training center, Herriot Watt University with a long span green roof, Sasana Kijang Center with faceting diamond facades to with awards in energy efficiency and green by design. Serina has won numerous architectural competitions exploring materiality and forms as an expression of to culture. A member in Malaysia Green Building Council & Green Building Index, Hijjas is active for pushing the envelope on green and part of the Greening Malaysia change.
Set to be a sustainable architecture, Malaysia’s ‘The Rainforest Canopy’ Pavilion will use energy efficiency features including heli-fans to enhance airflow, self-shading and green landscaping with vertical gardens, solar panels and water harvesting. The Pavilion itself will consume 20% less energy throughout the 6 months of operations. Materials used in building the structure will also be reused, once the pavilion is dismantled.
Construction contractor firm from Malaysia, Qube Integrated Sdn Bhd and local partner, RAQ Contracting LLC will be working together to build the pavilion for the Malaysia Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. The company was awarded a contract in October 2019 to co-develop the site infrastructure which will focus on sustainable design and is set to welcome visitors on October 20, 2020.
Malaysian Ambassador to the UAE, His Excellency Ambassador Mohd Tarid Bin Sufian added: “Expo 2020 Dubai, themed ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, the first World Expo ever held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, is an excellent opportunity for us to connect and share ideas with more than 190 participating countries and millions of visitors from across the globe.”