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Expo City in Dubai: Shaping the Future of Sustainable Construction

Expo City is distinguished by cutting-edge technologies, climate-responsive designs, the use of green materials, and a focus on people.

Expo City, the venue of COP28 in Dubai, is characterized by cutting-edge technologies, climate-responsive designs, green materials, and human-centricity. 

It posits that the future of construction isn’t just about reducing carbon footprint but also about maximizing people-centric outcomes without compromising environmental responsibility.

The UAE’s Influence on Sustainable Design:

If some of the leading contemporary architects are to be believed, Expo City is only a glimpse of the future that the UAE is shaping. 

Prasoon Shrivastava, the founder of his namesake architectural and design firm, Prasoon Design Studio, and AI-driven project management platform, Zepth, believes sustainable designs in the UAE are aimed at reclaiming a lost human element in cities while future-proofing them from evolving environmental risks.

“There is a broad consensus among architects and decision-makers about the need for people-centric, pedestrian-friendly cities, which transit-oriented developments have systematically eroded in recent decades. 

The ‘urban sprawl’ that global cities are grappling with today propels the industry toward regenerative architecture, which fosters ecosystems such as parks and interactive spaces within built environments.”

ConTech and Sustainable Construction:

Previously, such architectural goals would also elicit criticisms from a few sections of society due to the construction industry’s excessive carbon footprint and wastage. 

Construction is linked to a third of the world’s total generated waste and about 40 percent of the total greenhouse gas emissions. 

Today, however, with the emergence of ConTech (construction technologies), especially in AI, architects are unlocking higher efficiencies and addressing value-chain gaps originally responsible for high wastage and costs.

Zepth: AI-Driven Sustainable Construction:

According to Shrivastava, who modeled Zepth with the same efficiency-driven approach, technology is a prerequisite to sustainable construction and design. 

Shrivastava said integrating a common data platform with AI algorithms allows construction teams to collaborate intelligently, conduct site inspections, go paperless, and minimize the environmental impact of various processes for the entirety of the project life cycle.

The Ethical Application of AI in Design:

Shrivastava stressed that AI-based outcomes hinge on training the models using refined data sets. “As we integrate AI deeper into sustainable design, we must uphold a covenant of ethics. 

By establishing robust data governance and engaging in continuous AI system audits, we are crafting a blueprint for the ethical application of AI in design.”

The timely emergence of such enterprise solutions in the UAE shows market readiness for sustainable construction and design. 

Most importantly, growing evidence regarding sustainable construction’s economic, social, and environmental ROI is incentivizing all stakeholders to embrace it.

Architectural Legacy: Vertical Cities in Harmony with Nature:

Shrivastava believes that their architectural legacy will be vertical cities that reach towards the sky not in defiance of nature but in harmony with it and communities that can grow without fretting over climatic and environmental risks.

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